School Dazed

Post Holiday Vacation… it’s tough to get back in the swing of things.  I’m thinking of myself here.  Getting breakfast made, lunches ready, humans dressed, shower is a challenge with two parents who have to read two newspapers even if the house is on fire.

But, for Vivien it’s also hard to go back to school.  Even though she likes her school.  “Mommy, when I go to school I don’t see my family as much.  I like to see my family.”  No wonder people home school.  It was nice to have her home.  I wish Kindergarten were a shorter day.

So, this is one of then times I tried to motivate her for school.  I was not succesful.

Note on language in this one:  The first time my dad saw my mom in grad school he said, “Hello, Scholar!” The rest is history.

Motivating Your Kid

This is an issue that really intrigues me.  I was raised by a true “cool mom” who, if I asked, would let me skip school, thought a B grade was great, and when we got depressed and wanted to lie down for a few months, was like “Sure, I understand.” I think because she has worked with so many troubled youths, the fact that my sisters and I showered and didn’t try to set the house on fire made her feel we were fine.

But once I forged my way into the real world, I saw that a thicker skin and good penmanship – for starters – may have helped me along the way. I think a lot about how to be loving to Vivien and make her feel solid in herself, while also toughening her up for the real world.

One way I do this is I RARELY interfere if Oliver is teasing her. I like her getting feisty and either not getting her way with him and learning from that, or sticking up for herself and learning from that. I take cues from prominent people, especially women, since I believe we have our own unique hurdles to jump. I remember what Nancy Pelosi said when asked how a woman get’s to be the Speaker of the House.  She said, “I highly reccomend having 5 older brothers.”  Every time I hear Vivien wail “Oli-ver!!!” I think of that and stay put.

Or an interview with Hillary Clinton where she said if she got an A, her father would say, “That must be an easy school.”  Or Condi Rice’s parents making sure she practice that piano. Or Obama’s mom waking him up early before he went to school in Indonesia so that he could do correspondence courses she had sent away for him. Obviously a lot was expected of them, and losers they ain’t.   

So this is one of those moments when I didn’t want Vivien to give up.