Critiqued, Criticized, Or Just A Suggestion

I do not know about you and your kids, but I absolutely adore my 3 girls. They are the best kids in the world. They listen to everything I tell them to do, get everything right the first time and are becoming Olympic athletes in just a short time… Wait, no, that was just a dream.

As parents, we love our kids and sometimes feel they are perfect at everything but we know they aren’t. It can be hard to see what our kids need to improve upon. It can be even harder to take advice, criticisms, critiques or whatever else you would like to call it about our kids from other adults. What gives them the right to tell us how to raise our kids? What makes them think they know more about our child than we do? Seriously?

There is wisdom in listening to other adults give us advice about our kids. They have an objective view and do not need to view our kids as perfect. They have their own perfect, little family to raise. This allows them to see what our kids are great at and what they can work on.

My 5-year-old will be starting kindergarten in the fall. During preschool, her class would practice writing their letters and numbers. My 5-year-old had problems writing. We’re not expecting her to have perfect, clear, concise letters, but letters that are identifiable. Most of the time you could decipher what letter she wrote. Other times, the letter looked more like a symbol, sometimes even a scribble. However, one letter in particular was disastrous. Her S consisted of 3 lines. No curves or connecting lines, just 3 lines top to bottom. Her preschool teacher said she was doing well in preschool but needed more practice with writing her letters.

My wife and I could have been offended that our daughter needed practice. She was only in preschool after all. She still had plenty of time to get better. What kid wants to work on letters at the age of 5? kindergarten is still a few months away. Kindergarten is only the beginning of papers, projects, reports, report cards. Right?

It can easy to become offended when someone suggests our child work on improving a certain skill. If it is a legitimate suggestion (writing letters that look like letters versus writing a perfected novel) we actually do our child a disservice if we let them float by without improving themselves. There will be many times when our kids will need our encouragement and support: church, school, sports, friends. What better way to prepare our kids for challenges than to help them improve upon their skills when they are younger.

After learning that our oldest daughter has trouble writing certain letters, my wife created a workbook that she can use over and over again. After preschool ended in May, I have been having my oldest daughter practice her letters and numbers. Some days she is all about practicing while other days she would rather nap instead (maybe she figured out my weakness). Either way, she is learning how to practice and learning how to improve upon her weaknesses.

I really don’t want to brag but my daughter will most assuredly be the envy of ALL kindergarten children coming this fall… her writing is becoming a work of art.

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