I have had to work hard throughout my life to achieve even the smallest of rewards. I am not academic; in fact, I was told in high school that I was unlikely to qualify as a nurse. My mum always told me that as long as I know deep down I did the best I could at the time, then I should be proud. It took me until the age of 30, but, I have two nursing qualifications & a first class honours degree in health care. I/we have the same approach with our kids.
However, it isn’t just about achieving good grades, if children don’t grow up knowing & understanding how to conduct themselves in society they are not going to get very far in life. They spend a significant amount of time in a structured learning environment with their peers, a very influential place where they begin to learn how to conduct themselves around others. As I have mentioned in a recent post, my elder son was rewarded in his first term at his school in grade 3 for displaying those qualities expected from the students. At the end of every term one student from each class is chosen to receive ‘The Principal’s Award’. At the end of the year one student from each class is chosen to receive ‘the Principal’s Book Prize’ for consistently acting with integrity & honesty; respect for themselves & others; taking responsibility for their own actions & shows dedication to the school by proudly wearing the uniform & always being willing to help others over ALL 3 terms. So when I received an email last week from our younger son’s teacher inviting us to the award ceremony where he will receive a book prize, you can imagine how proud & emotional I felt.
There are other awards of course, & you don’t know until that moment they call his name which one he is going to get (& of course he has no idea). My husband & I sat their, after all the other award categories had been & gone, still waiting for his name to be called knowing that there was only one prize left. The award that not only shows what great kid he is, but the award that also reflects us as parents. We all think we could do better as parents; it’s probably the hardest job in the world. But, when your child is singled out for displaying all of the qualities mentioned above, not just for one term but the entire school year, that isn’t just him, or the school, it’s us as parents. I think we can be really proud of ourselves for providing the initial building blocks of life that both our children have used to the best of their ability, & definitely warrants raising a glass – or two!