Parents, before you start reading this blog, I want you to repeat these words:

My child is fearfully and wonderfully made.

My child was created with gifts that are unique to him/her, and he/she is smart in his/her own way. 

I must confess. When I walked out of the doctor’s office at about 2.5 hours pregnant, I started googling the best schools in Atlanta. Crazy, right?! Ok, maybe just a little. Don’t lie. You did it, too. Like every mom or dad reading this blog, I wanted my children to have the best education.

It didn’t help that I am an educator.  I had the curriculum mapped out and started highlighting grade level expectations. Then, the word walls started going up in every room of the house.  I know, I was a bit extra. Both girls were reading and writing before they entered kindergarten. I knew the education game, and I was ready to play it well.  My girls would not be left behind.

I am that mom.  You know, the one who shows up to every conference, checks book bags every day, logs into the parent portal to check grades, keeps my own binder full of academic data, screams the loudest at awards day programs, makes sure my children are in the right percentile on standardized test scores and doesn’t mind popping up at the school. Yes! That mama.

At one point my children’s educational identity was more important than who they were created to be. 

I will never forget the first time my oldest made a C on her report card. My world was crushed.  I mean, how could she make a C when I was doing all of the right things? I remember telling her, “Mac, what’s going on? You can do better than this. We don’t bring C’s in this house.” I will never forget the look on her face. The look of disappointment… She was crushed. 

When I looked at my child’s body language during that exchange, my life changed. I had to pull back and remember that education is not just about a letter grade, but it’s also about the acquisition of values, beliefs, and habits.  The way we shape our children’s values, beliefs, and habits are based on how we respond to certain situations. I always think back to our interaction and ask myself, “How did that one moment shape her identity? Did my response make her think that she was a failure? How would it impact her self-esteem?” I play a big part in helping shape who she is becoming, and I never want her to think that grades are more important than who she was created to be.

Think about the emotional damage and frustration from children who feel like their worth is defined by how they perform academically.  You can’t make a child known because of their awards, grades or test scores. Your child has to know that he/she is known because he/she is chosen, worthy, smart and gifted in his/her own way. Simply put, your child is enough.

I’m not sure who’s reading this, but I want you to remind you that your child is really doing the best they can.  Grades, in-class assessments the awards they receive or standardized tests do not define your child’s worth. They are more than a grade. Your child is a gifted scholar in his/her own way with a bright future ahead of them.  Nurture them and be proud of who they are and will become.

Educationally Speaking,


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