I was talking to a couple of friends the other day and one asked me why I am not posting my kids’ grades and their awards on Facebook while most of them already did. “Did they get low scores?” “Are they not performing well at school?” “Are you not proud?” I answered her by quoting my favourite, George Carlin;
“Here’s a bumper sticker I’d like to see: Proud parents of a child whose self-esteem is sufficient that he doesn’t need us promoting his minor scholastic achievements on the back of our car.”
We laughed, and then she said, “I got it!” but by the looks of it, I’m not so sure if she really did. 🤗
My kids are more than just fine. Honestly, I don’t see any reason why I should be taking photos of my 4 kids’ grades and report it on social media or tell every person I know who they are in school. Aside from the fact that I have to ask for permission before I post any of it, since it’s theirs, it’s quite time consuming for me to line up all the certificates✌🏻🤪. Haha.
I’d rather post their photos having a good time. Or Sandoy’s antics and pizza moments. Something everyone can relate. or laugh about. Because who really cares if your kid is best in Math or Silver awardee? You’ll get many congratulations, and then what?
BUILDING THE FUTURE.
“Comparing your childrens achievements doesn’t improve your relationship with them. It’s important for your kids to be academic but it’s more important for them to have empathy and compassion and it’s important for them to have intellectual ability but today it’s even more valuable for them to have EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE.“
I don’t think it will be fair for my kids to market them with their scholastic performance as tags on social media. We know what social media can do to people. I am proud but not too proud to open a venue for other people to judge, psychoanalyse my kids by the numbers and likes of awards they received.
They have different intellectual abilities and personalities, as we all do, and I don’t want people to end up comparing them. Not everybody is best in Math or in Computer. I don’t want them to think that one is superior than the other. Or that one is more favored over the other because she got 1 point higher in Grammar. I don’t want my kids growing up pitting against each other to vie for my and my husband’s affection or other people’s attention. I don’t want them to grow up thinking that our love for them is directly proportional to their academic success. That if they fail, we will love them less.
I want to secure them that we love them all the same and that no awards can define who’s better or not. I want my kids to grow up happy, secured, and well equipped with discipline and right sets of values. And that can’t be possible if they grow up harbouring anger and hatred because they were once left behind. Or because someone made them feel they are inferior. Nor to allow them to grow arrogant because they get the best award.
THE REAL LIFE’S LESSONS.
Even if people think your kids are highly accomplished, it makes no difference to your life. It may give you a minimal ego boost, or make you feel confident for a moment. But what’s truly going to matter is the relationship you have with them.
I am proud, of course. But more than being proud, I am thankful that my kids put value on their education. Awards are just bonuses. I know that. So don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those who brag about their kids and their “journey”. I just don’t see myself taking the same path. That isn’t the end goal of my kids efforts at school. They don’t go to school, exhaust their energy to bring home the bacon for mommy, No. I tell them, we only make ways for them to realise what their dream is made of, but the realisation is up to them. So no, I won’t brag about my kids effort no matter how I feel proud about it, Because real appreciation works on giving them a boost to continue with their feet on the ground.
There is more to life than ABC’s and 1,2,3. I always tell may kids. There is more the school teaches that they need to muster; discipline of their mind.
This discipline helps one create balance and stability. This is the true goal of education. Real achievement for me is being able to live your life in harmony to your truest nature. Hence my truest mom-proud moments don’t depend on how many medals my kids receive yearly but seeing them grow up to be the best person they can. I want them to be happy. and my kids’ happiness is my only bragging rights.
Happy kid is a happy mom.
It’s okay to want your children to be successful but don’t let success be a substitute for their values. It’s easy to show off about caliber but what’s really important is there character. I know so many people who have skills, strengths and qualifications but struggle to build a meaningful relationships, bonds or get through tough time.
Now a days we see people being successful at work but fails at making thing work out with their relationships. Some are good at public speaking but fails at communicating their true feelings to others. There are professionals who are good at numbers but short at manners. Failures in life are usually brought about not by our lack of skills but by the set of values we grew up with. Hence the number of failed relationships, shattered dreams, broken families. People suffering from anxiety and depression is growing day by day. Triggered by the silent competition we create within ourselves from comparing our lives with others, from what we see online. The culture of compare and contrast on social media has made us become obsessed of achievements as associated to power, fame, popularity and money.
My kids know how I put prime on values, character and manners. They know that nothing makes me proud as a mom but having to see them grow up as someone who is known for integrity and humility. I do not impose on them. I only guide and support. They exactly know that what I can only help them to build is a solid ground for their value system, not their future, not their happiness. They are the ones who will create it, and this value system will define the kind relationships they are to make.
Your worth is not defined by your kids bank balance. Your parenting is not validated by their test scores. YOUR SUCCESS IS NOT BASED ON THE CAR THEY DRIVE. AND YOUR FUTURE IS NOT BASED ON HOW OTHERS SEE THEM.
I am proud of my kids’ accomplishments. I can brag about these if I want to. But the question is, what do they get from it? Will it empower them? Will they consider it as a challenge? Will it make them feel better of themselves? 50-50 chances of losing. And I won’t take that risk all for the sake of me feeling good about it. I don’t want to compromise their relationships as siblings and their character as a person for my own pride AND ego or for validation of my parenting skill. I am way more proud of the kind, compassionate kids they have become. Seeing them working hand on hand as a family, helping one another grow, is the true measure of our success as parents.
Jay Shetty on his video also said,
If money, fame and power didn’t exist, would you be happy with who your children are?! Would you be grateful for how they turned out? Because what we’re doing right now is we’re covering up our insecurities with their success. We’re recovering up our personal challenges with what they’ve achieved.
Ultimately, you know deep down inside your heart, that the only thing that truly matters is how much you love them and how much they love you. “
I am not a perfect mom and I don’t have the perfect kids. But everyday is an attempt for us to make things not perfect but better.
I hope this will inspire you create a better relationship with your kids outside the social demands and comparison of better economic status and academic achievements. This generation requires us physical proof to determine one’s success. We are always tempted to prove something and most of the times, kids are used to compensate where we fall short.
Let’s stop imposing to the kids, start to help them realize the best version of themselves far from the dictates of society. They are bigger than their achievements.
I hope we can also help stop the stigma of looking down to kids who are less performing than other siblings. Stop comparing one kid to another. So we can help them overcome their insecurities and help them grow the kind of person they want to become and not just a shadow of a more successful sibling. By doing so we are also helping them create a good relationship with their siblings, friends, with us as parents and with their own selves. More so, we can help them realise their own definition of success.