I'm fairly certain someone, somewhere (and I'm paraphrasing badly here) said that children are our greatest teachers. Tonight the 10yr old had a "balanced argument" assignment for her homework and, after a long discussion, she should have sat down and written happily away. Instead, over 90 minutes later, she had a couple of paragraphs of pretty averageness and I had a headache. There was a total disconnect between what she knew and what she was able to say.
Though she did find time to write a poem that included a line about roses opening like tulips in a summer's breeze. Truth be told, she probably had her priorities right!
Then, as she's getting ready for bed, she just blows me away. In a 20 minute speech, even if it was peppered with "like" every other word at times, she told me about her friends at school who don't know yet that being cool is fake and not as cool as being themselves. That the girl who is turning herself into a shadow of the most popular girl is making herself less likeable for it and that the younger boy who is being bullied needs to learn to have courage in himself instead of trying to emulate the bullies and thus drawing more fire. She finds herself doing the same thing sometimes and doesn't like herself for it, but said that sometimes its just easier to conform than it is to stand up for someone or stand out from the crowd.
Her conclusion? That it's hard to be yourself sometimes, but you are more honest and will feel better for it, and for the people that don't yet know that? They, and I quote, "need to learn to trust themselves".
My 10yr old may not ace her SATS in May (though she will now be getting some extra tutoring) but she's got LIFE just sorted. I wish I could say I'd had a hand in this, she's worked it all out for herself, but I am one proud Mama!