So many times you hear parents 'my child is best at this, he came top of the class in this exam' 'she is so intelligent', and very well done to those children, really well done. ...but what does that matter if your child has no social skills? he/ she does not appreciate the world we live in, does not explore and investigate naturally what is around us. The answer to many of life's questions cannot be found in a book or test paper.
Do not get me wrong education is so important but i want my children to experience life, to visit places, to take risks, experience emotions and explore boundaries, in a positive way. To be able to explore interests without expectations. I do not want them to feel the only way to be successful is to pass exams and succeed at everything, intelligence and success can be defined in so many ways.
My eldest can tell you all sorts of wonderful facts and many a time completely astounds me with what he knows, not through schooling but through having an interest in things around him, going exploring with daddy, visiting places - museums, shows, historical places, looking at the nature and natural environment - to me he is learning and he is so knowledgeable about so many things, yet sit him down and ask him to write, he hates it, he will read anything that interests him but ask him to do homework and its like pulling teeth. I do not know how he will perform in exams and tests but to me he shows sensitivity, caring, understanding of right and wrong and is keen to succeed in what he has an interest in so that is enough for me, he is successful.
For me a child that shows empathy, understanding of right and wrong and an eagerness to live and enjoy life whilst learning is so important. As they grow up - Learning from us as parent's the need to work, to be financially aware of what it costs to live and obtain the things we want, how to work and interact with people,and basic life lessons like cooking a meal, to me are all as important as any degree you can get.
So next time you feel your child is under pressure to perform, remind them what successful little people they already are in their own individual ways, a big heart and spirited soul beats a bit of paper telling you how intelligent you are. To me anyway