with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
a) Yeah, I could have told you that. The child is AWESOME.
b) She did what?!? I know, right?!? The child is AWESOME.
c) A 2? No way, she was robbed. The child is AWESOME.
d) This child must have a terrific mother. The child is AWESOME.
The girls and I make a date out of it. We snuggle up in one or the other’s bed, and we read our favorite parts aloud. This time around, for instance, H’s teacher declared that H’s “gentle and quiet leadership” was an asset to the class.
“GENTLE AND QUIET?” yelled S. We all fell over laughing, especially H, who toppled off the bed, cackling. “Gentle” and “quiet” are not words that accurately reflect her at-home personality, but it makes for good reading, for sure.
This is funny stuff, after all: the difference between public and private persona. The report cards, every few months, are a good reason to discuss this. We chat about why we might behave differently at school. We have great discussions about how complex we human beings are, what we like in ourselves, what we are surprised others see in us, what we’d prefer they didn’t see.
Report card chats here are the beginning of the girls’ understanding of a Walt Whitman quote I love so much: “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.”
We ARE large. We DO contain multitudes, every one of us. I think it’s a beautiful and freeing thing for kids to learn, early on. I also encourage them to tell me what they agree with in their progress reports, and what they don’t, and why. I remember doing the same thing with my parents. I liked the open dialogue.
But I found this very interesting: H asked her fellow second-graders if they’d received their report cards, and most of the kids, she said, knew nothing about them, let alone what the feedback was. I wondered if this could be true, if there’s been a shift in thinking about discussing report cards with children, for fear of making learning too much about graded progress.
So I’ve been dying to ask you: What’s the report card ritual at your home? How much discussion about grades or progress reports feels right to you and your family?
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