Thursday, 11 June 2009

Tact and diplomacy and self-improvement

I'm on to the personal statements of the r*p*rts now. So how do you say, politely, 'your child is a right toe-rag and if I never see him/her again it will be too soon' or 'I advise you to buy the chastity belt/whatever and get him/her used to it - your little dear is a total and utter flirt'?
Well - you don't, do you, but thinking carefully about what to put scares me no end. I can read the future and for some it's not good unless there's a total change around - and it's not good news for parents either: Their little five and six year olds will be teenagers before they know it and trouble looms!! And can I say it without causing offence and in the six lines I have available? No, of course I can't!

I got them to write their own bit for the report today. Three sentences:
This year I have got better at . . .
Next year I would like to get better at . . .
The thing I have enjoyed most about this year is . . .
I think that the requirement to set targets all the time and point out what they need to do to improve can be very undermining for little children. My most able lad who is actually not far off brilliant in some ways, but so modest and delightful - he said he wanted to get better at literacy because he wasn't very good at it!!! My goodness, if he isn't very good, I wonder where that leaves the rest of us!
So I will need to write
'Next year I would like to get better at making my children feel better about themselves and their achievements.'

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