More Than The Medals (A Happy Graduation Post)

GRADUATION MONTH~ Ah the pride and joy of every parent. I don’t have kids but I have a young nephew (Ivan) & a niece (Lexie) who recently graduated and I’m one proud auntie!

It is such a blessing to have family members who are achievers in school. As for my nephew & niece, I am proud not because of their high grades but by the fact that they excel because they love learning and enjoy school (and they are good kids). My interest in learning died early on in my elementary days. I hope they won’t be like me. Haha. I’m proud of their parents as well. They are very hands on with them. Lexie graduated with honors. Ivan technically did not get a school recognition, but it’s because he succeeded on a harder test  –the test for his life. A few months ago, his appendix exploded and he suffered tremendous amount of pain from his 1st hospital admission. Had the infection spread, it could’ve caused him his life. But he is a champion who recovered fast and endured well after his immediate operation. No medal can top that.

Our elders usually say that the achievements of kids are because they got the traits from their parents or other smarter relatives. In our case, they say “Mana sa Tita”, which is nice if true (these kids are way smarter than me!!). But I believe it’s better if we will let them shine on their own. It’s best for us to recognize our kids’ individual passion and potential, then support and help them develop it. Whatever it may be.

Aside from the ability to excel in school, it is also important for children to build confidence in themselves and to learn about kindness. Let’s face it, the world is cruel. As we loosen our grip to let them them explore the world on their own, the more they will get exposed to media, social bullying, and twisted notions of what is right and wrong. Before they get attacked (and they will be), they must have already established a strong sense of self identity and self worth.

Most of us didn’t grow up in a setup like this. I remember growing up always being compared to my cousin’s achievements, like that is the bar I have to aim. I ended up following their footsteps. Was it my passion? No. Over the years, I just learned to adapt to it. Given another shot, would have I chosen a different field? Yes. I would. I’m not saying that so you should be sorry for me. Because I’m so grateful with how my life has turned out now. But, I feel like part of the power of being the adults that we are now, we can make things better for our children and learn from the past. Whatever negative things that hurt us when we were kids, ends with us.

Most importantly, because kids are great imitators, let us give them something great to imitate –  Jesus. Make Him their bestest best friend. He whom they can talk to in prayer and whom they can imitate.

Let us strive to make a generation that is not a copy of us, but rather a generation that is better than us. With the hopes that someday, they will do the same when it’s their turn.

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