Kids do notice what we do…
Let me explain why I say that our children notice our actions; they emulate what we do even if we don’t think they do.
Last week I attended my graduation ceremony for my Masters in Education. It has taken me 3 years to complete – 3 fun, satisfying and intellectually stimulating years. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a walk in the park, there were many really late nights and many weekends spent at the library and a very patient husband and kids.
But to walk into the Great Hall at UTS was extremely gratifying…not to mention all the fanfare that comes with the fitting of the gown, photos being taken and seeing families and friends gather around loved ones to celebrate these milestones.
I picked my 7 and 9-year old up early from school and headed into town to meet hubby. My 7-year-old dragged his feet, he was cross with me that I had dared to pick him up before his ‘Got Game’ sports session; my 9-year-old was delighted – she was going to be missing a test. Fast forward an hour or so, sitting in the hall with other graduates, my full name is called. It feels great, butterflies in my tummy, shake of a hand and a flash of a camera – it’s all over.
It felt and feels awesome to have reached that milestone, but what felt even better was when my daughter piped up in the car on the way home and said ‘I wonder what name they call me when it’s my turn’. It took me a while to work out what she meant until I asked her. She was picturing herself, on that podium, receiving an award for her academic success, and wondering whether they would say just her first name and surname or first name, second name then surname etc.
It hit me like a ton of bricks, brought a smile to my face, a sense of pride and melted my heart…she was, at the same time, so excited for me to be on that stage and visualising her future.
It was also then I remembered something my grandmother used to say to my father and his siblings – she was a teacher in Alexandria, Egypt in the 1920’s, an ‘avant-garde’ woman – she used to say ‘no matter what people take from you, they can never take your education’. These words came from a woman who, like many of her generation, experienced hardship and second class citizenship (including being forced to leave Morocco and return to France in 1962 after 30 years of being part of the ‘Pied Noir’ community when it gained independence in the 1956 after 44 years of being a French protectorate). But I digress …
Those words have always resonated with me, one of those sayings that transcends our family from generation to generation. So to think and see that my hard work has been noticed by my eldest is so awesome and to think and understand that she sees my accomplishments as hers is amazing.
Education, in all its forms, is a foundation stone for meaningful careers and community contributions. Above all though, it fuels my motivation with my kids to keep encouraging them to succeed, encouraging them to keep trying and to make mistakes but to keep LEARNING.