Drew’s countenance fell as I glanced over the assignment. My 11-year-old knew that it was not his best work, and so did I. The words we exchanged mirrored recent conversations about schoolwork — words that emphasized the need to finish well.
After our discussion, I reflected on my approach and cringed at my tendency to dwell on the negative. My own shortcomings as a parent were painfully brought to light, and if Drew was like me, he desperately needed a strong cheering section.
I began to consider his academic strengths and recalled an assignment in which his ability as a writer was particularly evident. So I invited him to be a guest writer on my blog. It was a simple gesture. He wrote with enthusiasm and received encouraging comments from thoughtful readers.
The praise from friends and family would have been enough, but when Drew developed a renewed interest for school, I knew what I had done encouraged him in his identity as a student.
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2010 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Julianna Lawson. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.