This week I am sharing with you a letter than I recently wrote to my 10 year old son after a rather heated discussion with him on the school run one morning. During this conversation he became quite upset and asked me why i was putting so much pressure on him. As a parent these are hard words to hear as we never want to hear something like that coming from our kids , but i felt very strongly that I wasn’t asking him to do anything that I didn’t already know he was capable of . I was really just asking him to do his best . I thought writing him a letter and explaining why I thought I wasn’t asking too much of him might help him understand where I was coming from …
Sometimes when its hard to explain what it is that you want to say , its easier to write it down.
This morning when we had our talk in the car and you told me that you felt like I was putting pressure on you , I had to stop a minute , and take a breath.
Your just a kid , you shouldn’t be feeling pressure.
I have thought about this a bit more since then and I have decided that a kid, feeling like they are pressured , may not always be a bad thing. You see, when we put pressure on ourselves, or feel somewhat pressured by others, sometimes this is when we find out the most amazing things about ourselves. We can find out that we are stronger than we think, that we are capable of more than we think and sometimes this is when our best work gets done.
Besides this, there are different types of pressure. I would never want you to feel pressured into doing something that you felt was wrong. Sometimes you might feel pressured by a peer to do something that is wrong, dangerous, even illegal !!! If you get that funny feeling in your tummy where you think it’s not right .. Listen to that ! That feeling is ALWAYS right ! If this ever happens, this is the time to stand up strongly for what you think is right and stick to your guns.
The pressure that I think you felt I was putting on you today however, to do your best , each and every day , I don’t think there is anything wrong with that pressure. I just want you to make the most of every minute and every opportunity you are given, as like I said .. This is all time we never get back. Now is now and there is no rewind button. I don’t want you to get to the end of Grade 4, Grade 5 or Grade 6 and think, ‘Gee I wish I had of done this or I wish I had of don’t that, or I wish I had of tried harder, I wish I had of played harder, I wish I had of made friends with this dude, I wish I hadn’t of made friends with that dude” , I want you to get to the end of each and every day , lay in your bed at night and think to yourself, ‘That was an amazing day and I really felt like I gave it my best”.
Don’t get me wrong, you will have bad days , maybe some very bad days , but as long as they are a lot less than the great days, everything will be okay. We need bad days every now and then to make the great days seem even greater and when we have a bad day we usually learn something from them. It’s not always obvious what , but believe me, in there somewhere will be a lesson.
There is something very important that I think you need to know and understand. As parents, we always want the best for our children. We always want them to have more than we had, do better than we did . So when it seems that I am asking more of you , I am really just asking you to do your best. I am not asking you to give me anything that you don’t already have. I am your mother, I am fully aware of your capabilities, your strengths, your weaknesses and I promise you that I am guiding you through life in a way which will make you shine. I am not here to show you up , make fun of you or give you bad days. I am here to make sure you share your amazingness with everyone else because anything short of that is not a fair deal.
I think you are amazing Riley Webb. I think you know that I think that , and for the days that you have ever thought that I didn’t think you are amazing, I am sorry. It is my intention every day to make you feel amazing, but when you need to be corrected, it is my very important job to help you with that too and that will always involve a challenge , maybe some No’s and most likely some conversations or situations that you don’t like , but hey little buddy … its all learning.
The minute you were born all you knew how to do was breathe , everything else we learnt together. You are as much a part of this journey as I am and we have to back each other up and respect each other. There isn’t much in this life so far that we haven’t experienced together … but thats all about to change buddy. You are about to take flight. You have already had a few trial runs ( remember on your bike down the hill hehehehehehe).
I am so proud of you Riley Webb. I could not have asked for a more amazing kid. You are kind, the kindest of kindest, you are funny , you are so so smart !
I love you Buddy .. And I just wanted you to know that if I upset you today when I asked you to do your best every day and that I know you can do better than what you have been doing , I can’t apologise for that. I don’t think I did the wrong thing. I think I did the absolute RIGHT thing and I will keep trying to get you to shine as long as I should live, because you little buddy are part of my world and in my world, which has become our world, we only do amazing things. We were not sent here to not do our best. We were sent here to do amazing things. Many amazing things and every now and then we will need to remind each other of this.
A very wise man called Jim Rohn once said, and then an amazing student Jake Bailey then repeated it in one of the most beautiful, insightful end of Year School Captain speeches I have ever heard …
‘Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.’
Not you Riley Webb. Just remember, Not you !
I have attached Jake Baileys amazing courageous end of year speech to this letter as I believe that it is something that everyone should read.
Carry this with you Riley, knowing that all those who love you , especially me, will only ever have your best interests in mind and I will always be here to guide you, help you , whenever you need it.
I know that there will come a time, and that may not be too far away, when I will need to take some very large steps backward and let you continue your journey on your own, but I will do that knowing that at least on the part of the journey we did together , we were a great team, we respected each other, we always shined brightly, we tried our absolute hardest, we conquered some amazing battles , we won some, we lost some and most of ‘all of those days’ were absolutely amazing and I would never have wanted to travel them with anyone but you x
With Much Love
Your Very Proud Mum xx