The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
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