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16 February 2009



You're both great moms! All I can say as an adult with ADD: it really REALLY helps to learn to finish stuff we started. And what helps us to retain sufficient interest and attention to finish what we have started is pretty much knowing that we are good at it, whether it is through hard work and a bit of talent or just plain hard work, even if it means working much harder than the guy next to us. Not so much a competitive thing, but a discipline, pride and achievement thing. I am hugely uncompetitive too - will lose in a game 'cause I know the opposition will feel bad if they loose - but I am grateful that inside me, there is a sense that I must push myself to be the best I can be in the stuff that is really important. So, not so much winning, say, a cycle race, but getting as healthy and fit as I can be to be able to enter and, then, most important: finishing it (even if I am last). Of course, finishing stupid things don't apply (like, eh, finishing your broccoli).


I totally get you on this one cos it's the same with me. For me it is about following through on your commitment and trying your best. I need to be strict about this cos I also have an ADHD boy and it is important to me (as well as a life skill for him) to finish what he started. I am now at the point where I am learning to choose my battles. Not so easy...


Interesting. I guess it is question of balance and knowing ones own child's limits and working and encouraging them.

An interesting read would be: Under Pressure

"What is Under Pressure about?

It shows how childhood has been hijacked by adults in a way never seen before in history and investigates how the natural instinct to want our children to have the best of everything and be the best at everything is backfiring on kids, parents and society as a whole. But the book is not all doom and gloom. On the contrary, it maps out how we can start rescuing childhood from the excesses of the early 21st century. By sifting through the latest scientific research and interviewing experts and families around the world, Under Pressure shows why parenting does not have to be a cross between a competitive sport and product development and why childhood does not have to be a rat race."


Ah, I think this is a tough one. Read Tertia's blog. Would love to see a comment from Nina?

Do you think that maybe when kids have no fear of having to preform well they have more confidence?

I like the idea of setting goals, but the other side of it for me is when does it becomes the child's goal instead of our goal(which normally seems to be the parents, I say this because I've done it). When do they take full responsibility for what is taken on? Had a friend who's father was a teacher at the school. She was very athletic and he pushed/encouraged her. She sometimes complained but overall seemed pretty motivated BUT when she went to high school and out from under his wing, she dropped everything. I also heard an Irish Tenor comment on how it was thanks to his mom pushing him that he got where he got.

I believe they need certain skills, but then it's up to them. The balance act is hard to do. Would love to hear from anyone who has grown up kids and think they got it right.


I agree totallly with you - want my girls to learn that what they start they must finish! Always to try their best (as long as they are having fun). I often tell my kids "Life is not always about what you want to do but what you have to do"


Huh. I'm more Tertia by far. Pressure to be the best just means that half the time you feel like shyte for not reaching that goal, no matter how supportive your family may be. And while you don't say "second place is first loser" directly to your children, they do hear you say it. So when they get second place? They are telling it to themselves, despite the "good job" you give them. Goals are good. Finishing what you start is good. Support and encouragement are good. But preformance expectations? Kind of crappy, IMO. If they are really enjoying themselves and have a talent, they will do wonderfully without the added pressure to perform well from others. And if they just aren't as skilled in that area, a soft and encouraging support system is just what a budding child needs to continue on, as finishing what you start is as satisfying, and more rewarding in the long run, then kicking ass ( because that's what is expected of you). Also? I think that kind of viewpoint kind of sets our kids up for a bit of a superiority complex. If they ARE good at something, they can't just be pleased at themselves for doing well. Again, in the back of their heads? They're saying "second place is first loser". I wouldn't want my children to think of their peers as the "first loser", I really can't see how that will further them as people, even as it might make them a better soccer player.


Hey, clicked over from Tertia's blog. I'm just curious as to how this fits into the Christian parenting framework? I understand the idea of using the talents God gave, but I thought a lot of Christianity was about not being prideful or trying to one-up the Joneses. Just wondering if you find a disconnect there, or how you reconcile it?

I am fairly competitive but trying to tone that down where my son is concerned, in part because I don't find that being competitive in some areas has made me a good person. Sure, if it's just trying to get a good grade or beat the clock, then it's okay.

But when it comes to competing against other people, I find it's not always in line with being compassionate. And then in parenting, same thing - I do want my son to finish things and so on, but sometimes WHO he is trumps WHAT he does.

Anyways, just rambling thoughts and curious to hear yours, if you want to share.


Mel, I think my parenting style is mor elike yours! My mom and dad parented more like you guys do and while I never felt pressured I always knew that I couldn't slack off, either. That was good because I am a total slacker and would totally have sloughed my way through school on Cs and Ds when I was very capable of As and Bs, which is what I actually got. It's good to teach kids persistence and a good work ehtic. As always, examination of your heart motivation, keeping your own sin in check and daily sessions with the Lord to keep your heart right helps it all go the way it should! (Do I say that too much? It's my mantra for life!)



Hrm this is a tough one I think I am between you and Tertia.

If they start an extra mural they have to complete the term, but after that they can decide if they like it or not and chose to continue or stop.

I do not expect them to be the best at anything, but I do expect them to try, and to try to be THEIR best. Not for me, but to know in their hearts that they gave a decent effort and feel proud of themselves.

I know Quinn is very bright but I don;t expect particular marks from him. I just would like him to try and to feel proud of himself.

I do praise achievement. But I also praise best effort no matter how bad - like Griffin's athletics on Friday where he was so last he was almost in the next race ;)

I was never driven or even encouraged AT ALL. It would have been nice.

Also I went to my mom once with a French test I got 97% for - and I sucked at French. I don't think she even knew or cared that I was doing French... She disinterestedly said, why didn't you just get the other 3% too? Not very nice to not ever feel good enough.

Not saying this is how YOU make your kids feel, but just be careful of that kind of thing.

Support, encouragement and understanding is the key I think.


Hi Mel

I have been reading your blog for over a year now, and I would officially like to ge-lurk. My name is Mandy and I recently suffered the loss of my baby at 24 weeks . This is the link to my blog if you want to follow:



Hi Mel.
Interesting post, especially compared to the next one, in which you are complaining a lot about stress. Maybe a little bit less competitiveness would lower the stress too?
In my experience, expectations can make some children very stressed out. If this is not their style, they may still do great, but not enjoy it. Competitive children will be competitive no matter what and enjoy it (as you well know).By the way, I just saw "Charlie and the Chocolate factory" (the Johnny Depp version) with my preschooler. 'Violet Beauregarde' and her mom? Not cool, just not cool. By the way, my girl is a bit of a 'Veruca Salt'...and we are working on that. : )


i'm with you on expecting my knucklehead to give his all and do his best- and finish what he's started.


I must agree - I'm big on finish what you started. You don't know if you dislike (or like something) unless you try it but once you've made a commitment then you must see it through.

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