Each month countless opportunities for celebration occur in each of our children’s lives, yet as parents sometimes we do not recognize them for what they are … with December being no exception. This month your child received his/her first term report card which may have contained average or even below average results. Does this represent an opportunity for celebration? You may be surprised …
Why should you celebrate?
Although often taken for granted, the act of celebration affords our children many important opportunities.
- Celebration provides time for reflection. It allows you and your child a chance to stop and look back at his/her accomplishments–the goals achieved, as well as the steps taken (or in progress) to get there.
- Celebration provides the opportunity for others to participate. How wonderful it is to have family and friends share in the celebrations and acknowledge your child for his/her hard work or efforts–regardless of the final marks achieved.
- Celebration provides the opportunity to acknowledge others. Just as rewarding as being recognized, is the opportunity for your child to give thanks back – acknowledging family and friends for their support and encouragement along the way.
- Celebration allows everyone to relax and unwind in the midst of a busy life. It provides a chance for everyone to step outside their normal routines to do something pleasurable and unwind. It can also provide a positive sense of anticipation.
What do you celebrate?
It can be tempting to celebrate only the larger achievements or high marks. However, there are many other events which may also warrant celebrations be they large or small. Here are just a few for your consideration:
- When your child works at something new or difficult
- When he/she takes risks
- Making hard choices
- Letting go of habits that no longer serve him/her
- Completing a smaller step in the attainment of a larger goal, like working to close the gap between them and the provincial standards.
If you or a family member tries and fails, is there still reason to celebrate? Absolutely! Failure can be one of life’s greatest teachers, if you only help your child to be open and recognize the lessons it can provide. For example:
- Failure gives everyone a chance to look at what they are doing and change their actions–to try a new direction.
- Failure can teach people about perseverance, and give an opportunity to keep going.
- Failure can teach you there is no shame in failing–only in being so afraid of it that you do not get back up and try again.
For you see, it isn’t a matter of whether you will fail at things throughout your life, it’s more a question of how you will fail … and the attitude or perspective you will bring to the situation.
So let me ask again, should you celebrate a below average report cards? While ultimately the choice is up to you, hopefully you see the importance celebration can play in both your child’s and family’s lives. It not only represents a chance to acknowledge the efforts/gains made, and to identify ongoing strategies for success, but can also replace threats and punishments as potential motivators with your children in the months and years to come.
About the author
An award-winning educator and Parenting & Youth Coach, Rob Stringer BA, BEd, CPC has spent almost two decades helping kids, teens, and adults meet with success, and live lives they LOVE! Although based outside of Toronto, Rob’s coaching practice is global with teen and adult clients around the world.
Ready to give your child a head start on success? Check out Rob’s coaching programs and workshops for parents and youth. Visit www.YouthCoachCanada.com or call 905.515.9822.