Eleanor Douglas-Meyers is a crafty mom from Uitenhage who writes about DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog JustEllaBella Today she looks at how our children are more than just their report cards
I want to start this post by saying I know all kids are different, their development is different and I think it’s important to focus on individual strengths. You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree … and such.
My son sucks at puzzles, he really does, zero patience, he colours somewhere near the lines, he hasn’t figured out buttons and he gets the laces tangled when using lacing toys. I have no idea if he can draw a person or can recite a full nursery rhyme because quite frankly, every time I ask him to he says, no thank you not right now.
Despite this, I know that when it comes to our happy healthy boy we are beyond blessed. I follow pages of children who face real adversity in life and I cheer with their moms with every seemingly small achievement so I know that development is relative.
But I realised that although I see myself as pretty easy going , my son’s development seems to be linked to my own pride in some way.
Thinking back to his first progress report, I remember how the results punched me in the stomach. According to the report card his development was slow, he needed to work on everything from numbers to his name!
WHAT?!?!?! The child who introduces himself as Aidan Jesse Meyers, doesn’t know his surname?
He can’t brush his teeth, doesn’t know his colours or shapes and struggles with counting. WHAT?!?!?! We can bribe him with teeth brushing – he loves it so much, he even flosses, he doesn’t only know shapes he dismantles them: “a heart is two circles and a triangle mommy”, “A rectangle is two squares, hey mommy”
But teachers are experts so maybe all Aidan’s achievements are in my head? Maybe him pointing out numbers and letters are just my imagination.
Does everyone else think “she should probably have him tested, he seems a little slow”. Does it even matter? Why does it matter?
Honestly, if my parents had to base their feelings towards me on report cards, my maths marks would have scored me zero hugs and even fewer bedtime stories.
I love my son, he is smart and beautiful and exhaustingly energetic. He is three years old with the type of vocabulary that has people checking his age with me. He has an ear for music and figured out that the tune for the alphabet song and twinkle little star is the same. He loves crafting and unlike most three-year-olds, he can be trusted with scissors, glue, glitter, the works.
He is also fiercely independent and if you follow me on social media you will know he gives me a run for my money.
I soon realised something, he is so much more than that report card.
I do pray that he gets over his shyness and lets more people see the light that’s inside him. But, even so, whether he is academic or sporty, or neither, whatever he is and whoever he is I just hope he finds the strength to stand tall and let others see the real him.
More than that it got me working on myself. Reminding myself that his achievements are not my own.
All I can do is help him learn and love him holistically, regardless of whether he is first in class or last. Whether he participates or sits it out. This kid is a real life little human being with his own strengths and weaknesses which have nothing to do with me.
All I can do is help him find himself and teach him and answer his millions of questions and most importantly remember “this is not about me!”
- See more from Eleanor at justellabella.co.za