Teacher Writes Encouraging Letter to Parents About What Really Matters in Kids' Behavior
This educator wants moms and dads to know she can't tell what age her students hit their milestones. She reveals what she actually notices by looking at them.
May 3, 2019
As a parent, it's easy to stress about your kid's every milestone and whether you're doing the "right" things for their development. But as one kind, wise teacher wants moms and dads to know, those details aren't what shapes your child: You are.
A teacher (who happens to be a mom as well) posted her encouraging message to a Facebook group for parents, and it was then shared on Reddit. In her note, she reassured parents, "When I look at my little friends I don't see their milestones, I see who they are: Their heart, their actions, their inner voice, their struggles, and triumphs, and I see you; and all the love you pour into them."
And she wanted parents to know that by the time their kids are in her classroom, it really doesn't matter who was ahead of the curve and who was a late bloomer. This teacher said she "couldn't tell who crawled first, who walked before one, or spoke in sentences by 15 months," and she had no idea "if they were potty-trained at 18 months or 4 years old."
She couldn't tell who was breastfed or bottle fed, nor could she distinguish which kids "cried it out" when they were babies and which ones had parents who "strapped them to their bodies 24/7."
So what could this teacher discern from looking at the students in her classroom? As she beautifully put it, "I can tell which families value kindness and manners in their home. I can tell when a child feels loved and secure at home (and at school which sadly isn't always everyone's school experience!)"
The teacher went on to say she knew "who has pizza and movie Friday nights and which moms reads in different voices for bedtimes." And she can tell "who has a solid routine at home and who has chores and responsibilities"—because those things do show through in the classroom.
She said that while teachers are "supposed to talk about testing and benchmarks and data during parent teacher conferences," it's the other stuff that really matters. As this teacher recalled, "I had a mom once look at me and say, 'I don't worry about all the reading and math. She will get there. I want to know...how is she, as a person? Is she kind? Does she include others?'"
Another "teacher mama" agreed with this post. "Bottom line: love your child and be a good role model," she commented. "The rest will follow, and it will show in how your child behaves."
Other parents were grateful for the reminder not to sweat the small stuff. "It's good to keep the larger picture in mind as we trudge through our days raising little ones and fretting over milestones and comparing with other kids," wrote another Reddit user. "With all the information out there on how to raise kids, it's easy to get stuck on the milestones missed or the kid whose doing 'more' than your kid. At the end of the day, it's about raising a good person."