Aasma reflects on the difficulties of being a proud parent in the internet age
Everyone loves being paid a compliment don’t they?
In the days before I became a mum, being told my hair looked nice or having a new dress gushed over was enough to brighten up my day – even if I was terrible at accepting a compliment and usually replied: “What this old thing? I’ve had it ages!”
But since Hubby and I became parents, we both agree that there is no greater compliment than hearing nice things said about our children.
After all, isn’t a compliment of our children and indirect way of praising us? We did create them and bring them up!
So if anyone says “What a bonny lad” or “What a beautiful little girl” or “What wonderfully mannered children”, we feel ourselves positively brimming with pride.
And what better way to make yourself feel great as a parent than to read an end of year school report and suddenly find yourself overcome with emotion at a teacher who really “gets” your child, not just as far as their academic progress is concerned, but what they are like as a person.
In my day, school reports were a bit formal and stilted and the majority of teachers were rather high brow and wordy.
My favourites were always those teachers who say report writing as the chance to impart words of wisdom with witticisms and sharp observations.
Each report used to be individually handwritten and it was fun trying to decipher each teacher’s handwriting and see whose was the neatest as well as desperately trying to find one who had made a spelling mistake or grammatical error.
But now school reports have been systemised and gone are the days of handwritten reports.
Thankfully, the new regime hasn’t managed to erode the personality of teachers – or their recognition of what makes your child tick – as we recently found out when our two came home from school clutching the brown envelopes containing their reports.
Now while I am immensely proud of both my children and am always happy to sing their praises, I have never been a fan of those parents I have nicknamed “Bragsters” who go put daily updates on social networking sites lauding the over-achievements of their children and making them out to be a genius or child prodigy.
So I’ll just leave it at saying we are very proud of our son and daughter for their fantastic academic achievements this school year and could not have asked for any more.
While we were overjoyed at the comments relating to their school work and progress, it was the character comments and the teachers’ recognition of our children’s personality traits which had us jumping for joy.
Our daughter has apparently been “an absolute pleasure to teach” and is “very responsible and has been a great help” – which was lovely to read.
But my favourite comments came from my son’s class teacher who he has really gelled with and who he has already said he is missing after only a couple of days of the school holidays.
After writing that she knows that “football is Cameron’s passion”, his teacher went on to say that he was becoming an “excellent writer and a capable mathematician”.
She then wrote: “Mix all of this together and he could well be writing his autobiography when he has become a famous footballer and counting up the profits from all of his successes!”
She finished off by wishing our son “every success with everything you do and hope that one day you are bending a ball like Beckham and achieving your dreams.”
Why didn’t I have teachers like that? What a superstar. Give her a gold star someone!
While I am not a fan of those parents or grandparents who are “Bragsters”, there are a breed who are far worse in my eyes – the “Moansters”.
These are the ones who persistently complain about their children or go on to Facebook venting about their behaviour or despite having been apart from their youngsters all week while they are at work, spend the weekend trying to offload them on to others to avoid spending time with them themselves.
They “must try harder”.