Last year, my daughter had the worst year of her school career…7th grade. With all of the changes that come along with being 12/13 coupled with family drama, my father’s heart attack and the death of my grandmother, you can imagine how school suffered. To top it all off, she hated her science teacher and math was kicking her behind. It was one of those years you wish you could just erase. Needless to say, there was a lot of talking going on in our home about homework, grades and responsibility.
Through all of this talking, I learned something about my daughter and how she worked. If she liked a teacher she gave it everything she had but if she didn’t like them or she picked up on their dislike for her…it was a wrap! It didn’t matter what I said or did, she would completely shut down and her grades suffered. So as we got ready for 8th grade registration (by the grace of God she made it in) we found out that the classes she had requested were not given to her and in fact, she now had to take a math class and a math support class. As you can imagine, she was NOT happy!
When we got home, we had several conversations about what she had to do to be successful this coming school year and by the next day, she was accepting of her situation and she actually acknowledged that having this new class would be beneficial for her. As we talked about the teachers she was going to have, she commented that she wasn’t fond of her new math teacher and that is when I had to just stop the conversation.
She and I have talked before about her performance, or lack there of, when she isn’t feeling a teacher so when she made the comment about her new teacher, it was time to put an end to how she responds to adversity. I told her, “Your success cannot be dependent on whether or not you like someone and you don’t have to like someone to be successful. It’s time you change your mindset! Do you understand me?” She nodded and said, “Yes.”
If we could only be successful when we liked someone, how many of us would truly be successful? As a Bank Manager, I encountered customers who didn’t like me and customers I didn’t like but I still had a job to do. My success depended on how well I did my job despite how I or my customers felt and it was time she learn that her success in school was dependent upon her and only her and not how the teacher made her feel.
Success, for everyone, is measured by how well the highs and the lows are handled and if I allowed her to continue down the path she was headed with the mindset she had, she would inevitably become that adult who we’ve all met who blames others for their lack of success. You know the one you always wonder what their parents were doing and why they didn’t do their job? Not on my watch!
So the deprograming has begun and armed with the knowledge she and I have gained over this last year, I’m looking forward to the possibilities and a child whose mindset has been altered to believe in herself no matter the circumstances.