Friday, February 2, 2007

Madeline's Growing Confidence

My oldest daughter Madeline, who is 11 years old, has never had as much confidence as I would like her to have. One reason is that she struggles in school. The other reason is that her sister Jocelyn doesn't. They are only a year and 5 days apart and as different as night and day.

Jocelyn loves school, homework, and math. She excels in most of her subjects.

Madeline is quite the opposite. She doesn't love school, despises homework, and loathes math. She gets mostly C's and really struggles to get a B. It's not that she isn't smart. She is. She has a great perception of people, and she can listen to something and then play it on the piano. She amazes me!

But her struggling in school has really frustrated me. How do I praise Jocelyn in her achievements without making Madeline feel like she is a complete failure? It is really hard.

But yesterday, Madeline brought home a poem she had written. I thought it was really good, for a 6th grader, and I realized that I just need to focus on her strengths, which are music and writing. Those are the two subjects where A's and B's will come naturally to her.

So, to celebrate her strength in writing I am sharing with you this poem she wrote and titled herself. I loved the title and asked her if she thought of it. She said she did, but didn't really know if it made sense. I told her it was a GREAT title. I really hope and pray that her confidence will grow and grow and that these struggles she has now, will make her stronger later.


In Praise of Me

by Madeline

You need something, I'm here

Don't be shy, I'm very clear.

I've won for being fun,

and I do what I'm told

when there's music on at home.

I'm not good at math

but I do make people laugh.

I don't have warts,

but I'm good at some sports.