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edu180atl: olivia marbutt 3.27.12

Today I am learning as a parent.

 My son is a kindergartener.  His progress as an “independent reader” has been slow—slower than I want, but more importantly slower than what I know he is capable of.  In the beginning of the year, his teacher noted that she thought that he was fearful to make mistakes.  As a result, he often would not even try to guess a sight word, for example, on the off chance that he might not be right.  She frequently told him that learners make mistakes.  He hasn’t wanted to sound words out, and only recently have I begun to hear him whispering out the sounds under his breath.  I have struggled with how to push him to just make a guess and show his teachers what a strong reader is inside his timid exterior.

 I have been struggling with making a decision for myself recently.  I have the same habits—the same fear of making mistakes.  I also desperately want my children to be willing to take risks.  I want them to know that sometimes you just have to leap because you will never know if you have wings to soar if you don’t.  But then in the wee hours of this morning it hit me.  If I want to be the example of someone willing to take a risk, I might just need to leap myself.  And even if I make the wrong choice, it will be okay because after all learners make mistakes.

Olivia Marbutt is a mommy of two, attorney, former teacher and aspiring risk taker.

Image Credit: Copyright by Libbie Wicket. Used with permission.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Muriel Knope #

    Thank you, Olivia, for this reminder about being a role model and that mistakes are okay. I love the thought that we sometimes have to leap if we’re going to find out if we have wings to soar.

    March 27, 2012
  2. Stephen G. Kennedy #

    This is a tender and very self-revelatory reflection – I am impressed with your courage and candor in writing about a challenging parent moment. As an older father of triplets – I have had a few of those myself. My three are now 16 and a half – and I’ve seen just how many worries my wife and I have had about them have resolved themselves out — like small rain showers that at the same seemed like devastating storms.

    Parenting is an anxious profession these days. We have to trust our children, ourselves, and the process of each child’s individual nature – that it will unfold as it’s meant to unfold, even with the storms and showers that, if we allow, can bring resilience and wisdom.

    March 27, 2012
  3. Sometimes it is difficult to accept that perfect is the enemy of good. You’re fortunate that you recognize this now when your child is in kindergarten and can guide him to accept this too.

    March 28, 2012

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