Tuesday, February 26, 2013

tiger mom

remember all that controversy about the tiger mother? i remember sympathizing just a little bit - we all want what is best for our kids. 

i know what it is like to have a lot expected of me. and what it is like to want to deliver on those expectations. 

i always joke that had i just not tried particularly hard in elementary school, i wouldn't have had to work so hard come high school and college. (and then feel like such a failure because i just didn't want to be there, but that's another story) 

i think that for some of us - those types of expectations are just "there". i find that i expect a lot from lbj - perhaps as a result of my upbringing, and subsequent self-inflicted expectations - 

the tiger mother herself, in her defense said: “We parents, including me, are all so anxious about whether we're doing the right thing. You can never know the results. It's this latent anxiety." 

i feel that anxiety. constantly. i never know if i'm living up to "expectations" as a mother. and this morning - lbj got his first "report card". the card was filled with items they work on: colors, numbers, letters. 

he was able to score - always, most of the time, with encouragement, not at all, or n/a. 

he scored "not at all" in categories like subtracting and adding. numbers were not something i was focusing on before now. we really worked on letters and reading. 

but then in social situations - like "communicating with peers" he got "with encouragement". he scored this way in almost all of the social categories. 

when i read the report card, i found myself getting angry. i kid you not. for real, for serious, angry. why wont he just do as he is told?! listen to his teachers and the other kids. just sit down, shut your mouth, and listen.

that's what i was thinking at least. 

but, as i am trying to practice "positive" parenting, i took a deep breath and just that the teachers sent me a note today, and it says that lbj needs to work on listening. "i know mom" was the response. followed by, "a note that says im a bad boy?" 

that broke my heart. because i know that it is i who has said "bad boy", and who has let lbj think such a thing. lbj is a good boy, and i want him to try hard and do his best. but i do not want to instill some crazy "you must be the best" complex in him. 

i think that this will be hard. my initial gut reaction is that you ought to do something, and do it right. but, for heavens sake, i must remember this boy is 3. and that he has so much ahead of him. to use such a strong hand, and require perfection, i think will only create some serious self worth issues down the road. 

the first step was realizing how quickly i was able to find fault. i hope that i can remember this. and remember to not act on those feelings.  i hope that as lbj grows i will be able to know the difference between his best and the best.  i hope that i wont put too much stock into a piece of paper. and that i can teach lbj to do the same - to teach him his worth is beyond something that can be check marked on a report card. 

1 comment:

Kaitlynn Bluth said...

Love this. I am already having this type of anxiety and I don't even have kids yet. I'll need you big time when it happens. :) And I'm sure Jackson will be the heartthrob of the whole town.