My son has known from a fairly young age what he wants to do in life, and his personal goals require him to maintain good grades in school. In some ways having a goal-oriented, self-driven child is a blessing, in other ways it can be quite stressful, especially during testing season. My son knows that to be competitive academically he will need to prioritize his education, and he is doing that, but to what cost? I often find myself reminding him about the importance of being a well-rounded person.
In the midst of the testing currently taking place in the public schools, it is important that our children understand that a person is not defined by a test score. There are many things that a standardized test cannot measure like kindness, helpfulness, trustworthiness, dependability, happiness, loyalty, love of family. These are the traits that define one’s character, and character far outweighs a number on a test.
When we talk to our children about the value of character, we need to make sure that we are not sending them mixed messages. As parents, as we look in the mirror and make sure we are not judging ourselves by a number. That could include the number on the bathroom scale, our salary, our credit score, the cost of our house, or the number of likes on Facebook.
As the Math Doctor it may not be too surprising that numbers are important to me. I have always had a fascination with numbers and mathematics, but I also realize that there are many important things in life that are not quantifiable.