Don’t ask for a gallon when all he has is a pint.

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At Ola and Lore’s recent Parents’ Evening, John and I were full of joy – something we had never really felt before after these meetings.


For the first time EVER, I (in particular) went to Parents Evening wanting to know more than the academic achievements of our daughters or the quality of work we’d find in their school folders. I had been obsessed with this in the past. So, for the first time ever, I paid attention to what their teachers had to say without telling them off!


Also, for the first time ever, I did not feel like pulling my daughters by their ears and dragging them out of the school because I felt ashamed of how appalling I felt about the quality of the work they are producing in school. But, for the first time ever, John and I left our children’s school feeling happy.


So what has changed from the previous Parents’ Evenings? What has changed for me is that I am a better parent than I used to be. I now know that academic achievements can be developed but there are some other qualities I should be concentrating on if my daughters are to be great citizens of the world – which is what all parents want for their children.

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Without asking their teachers if my children display such qualities in school, I am glad to say they do. This was the first information we received from their teachers. One of our daughter’s teachers said to John and me, academic excellence is good but it is not the only requirement needed for success – more important qualities like emotional intelligence are crucial as well.


And I get that. What is the point of chasing after intellectual intelligence for your child when he can’t even get on with his peers. When he is cruel to other children in the playground. Or he has no capacity to empathise with others?


Lately, I have been encouraging parents who worry about their children’s academic performance that every child has a gift and a purpose. And as long as we don’t try and interfere with our children’s path, they will find their way.  Our job is to guide them. If a child is not destined to be a surgeon and you push him to become one, he’ll never be fulfilled in life because you have changed his path. What is the point of living an unfulfilled life?

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What I am not saying is, for you not to help them if they are struggling in school. Or, for you to be undisturbed about their academic performance – when they can do better. What I am saying is, if your child is not Grammar school material, don’t force it. You can’t ask for a gallon from your child when he can only offer a pint.


For me, (and I am a pushy mum) I have come to realise that emotional intelligence is more important than academic performance. As my husband John says, empathy, kindness, compassion can’t be taught but how to add up numbers can.

What is more important to you, academic performance or emotional intelligence? You choose.

Yvonne  xxx

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Comments (6) Write a comment

  1. Confidence brought about by Self worth. Therefore enthusiasm, to create and build abillities within themselves and others, benefits all relationships for a greater good. To give is to recieve.

    God Bless and a Joyful Easter to you.



  2. I totally agree with you here, and that’s coming from a Nigerian Mum who believed that academic excellence is the whole point of any education. As much as I would have wanted my kids to be egg heads, I also know that their character is as important if not more important then being the smartest in their class.
    However we live in a world were excellence is measured by what “class” did you make in University, the 1st class materials get better jobs, that is the reality of today. So I ask how do we get a balance?


    • Our children now live in a world where their character is what will set them apart from others. Our generation required the smartest with good character or not!
      People are now looking for more than the text book kind of intelligence, there are looking for people to validate them and not rip them apart with cruel words. Companies are looking for people that can empathise with their employees.
      Thanks to technology, the jobs that the smart people used to do are now been done by machines. And machines don’t know how to empathise only human beings can. For me, I strongly believe that the future belongs to the kids who are emotionally intelligent – those are the kind of managers that companies are looking for.


  3. Emotional maturity is so very important in growth. While nor denying academic excellence is important, I don’t think its as important as emotional excellence. My Dad used to say: the most impirtant thing is you did your best.
    He always stressed the importance of academic excellence BUT he wanted strength of character more.
    We can only try our best as parents to gauge our childrens capabilities…and so, not put undue pressure on their abilities. Encourage, motivate and reward their efforts.


    • Undue pressure on children has been known to affect our children’s emotional welfare. So, I still wonder why parents still put so much pressure on their kids!


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