Lesson #4: Heroic parents care most about process, mastery, and excellence in the long- term. Ordinary parents care most about tracking work in the short-term – daily, even.
For example, most Eagles will struggle with self-management and self-governance – and for a few, with honesty and kindness. This learning is hard and takes time but is more important in the long run than getting Khan Academy skills exactly right in any given week.
This is especially true in the elementary studio, where curiosity, loving to learn and getting along with others is at least as important as the core skills for reading, writing, and math – which always follow in time.
Jeff tells a story of remembering his own father saying: “You got it 98% right this time. Next time, a 100!” As well-meaning as this praise may be, it sends a message that perfection is the goal and the child’s job is to perform for the parents. Meanwhile, a child’s soul is crushed.
Messages like this are handed down from our parents, and while they can and will drive many of us to achieve, ultimately they lead to the hollow victory of perfectionism and the destruction of parental relationships that comes from children feeling as if they are seen as objects.
Call to action: Savor the day. Within you, is everything you need to be extraordinary: a learner with a family plan, grateful for struggles and patient with the process of watching your children become who they were meant to be.