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.