Skip to content

Pushing for Excellence

Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught. ~J.C. Watts

What is the limit for pushing someone? When is too much, too much? When you care for someone, is there a limit? Should there be a limit? I guess these are very broad questions that should be narrowed down slightly.

Aunt Heather Piper with Kyle Piper in the hospital
My little man had pneumonia but still loved his flash cards

I love Kyle very very very much, pure and simple!  There will never be a time in which that will ever change. Absolutely, never! So getting that out of the way… Do I push Kyle too much? Knowing that Kyle is a smart, bright and outgoing little man who craves attention and has a ton of potential, is it so wrong to push him to excellence and set his standards high?

Kyle Piper and Nicole Piper at Air and Space Museum
Kyle with his Aunt Nikki at the Air & Space Museum 6/27/09

I don’t think so. When Kyle was two years old, I bought him flash cards containing words, colors, numbers, letters and such. He Rocked at them! Not only did he pick up on the basic information, but he really enjoyed playing flash cards with me. Then, by the time Kyle was three years old, I decided to pick up addition and subtraction flash cards. I mean, why not? What’s it going to hurt? I showed him how to add using his matchbox cars as an example and all I can say is WOW! He picked up on the addition so fast, or at least better than I expected, keeping in mind that I’m no expert at raising a kid. But, in my mind, Kyle was doing really well. And more importantly, he enjoyed the flash cards and being challenged. Subtraction was a bit more difficult, but he still seemed to want to learn. Then, by the time he was four years old, I decided to start purchasing workbooks. I intentionally purchased workbooks that were targeted for ages five and up in all subjects. He loved them! The more challenging the books, the more I would see him think and figure out the problems. His little gears were grinding. Being able to participate in such a learning process was truly amazing and a blessing.

Looking back on it now, it seems like such a long time ago.  Kyle is no longer enthused about workbooks, flashcards or even taking a walk with me, which he really enjoyed until a few years ago. I know he is growing up and tastes change, but I believe there are some things that should remain consistent, like education.  Of course that’s where SpyRing comes into play, literally.  It’s an educational card game for children that focuses on reading and reading comprehension coupled with all school subjects.  I can get that later.

Kyle Piper and his piano recital 5-17-09
Kyle's piano recital 5/17/09

In going through Kyle’s workbooks this weekend, I realized that he doesn’t like to do them, but it does help to sit and work along side him.  He started enjoying them and showing off what he remembered from last year, even though it took me a little over an hour to get him to sit down and do my assigned work.  I kept hearing, “Why, Aunt Heather? Why do I have to do extra work?” and, “I already did my school work, so why do I have to do more?”  Imagine that, in the most annoying whine possible coming from a ten year old.  Of course, every time he said something, I tried to explain that I’m only helping him out and it’s good practice.  But that seemed to give him permission to start the whine recital all over again.  I try to explain that it’s not a punishment, it’s a reward to learn.  Of course, he’s a ten year old that just sees… work.

Well, like I tell Kyle time and time again, “I invented stubborn and I’m not giving up on you.”  I guess that’s part of my job.  Am I the only one who give additional work?  Does anyone else have a child that likes to whine?

Published inCommon SenseEducation & LearningObservation & ImaginationPatienceThrill of the Hunt Scavenger Hunts

Be First to Comment

%d bloggers like this: