Competitive parents, you are the bane of my life, as you spark my competitive side and that’s not always a good thing!
My eldest son is in year 3, and he came home with a school homework project a few weeks ago, which he was delighted to have. I went through the project and explained he needed to take ownership of it. He decided how and what to do, and we were all set. Then, at the school gates it all changed..
“Oh I’ve had my husband design it at work, and we’re going to be creating it to scale with a video demonstrating how it would have worked”
So, I hear this and my head starts to race, my child is going to turn up with his history project, devised and crafted by him, a 7 year old.. My 7yr olds project is going to be rubbish in comparrison to Brian’s* project designed by Brian’s Dad who is an architect and they’re probably using stone masonary rather than playdough too.. Oh no, I can’t let his school project be rubbish..
I hear other parents in a frenzy “I must go to Hobbycraft!” another shakes her head and announces that they’ve been digging up clay from the garden as it is more “authentic”, whilst another calmly says that their project is going to be a decorated cake as she understands the teacher likes cake. The cake project sounds brilliant, and I contemplate stealing the idea, then remember I cannot bake, at all. I phone Mr G and explain the dilemna, between us we decide perhaps to build another project for B and substitute it with his project at the last minute. Then I feel guilty, and decide I have to explain why he needs to let us “help” him.
When I collect B from school, I inform him that Mummy needs to take charge of his project as Mummy needs to have the best project in his class. He looks at me with a glazed expression and asks me why. I falter and reply that I don’t want his project to not be as good as Brian’s, as Brian’s Dad is helping him. He looks at me and informs me that it is in fact his project and his class, picks up his project and with a roll of his eyes he ignored me for the next hour. At that moment, I realised that I’ve a child who is a winner, as he doesn’t care what anyone elses projects will be like, he knows what he wants his project to be like!
So, I relaxed. The school project has been completed, I was allowed to help add a coat of paint, and I might be allowed to carry it into school, and do you know what? I’ll be the proudest parent there. School projects aren’t really for the parents, we just need to remember that sometimes!
(*Brian’s not his real name!)