What I want to tell my ripest apple

January 20, 2013

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

apple bushel

each apple is unique in a bushel…same can be said about family

I often battle with what’s the best advice to give to my three apples. My ripest just turned 11 and is already expressing boredom with school. He’s in fifth grade.

He’s a great student who absorbs concepts and lessons quite easily. I’m not sure how my husband and I got so lucky to claim him as our own.

I remember stressing over grades because I was the type who couldn’t settle for a B. Even A minuses stung a little.

My parents never pressured me to be this way.

In fact, I recall my dad leaning over my shoulder trying to comfort me as I cried when I couldn’t grasp higher-level mathematical concepts in high school. Neither he nor my mom expected perfect scores, yet they beamed with pride when I achieved them. And having two loving parents dote on me was a feeling I strove to achieve as often as possible.

I graduated summa cum laude from a prestigious university and I honestly don’t think anyone (including myself) cared about that feat post-college. A lot of stress suffered for nothing!

So, yeah, this whole concept of “everything is too easy” doesn’t exactly resonate with me. And it’s killing me not to know how to best handle this situation. Is this a phase that I should let him weather through? Or will me intervening now help keep him focused down the road?

I’ve been reading excerpts from LinkedIn Thought Leaders, one of whom is Anthony (Tony) Robbins. He recently published an interesting piece called The Push and Pull – Possibility versus Necessity where he breaks down how different people are motivated depending on whether they are driven by a need or a desire.

I’ve always felt I’m a little bit of both. I want security and stability in life, but I’m also motivated by pushing my potential and forging into uncharted territories. I firmly believe you better yourself by embracing more of the latter.

The best thing to do with a child who’s bored with what he has to do, according to the article, is to stress the infinite possibilities open to those with a good education.

I want him to know that material wealth is not the ultimate goal. Nor is finishing at the top of the pyramid in or out of the classroom.

Yes, you must strive to earn the academic accolades that you are capable of achieving. Yes, you will need to land a good job. Yes, you (and those who depend on you) will need benefits. And school is the stepping stone for you to get those things.

Remember, however, that it is equally important to meet new people, embrace uncomfortable change, and embark on journeys that have no predetermined outcome.

Don’t settle for the status quo.

Because, dear apple, when you settle…you spoil.

Created by Heidi Woodard

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3 responses to What I want to tell my ripest apple

  1. 

    Not sure where my comment will fit in here, or if it will fit in. I’m a high school dropout. My only sibling, and my parents are all college graduates and have served as officers in the US Air Force. They all went on to succeed in civilian careers.

    My genetic predisposition is similar to theirs, yet my outcome has been dramatically different. The apple don’t fall far. Or maybe it do.

    I run a small, marginally successful business, and I want for nothing. I don’t have great material wealth, but I have wealth in the freedom of my days, and much joy from my chosen vocation.

    I was once viewed as bored in school too. I wasn’t bored, that’s just how it was perceived. I was confused, but masked the confusion by going to other places in my head. Eventually, I just checked out entirely, and pursued the things that did not bore. That which did not bore me — exercise and fitness, became my livelihood.

    Despite my lack of book learning I spawned a critter of m own. Clearly I was not an example of academic success, and therefore did not act toward her as though that mattered to me. She will graduate from DePaul University in a few months with a 4+ GPA. She attended on a full academic scholarship. I have no memory of every asking her, let alone forcing her to do her homework.

    My point in this long rant…? Like marriage, career choices, and betting on the New England Patriots, life is often just much more a throw of the dice, and a little less, the fall of an apple…

    Like I sa

    • 

      I’ve read a few of your posts about your daughter and can sense how extremely proud of her you are. Love reading your thoughts about the parent learning as much (if not more) from the child versus the other way around.

      My husband is a huge Falcons fan and, as such, is suffering tonight.

      Thanks so much for your thoughts. Always enjoy reading them.

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