I received this thoughtful response from to my last post about standardized tests and your child’s self-esteem:
I’m 36 years old and I’ve been harboring bitterness about the PSAT since I was 17. We took it in 10th grade and I got a really high score. This made me feel like the bar was set pretty high. Well, when I took it again in 11th grade… I bombed.
For most kids, these scores (and other standardized test scores, such as the SSAT, ISEE, SAT, ACT, etc) hit hard, whether they’re bad or good! And it’s important to give kids the perspective and support they need to turn their results into personal empowerment, and not discouragement.
People attend my workshops (entitled Understanding the People You Love) with this main question: How can I make my relationship better?
They want a simple answer.
And then the answer I give them is TOO simple!
But here it is: Be thankful for your loved one, and say so…over and over and over…
We have the desire to be known, to be understood, to be “seen for who we really are.”
Yet, we experience ourselves from the inside, and our loved ones experience us from the outside.
I’ve been doing a workshop series as part of my new project, Understanding the People You Love, and I’ve been opening my November sessions with this sad piece of information. I wish my relationship with my mother hadn’t been so hurtful. I wish we had been close and loving and gentle. Certainly I wish she hadn’t died alone and likely believing I did not love her.
I’ve figured out by now that my dream houses represent my longing for security and stability, and my dream cars stand for my desire for freedom and adventure.
Last night I dreamed of the most fabulous house!
Three stories tall, spacious and full of windows, clean and empty and waiting for me to move in. A gorgeous yard with a stream running through it, waiting for me to plant my garden. The house was full-color and bright and realer-than-real. I retain the feel of the smooth granite kitchen counter-top, having run my fingers across it while I slept.
The other day I wrote about how important it is for partners to treat each other generously, in the same manner as they would treat themselves.
My partner, P., had spent the morning neatening up the house, while I sat at my computer working. And he was totally sweet about it. No grumbling, no pointing out of the unfairness, no using this incident as an occasion to dredge up past slights or to comment on the deficiencies in my character.
P. just treated me as he would treat himself if he were having a distracted, work-saturated morning. He accepted my behavior and just let it go.
And now, way too many years later, I’m sitting here (in the comfort of my own house) making calls, reminding people to get out and vote Tuesday.