Chasing academic As? You're limiting your child's possibilities

As a parent it's important for us to encourage our children to do their very best, while at the same time reminding them, and ourselves, that life is about more than just academic success.
As a parent it's important for us to encourage our children to do their very best, while at the same time reminding them, and ourselves, that life is about more than just academic success.

Education, as we have known it for the past 100 years, is fixated on academic prowess. The percentage on the report card has always been the benchmark by which we believe we can determine if a child will become a successful adult, or not.

Cindy Glass, director and co-founder of Step Up Education Centres warns, “Self-worth is too often determined by academic assessments. Emotional walls are built, intelligence is defined, negative behaviours are acted upon, anxieties and depression are pandemic in young people, all because of society’s fixation on that percentage on the report.”

And yet, how can the chase after academic As equal success as human beings on this planet?, Cindy asks. "How can intelligence be defined by academic prowess alone? What about the dancers, the musicians, the actors, the inventors, the artists? What about the ‘misfits’ who think differently, who dream creatively and whose imaginations run wild with ideas and possibility? What about the child who works very hard to achieve a 60%?

"How can we determine success by academic achievement alone? The simple answer is that we cannot.”

Cindy gives some important tips to consider as we approach the June exams: 

1. All children are born unique

Just like a flower blooms in its own right, teach your children to become the best version of who they are in everything they do. 

2. Their best is always good enough

Teach children to give of their best. Set realistic goals and celebrate when these are achieved. It is the very act of motivated, determined effort that will equate to success, not the percentage achieved.

3. Teach them to value their self-worth

We all base choices on how we feel about ourselves. Teaching children to value their unique selves will allow them to explore unimagined possibilities without the limitations of academic-focused success. A strong sense of self-worth will result in greater confidence, a better work ethic and a happier child.

4. Teach them to value others

Teach children to celebrate the success of others – no matter what areas these may be in – just as they celebrate their own successes.

5. Emotional intelligence skills are essential

Self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, empathy and social skills outperform academic percentages in ensuring success every time! 

6. There's more to life than academic success

Know that the only limitations that we have in life are the ones that we place on ourselves. By focusing only on academic percentages in determining future success, we limit possibilities.

Cindy says she loves this famous quote by Rob Siltanen:

“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

"Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."

What will your approach be this term? How will you ensure your child does their very best in their way? Tell us by commenting below or emailing and we may publish your comments.

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