So there was this fairly crazy woman who taught algebra at my high school. Without going into too much detail, she wore a different hat every day and insisted that the best way to learn math was for us to read our text books quietly at our desks and then do the accompanying work. And yeah, that's probably a fine way for a math genius to learn math, but for me it was a total disaster. I got a D in her class, which was a fairly horrifying thing; I was a good student.
But my parents laughed. No, really, they did. They looked at my report card, and listened to the stories I told about this particular teacher and they laughed and said it was alright. Looking back on the situation all these years later, I realize that they didn't punish or lecture me because it wasn't entirely my fault that I got such a bad grade. I realize that the pressure they put on me was just right. I needed to do my best when I could and when I I truly couldn't, well, nobody needs to freak out.
I was just on the Momversation site where the most recent video features a panelist discussion of this very topic: pressure. Specifically, do we put too much pressure on our kids, or not enough? I'd love to hear thoughts from parents whose children are older than my own.
It's one of those topics that reminds me that today's battle over getting my toddler to put her sweater on is probably not the most difficult thing we're going to be dealing with in this here life. And I like gaining a little perspective, despite the fact that all these future questions are slightly daunting.