Friday, December 10, 2010

Working to Your Potential

When all day you hear "you can do better" you start to feel like you cant do anything right...and you end up not trying at all....:"(

One of my former students posted this on a social network today. It broke my heart.

What is interesting, however, is the transparency of this quote. This student tells us what happens when you're told over and over again that you're not living up to expectations - they stop trying and then don't live up to expectations.

What does it mean to work to your full potential? Does anyone really know what their full potential is? What I am capable of isn't necessarily what I'd rather do. Just because I can doesn't mean I will or that I even want to.

This quote from a 12 year old is quite wise. The amount of comments this student received was overwhelming - obviously this is a common sentiment among our children.

So does this mean we shouldn't expect anything of our kids? Does it mean that we should never tell them we know they can do better?

Of course not. But if you find you are saying it more often than not - STOP! No one wants to listen to a nag. I know it's not easy and I've been guilty of it myself (believe me, being a teacher's kid is no picnic, ask my boys), but until kids choose for themselves their future, it will only be the future YOU imagine for them. Personally, I don't want to live someone else's dream. Do you?

Just something to think about. If you find that you have said those very words lately to your child, realize that what they are thinking is "I can't do anything right, so I'm not going to even try."