Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Notice the good"

I often feel more than a little tortured by my inconsistent and often overly wound-up attempts at parenting. It has been far, far too easy for me to see the negative that my children do and comment on that (and often not very nicely). I suppose that when I see my kids making (or apparently making) the same mistakes that I made, my (supposedly) adult self feels an almost uncontrollable urge to tell their adolescent or prepubescence selves what they must not do. Sheesh!

I don't feel like I've ever been very good at speaking to them on their level and in the terms that make sense to them. As a result, I've probably talked (or yelled) AT them far more than I've communicated with them.

It all makes me rather sad some days. And yet...

I happen to believe that there is grace enough (and to spare) for parents who are willing to try and keep trying. So I keep trying.

Of late, my wife and I have made concerted efforts to see the good in our children (and there's LOTS of it) and comment upon it. What a better way to live... Really.

What do you do to build your children up? How do you help them move along toward worthy goals? Where is the balance between praise and correction?

I'm sure I have lots to learn. Do I need a paradigm shift? Will my children survive me?

Monday, March 3, 2014

I think I've graded one too many essays tonight...

I can tell. When I start to get a little mean or snarky, it's time to hang it up for the night. I started a mini marathon session about three hours ago... maybe a little more... and I was reading good essay after good essay. Now, however, they seem trite and hokey and contrived. What has changed? Not the students.

So... I'll put away the stylus*, get some sleep, and plug away again tomorrow. I'll probably revisit the last couple of essays I read tonight to make sure I wasn't too hard on them.

The good news is that I'm WAY more than half way done with this big batch.

*I have had some fun grading on "my" iPad (it really belongs to the college, but I still play Plants vs. Zombies on it from time to time... don't tell) with iAnnotate. That overpriced little app allows me to customize almost infinitely and create shortcut after shortcut. Pretty fun, really. And actually, for what it can do, the app isn't overpriced. Especially after I learned recently that it has come down in price since I got it. So... there you go.