Stop Your Report Bragging!

12 July 2017

Dear Friend,

I read your Facebook status and the status of many other, friends, colleagues and acquaintances this week and I was really happy for you that your son/daughter got an excellent report. I was happy for the first 3, 4 maybe even 5 but then the pill became harder to swallow.

OK, I get it, you are proud. You want everyone to know how well they have done. When my children achieve something I too share. But I am sick of hearing about 'glowing' reports! What is it with this report bragging?

I have been party to many conversations this week, where parents have said, our Buddy got an excellent report he is doing brilliantly in maths and scored 92% in spelling. What you are really saying is, look at my child, he is very clever.

Why have we chosen to place so much importance on academic achievement?

Perhaps it is a side effect of our education system that sees children expected at an incredibly young age to read, write and count rather than play, learn and just be together. There is an equally destructive focus on testing children to ensure that they meet a required number of standards. What happens to all the children who fail to make the academic standard, those that do not tick all the boxes on the report. Are they failures?

Why are we rewarding attainment over effort?

As a Special Needs parent I measure my child's success in a different way. You may celebrate the fact that your child achieved all A's, but I will celebrate that despite being autistic my child has started to explain his emotions and describe how he is feeling and I am extremely proud that he always puts 100% effort into everything that he does.

Our milestones may be slightly different but both children have made significant progress so why should we celebrate one and not the other? Is my child a failure?

After 20 years in education I have written thousands of reports! I write honest reports but I have never written a bad report! We all have areas that we excel in and areas where we can make improvements. Nobody is perfect! Our differences are what make us unique what give us character and personality. 

You were born to be real not to be perfect!

We should stop writing blanket statements on Facebook etc or we should stop comparing ourselves to the Instagram perfect picture that others present to the world. Our children are already facing more and more pressure in school and socially, we should not be forcing our expectations or dreams on them.

Before you hit post on your status think about why it is important for you to have this perfect report moment! What are you actually saying? Are you really celebrating for your child or are you keeping up with the Joneses?

Boasting and gloating confirms that you need appreciation from others - Nico Garcia

Our son amazes us with his effort and tenacity we reward and praise him when deserved, not just at report time and share his success with family and close friends but I will not be bragging on Facebook. Will you?

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