My Child's Best is Good Enough
Recently, my daughter was reading to me as part of her daily homework. She was distracted, fidgeting, randomly guessing words, not trying to sound out. I was getting really frustrated. I raised my voice. I made her sit longer than I should have because I wanted her to focus and get it “right” before leaving. Which only made her more upset. It was a recipe for disaster.
I tried to regain my composure so I could help her regain hers. WHY was I behaving this way? She’s in first-grade, an early reader. Do I expect her to know every word? No. Would I ever act this way with another child? Absolutely not.
I realized that my own acting out was out of fear that she was failing. It had nothing to do with her and her efforts. She was trying her best in that moment. She said she was distracted. I had her get up and turn off a toy that was making noise. She came back and we got through a successful page - we were both calm and she was focused - and we stopped (before the book ended). I apologized for getting upset and said I’ll work on my patience. She danced off happily.
Cue the guilt. Oh the GUILT. I joke that I am a “recovering perfectionist,” but in these moments, I realize my perception of her “failure” can be so triggering for me. And that’s not fair to her. I want her to know I love and support her regardless of her reading ability (or anything else). And the reality is, I can’t help her when I can’t control my own emotions.
Her best is absolutely good enough. And I’ll keep working on it to give her my best.
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