Bragging Rights

So… from birth you have been monitoring your kids’ development. With parents as clever as theirs there is no chance of them underperforming, right? I mean granny said she has never seen a child with a memory like theirs, and she’s a teacher! She must know what she is talking about.

The first time at pre-school that you meet up with the teacher, you wait with bated breath for her to tell you they discovered the next little Einstein. Eventually you let go of that breath because all she says is: “She’s doing well. There is nothing to be worried about.” Maybe your child is just shy. They haven’t seen what she’s capable of at home!!!!

The first pre-school concert rolls by and all these other cuties have lead roles and yours is the one in the monkey suit, crying on stage because you didn’t give her a kiss before you left her with the teacher. The teacher has to take her arms and wave them to the rhythm of the music, to all the other parents’ in the audience’s delight, I might add!!

Grade R sees the first real report card with grades. Wow, she has mostly sevens (which is the top mark by the way)!!! Watch out primary school. My kid will be top of the class and taking the medals!

Grade 1 comes and with it a whole string of 4s and 5s and the odd 6. What happened? It must be the teacher!!! You, being a responsible mommy, limit her activities to keep her focussed on academics (…in gr1. What was I thinking?).

Her grades steadily climb towards the end of the year and then prize giving comes!! Now is my child’s chance to shine!!!!

Every single grade 1 kid gets a certificate and all activities are mentioned by the teacher. The kids who read more than 50 books in their grade are called up on stage. By now I know that when my daughter steps up, there won’t be many activities to list because I rationed her. But that’s OK because they’ll know she’s the bright one!!! Her turn comes and this is what they read out: “She does Dance Mouse, Tennis and is very diligent.” What??? You made a mistake! What about outstanding academic achievement??? Three kids in her class get academic medals. She’s not one of them! How could that be?

On your way home, you do your best to pick yourself up and tell her how well she did, all the while wondering what went wrong!!

Grade 2 will be better. I know now that she needs to take part in as many activities as possible and read a lot of books!!

She gets enrolled into ‘Experi Friends’, plays tennis, dances and I force her to take up guitar. I thought it would be a great skill to be able to play Kumbaya around the fire when we go camping. Being the musician that I am, I enrol her into classical guitar and not acoustic. Classical must be the normal basic ‘vanilla’ lessons because acoustic sounds very fancy. She gets an old lady to teach her, it’s very technical and she hates every moment of it!

She read 140 books. That should at least get her a special mention. She is always first or second in her class when doing maths tests. This is her year!!!!!

So the second prize giving arrives. I’m all exited!!! Anticipation is killing me!

The certificates are read….What? No mention of extra books read! “Experi friends” does not count towards the certificate any longer!!!

Her turn’s up: “She plays tennis, does Dance Mouse, plays guitar and always does her best.” Are you guys crazy?!!! She clearly hasn’t done her best! If she did, she would have a medal hanging around her neck right about now!

Again my daughter is smiling from ear to ear and her mom is, dare I say it, disappointed!

You find yourself analysing the kids that are the achievers and try and pick on their faults. But this one is much older than my daughter or that one’s mommy is a teacher at the school!!! How is it possible if her parents aren’t as intelligent as my child’s? (Yes I know, it was probably you and one of your kids and I am sorry that I did that but I didn’t say anything out loud!)

I am proud to say that I have realised this year that I cannot control my daughter’s life and achievements. Luckily for my son, my daughter was there first and he does not have the painful mother that she had.

I have decided to congratulate those who are achievers and get special mention but also celebrate my kids who are all-rounders and don’t excel in any one area specifically. I have compassion with parents who have kids that really suffer or have learning disabilities, realising how lucky I am.

As long as your kids are happy and you are doing everything you can to kick-start them in life, somebody else’s achievement does not take away anything from who or what they are or what they will become!

BUT watch them next year!! :)

Only kidding!

Let’s celebrate our children and remember it is THEIR school career not ours!

Happy nurturing,





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