My wife and I have high expectations for our three elementary school-aged children, but we have told them repeatedly that we do not expect straight A’s. That may sound like a contradiction, but it is not. If we see good effort then we anticipate that good grades will flow naturally. And if their best isn’t good enough to net them an “A” then so be it. Everyone makes mistakes, and nobody is perfect all the time.
My 11-year-daughter has hit the beginnings of puberty and as her body changes, so has her priorities. Getting full effort out of her is increasingly difficult. It frustrates but doesn’t surprise me when she forgets her homework at school on the last day before an assignment is due, but remembers clearly when the local high school football team plays a home game that she can attend with her sixth grade classmates and friends. She increasingly views anything that stands in the way of her interacting with her friends as a grave injustice.
We are fairly permissive parents. (more…)