I’m happy to report that the school reports from our eldest two were terrific. I can remain in pastoral ministry for at least another year. The kids know that if they’re unruly and a general pain in the backside, then Daddy will get the sack!
We’ve got into the habit of talking to the kids after a parents’ interview or a school report. Each of those occasions is an opportunity to encourage them, to remind them that even though we don’t see them for lots of the day we nevertheless take a great interest in what they’re doing and also to reinforce what we expect of them in their schooling.
One phrase that’s started to become a mantra has been ‘it’s not how well you do that bothers us, but rather how hard you try’. On previous occasions they’ve just accepted that Daddy is right on this one. ‘It must be true’ they presumably thought, ‘Daddy said so’. I should have known that wouldn’t last for long. And so last night Rufus asked why trying hard matters more. Good question. I was temporarily stumped, not only by my inability to express it clearly but also why I thought that. And then I realised. Doing well in any subject is all about ability. But trying hard in any subject is all about character. We can’t take any credit for our ability. God gives us our abilities. But character is something that we can work on. One of our children doesn’t like art. It’s because that individual is not very good at it, apparently. And so the effort comment in that area iskey. One of the things that we need to work on is the effort put into art. Not so religious education! Excellent effort and top marks for knowledge, understanding and approach. Godo job Christ Church Kids’ teachers . Thank you!
It reminded me that though I’d love the kids to leave the school with ability in every single subject, I’d gladly exchange that for character. Teaching them that Rosslyn and I look mainly at the effort and not the attainment column is one sure way that we can reinforce that.