I have been wondering lately, and it seems I am not the only one, if the expectations we have of our children are “normal”.
Noodle does exceptionally well in school, usually without much effort. She is very near the top of her class among some other very smart kids. This little bit of information is important because of the high school, yes I said high school, she would like to attend. There are a few rather elite parochial school here that are as tough as nails to get into. They have been know to look at your school transcripts back to 4th or 5th grade. She has had her heart set on going to one of them since about the 2nd week of kindergarten. We have told her all along if she puts forth her best efforts and gets in we will do whatever we can to insure that she can attend the school. It is an ungodly (no pun intended) amount of money but being able to say you graduated from XYZ high school is an amazing accomplishment, and about 85% of those who graduate end up with a full ride 4 year scholarship to a university.
With that said, progress reports came home yesterday. I hate to say I was disappointed in Noodle because that sounds so negative and can tear through someones soul and leave them in a feeling of anguish, but I wasn’t really happy I guess you can say. She was already down on herself about it so to beat her down some more wasn’t the way I felt I needed to approach it. I sat her down and asked her what happened. She thought it was because they had had a really hard test and only a few other assignments in the class so it brought her average way down. I am not totally cold hearted and can understand that everyone has a bad day once in awhile and she just may not have been on target the day of the test. After we talked she told me not to worry, she went to her teacher right after school and asked for extra credit to bring her grade up (how could I be upset after that?) and had already done a few worksheets before she went to softball practice.
I will tell you she had a “C” and a “B-” on her report in two subjects. All the others were “A’s”. The “A’s” were in her hardest subjects so I know she can do it. If all she were capable of were “C’s” I would love her just as much and be just as proud of her, but because I know she is capable of more I expect it.
Should I expect it is the question. I assume most people would be thrilled to death if their child brought home those types of grades. Hell, if I had brought home those grades I would have been pretty darn proud of myself (I too had the ability, just not the drive and my parents were not the type to “push” us as long as we were doing “Ok”). Because I screwed around in high school my study habits in college were not the best. In my hearts of hearts I believe that if we start Noodle off right now, when it is time for high school and college those too will come a little easier for her. Do I believe everything should be handed to her? Not for all the tea in China, but what kind of a parent would I be if I didn’t do the things I could help her get a few steps ahead in this great big world.
I have internal fights with myself everyday about what I do and don’t expect of her. Is it too much or maybe even not enough? Then I remind myself that the girl doesn’t know the difference bewteen the soap you use in the dishwasher and the dish soap you use in the sink.
I guess some of my expectations are higher than others.