Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Whats the matter with moms these days

Grace got her dance evaluation last week, when I first opened it I have to admit I got a little angry.....OK, maybe for a second I was red hot furious. Shamefully, I admit, for a min I thought I am NOT going to show her this. You see, Dancing is Grace's favorite thing in the world. She takes lessons at The Dance Club in Orem and she is on a team this year. It requires A LOT of dedication.....she goes to dance for 5 hrs a week and more if there is a performance or competition. One week she spent 14 hrs at dance.....some of it was just waiting around at rehearsals and some was performance time....but still for a 6 yr old that is a BIG commitment. I have often felt torn at the amount of time she spends at dance.......but she loves it. Even when she is not at the studio she is dancing in her room. She never complains (but i do a lot, not to her, but to anyone else who will listen)....she has missed her birthday....family parties...ect, ect.....She has gone to dance sick, pretty much a requirement if it's a week before a performance....Yet I have NEVER heard her complain. She is dedicated.

So naturally when her evaluation wasn't perfect....I got angry. But then, I took a deep breath and read it again. It wasn't terrible, it was actually pretty good. And all the scores that were low.......well, when I read her teachers comments, I had to agree. So I sat down with my princess (who was eager awaiting her first report card ever) and explained to her, that this was a tool for her to get better and that it wasn't going to only say that she was perfect. And that she has to be able to take criticism if she want to be a truly good dancer. As I went through her evaluation with her, she handled it with nothing but "grace". She acknowledged her needing improvement in the categories sighted and she was pleased in the praise she got. Then she went up to her room to practice. I was so proud.

Well yesterday her dance teacher sent home a note. She felt the need to explain her evaluation, because apparently many of the mothers called to complain......many of them felt that red hot anger that I felt when I first read it and didn't take that moment to read it again. I understand how these mothers felt. We dedicate a lot of time and MONEY to this dance club. We sacrifice hours at rehearsals and buying costumes and finding all the hundreds of little things that they need in there bag at all times. We watch as our little girls work so hard for their teachers. I once watched as Grace sat on her knees on a hard wood floor for 20 min as the older girls in their number practiced their part.....all the little girls just sat there with their backs strait....waiting. So naturally we want the teachers to all say...."your time and energy and money has been well spent, your daughter is the most perfect dancer ever...the end".

But that is where the problem lies today....I think are children too often are shielded from criticism. They are told they are perfect in every way....everyone gets a trophy. I remember I once came to my mother and told her I was having a problem with a friend.....she didn't want to play with me anymore. I thought my mom would tell me that my friend was to blame......but, she didn't. She said " Sarah, it seems like that is happening a lot lately......maybe you should look at your behavior and what kind a friend YOU are".....At first I was mad. But then I realized she was right, I was at fault.

Self reflection and improvement could be one of the most important things we teach our children. They need to be able to take criticism and grow from it. I know I need to be better at this.....I need to learn to be less protective and more focused on making my children into competent, and independent men and woman. Just like Grace's dance teacher is trying to make her be a great dancer.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Education

I went to a Private School for first grade. My mother says I was the cutest thing ever and my teacher was a push over.....if I didn't feel like doing something.....I didn't have to. Also my sweet little brother Jake went to preschool there, he didn't like it much....so when he would cry they would bring in his big sister to calm him down. Needless to say when I entered 2nd grade in public school it wasn't long until my teacher showed up at our house (they did that way back then) to tell my mother I wasn't ready for 2nd grade. I remember crying in front of a mirror .....very dramatic! So I repeated 1st grade.....not a good start for my academic career....and it sort of explains my spelling.

I loved my second grade teacher....but that's all I really remember about it. 3rd grade was a disaster.....I talked ALL the time. We had these punch cards and if you got a certain amount of punches then you couldn't go to Lagoon at the end of the year......I was the ONLY 3rd grader who couldn't go. Cried in front of a mirror again.

In 4th grade I started a new school. I hated it and apparently I started eating my feeling because I got a little chubby. I had a hard time making friends. But we did make homemade root beer that year......so that was good. Oh and I was still flunking all my spelling tests.

5th grade was my most painful year! My brother told people my name was Bertha and in "big Bertha". I would chase boys around the playground telling them I wanted to marry them. My only friends were the other girl with hairy armpits and the girl who wet her pants once. (and if either read my blog....I was in the same boat) My grades were fine...but definitely not great!

6th grade I stated to thin out a bit....which made life easier. But my period started...and no one should have to deal with that on a mini toilet. I started to do sort of well in math, but spelling....not so great!

7th grade .......BOYS= bad grades! I got my first "boyfriend" but he tried to hold my hand, so we broke up.

8th grade......Boys= bad grades!

9th grade......high school boys = REALLY bad grades! My parents grounded me for 3 month until the next report card came out. I pulled my grades up. and I kept pulling them up! Ended the year pretty strong! But the biggest news of nineth grade was my "senior boyfriend" we never dated or held hands or anything....but he was my boyfriend. And he wore a cherry pie t-shirt and short overalls......Hot!

10th grade not much happened. Got pretty good grades and I was really into drama.

11th grade my only year of school that I actually felt really proud of. I got great grades....I was Jr class president. My first kiss (at 17....remember that children)

12th grade I just glided by.....I knew I wouldn't get into BYU so I settled on UVSC . And stopped trying. I took like 3 real classes then a lot of stupid electives. But I did have a lot of fun.

UVSC........well it had the hall of flags....or should I say the hall of distractions! I just would walk down the hall talk to someone and then miss class....not good. I was put on academic probation and the end of my second year....

Why have I told you all of this.....First to explane my sigh of relief and the PRIDE that my children do so FANTASTIC in school. They all take it seriously....Thanks in most part to my husband who is inches away from 2 PHDs....wow amazing example for my babies!! And because my kindergartner starts 1st grade next year and I will have 6 hours a day to myself and I am at a loss of what to do. I always thought I would have more kids....so now what.
Well I've been contemplating my education and weather or not I should give it another try. I am not a student....and I don't know if I have the ability to be one. But I don't think ending my education on academic probation is exactly the example I want to be to my children........

I know I'm a lot more then my education gives me credit for.......I just wonder how much more I could be with a little more education.......