Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's Harming Our Students

I have acquired quite a collection of articles so far this summer that I have been reading through, and doing quite a bit of writing for this blog, so I have quite a bit that I intend to share.  However, for the second post this July, I am going to go back to Tim Elmore.  As I have stated before, I strongly encourage you to bookmark his blog and sign up for his updates.  I have learned a lot from him not only in my role as a school leader, but also a parent.  He confirms a number of my fundamental beliefs about how to raise children, and the role of school and parents in developing young adults.  I believe that this article provides some very solid information and shows that it is okay for a parent to let their child stumble and fall while they are still young and living under your roof.  Otherwise, they may never get out from under that roof!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I Love To Watch You Play

There is a bit of irony here.  Over the course of about ten days, I read two different blogs and both of them focused on these six words: I love to watch you play.  There were some common themes in the articles, and as I read both of them, a number of thoughts ran through me brain.  Perhaps the one that sticks with me comes from the writer of one of the articles I read.  He stated, “The best thing a parent can say to their child is ‘I love to watch you play.’”  That can be extrapolated to ‘I love to listen to your sing’ or ‘I love to watch you perform.’  The key is that on that drive home, or once you are sitting in the living room after the performance, that’s all you need to say.  You don’t need to critique.  You don’t need to give advice.  You don’t need to replay the event.  The best thing that a parent can say is, “I love to watch you play!”
Boy have I blown this so many times!  Coach Wolverton comes through after every game my kids have played, or Director Wolverton surfaces after every music or speech performance.  Even when I did not have a clue what the criteria or scoring system was, I did not hesitate to add my thoughts and perspective!  I was especially “tuned in” at the conclusion of a sport that I knew a lot about, particularly after a loss.  It was only after the fact that I would realize that the last thing my son wanted to hear was my take on the game when he was already frustrated with the way that it ended.  Pointing out that she was opening her shoulder with every swing, thus the reason for her popping up was something my daughter already knew.  And, more often than not, shortly after we started down the road and I shared what I thought, anger may surface, tears might be shed, and the next few hours would pass in silence.  Not the kind of ride anyone looks forward to!  Certainly not when everyone is tired on a Sunday with an ETA at home after midnight!
Coach Wolverton has learned a lot, most important is that after the event, he needs to be Dad Wolverton.  He’s the one that needs to let his son work through his own emotions after a loss, and the one that needs to let his daughter ask if he will work with her to keep the shoulder closed.  Dad Wolverton is getting much better at letting his two favorite players/performers know how much he loves to watch them play.  And those drives home are a lot more enjoyable!