As loving parents, we try to offer our children calm comfort by letting them know it doesn’t matter what mark they got or if they scored a goal in hockey, with the caveated: “so long as you tried your best.”
We feel pleased with ourselves for being encouraging. We pat ourselves on the back for not being one of “those” pushy parents who demand all A’s or pay cash bonuses for high grades or for reaching other goals like making the cheer team. (It’s true, some parents do that… Don’t get me started.)
But what if you’re a chillaxed parent, and your children don’t try their best?
What do you say when you know darn well they could get a better grade on their English assignment if they slowed down and improved their penmanship or checked it over for simple grammar mistakes? They are NOT doing their best and THAT irks parents.
We see our children squandering their talents and we tell ourselves terrible things like:
1. they must have a poor work ethic
2. they have a bad attitude
3. they are lazy
4. they don’t care
But is that really true?
I don’t think so. Let’s look at the roots of motivation and understand that the mantra “always do your best” is seriously flawed.
We have to kick that psychological slogan to the curb once and for all.