And she was good. She wrote her speech, she practiced a couple of times every day, and she was prepared. Her speech was concise, she stayed almost exactly to her one minute limit, and she even had a joke in there.
So when she told me that she would be writing a speech again this year, I was looking forward to helping her with it.
"Oh no, Mummy, we're writing it in school."When she brought her speech home to practice a couple of days ago, along with a "good work award" and told me that she had indeed been picked out of the kids in her class to give her speech, I'm not quite sure what I was expecting; but I know that I wasn't expecting a twenty second speech made up of three or four word sentences.
Okay. Well, do you want help deciding on a topic?
"Oh, no, Mummy, we're supposed to bring our favourite toy to school and write about that."
Oh. Okay. Well, do you want to practice with me?
"No thank you, Mummy. I might not even get picked to do mine. We're going to vote."
I know that my daughter, despite being six years old is capable of much more. And I'm not just saying that because I'm her mum and I think she's awesome; I'm saying that because I have video of her speech from last year. She is eloquent and thoughtful, and has a lot to say about everything.
She got a lot of praise at school for this year's lackluster speech. Really, there was nothing wrong with the speech, except that it wasn't on par with her usual work. Maybe it was "fine for a first grader". Maybe it shouldn't bother me at all.
But when telling her that she did a great job -- she said her eight lines calmly and clearly -- I feel like I'm blowing sunshine up her butt. I know what she is capable of; is it wrong to feel like she should live up to that potential?
Parents spend a lot of time jumping up and down with pompoms around their kids these days. Should we not tell them when we know they could do better? I don't want my daughter going out into the world with the expectation that everyone is going to cheer when she does anything, no matter how much work she put into it. I want her to work hard and be proud of her work.
I don't care if she is the best, I just want her to be her best.