The purpose of this post is simply to provide a little boost and also to get those little cogs in your brain spinning. In my profession, I am able to observe the effects of standardized testing on our little ones. Now, let me start by saying this is not a standardized testing bash. However, the emotional effects standardized testing has on our kiddos and the school staff who work diligently day-in and day-out to “teach beyond the test” was my inspiration for this post.
You see I left a meeting one day after a big standardized test was being discussed and I thought, “I hope these parents and teachers emphasize their kids’ effort and don’t hyper-focus on pass/fail.” Then, I heard a discussion on the radio and thought, “These kids are so much more than their test scores, I hope they know that!” These thoughts are often running through my mind because the social-emotional well-being of a child is extremely important and achievement on a standardized test or a classroom based assessment does not always reflect the work and effort and perseverance that child exhibited when they obtained that score. And then I got to thinking, we are ALL more than a number!
Please, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a number! Numbers can be extremely beneficial! They can be used to help to determine if a child has a disability, so they can get the support they need. They can show progress, to keep us from over-spending, to help us gauge our child’s developmental milestones, to celebrate the years spent in a relationship or job, and so much more! So, I am not saying we do not need numbers, I am saying that I am hopeful we use them to tell a positive story and don’t focus on JUST the number.
Here is what I would like you to think about. You, your loved one, your child are not just:
- A standardized test score.
- A number on on the scale.
- An age.
- The number on your bank account balance
- The years you have left to pay off your mortgage.
- A clothing size.
- The rate at which you can run a mile.
- The years until you can retire.
- The number of dishes in the sink that are “yelling WASH me!”
- Sooooo much more!
I know this list is limited, and certainly not all-inclusive, but they are good examples or focusing on numbers from a negative perspective rather than from a positive one.
So, let’s do just that, and look at these examples from a positive perspective.
- I am so proud of your hard work and effort! Is there anything you would do differently, so we can prepare for next time?
- I may not be losing pounds as quickly as I hoped, but I have been working so hard and I FEEL good in my clothes. And if you are like me, my son wants to show off my stomach in public no matter what size it is! LOL! I guess he is proud of his past home!
- I may be X numbers of years old, but I am here and present, and feel great about it! One more year means I just EARNED another year of amazing memories!
- Money is money. That’s it. I am not going to lie, we all need it to survive, but don’t let it define you! If you are low one month, focus on the why! Me for example, we just had to pay for Eustacian Tube surgery for my son. My thought, after of course the initial shock, “Well, I am glad we put in the hours and effort at work so that we CAN do this for him. Maybe he will finally get some relief!”
- Did I mention memories!? I am spending my hard earned money on making memories with my family and friends in this house!
- I LOOK GOOD! If the number bugs you, cut it out! Besides, sizes are crazy inconsistent! I can be wearing a 4 and a 12 all in the same outfit, on the same day, at the same time!
- You are running/working out! Yay you! That is all that needs to be said! Keep it up, it will pay off in the long run!
- Focus on the time you have left to make a difference at your job. Be it large or small, it matters!
- Think about the fact that your have dishes because you were able to actually cook (or throw together) a meal for you and your family. Then, think about the fact that they are still sitting in the sink because you chose to play a game or read a book with your little one, or sit down with your dog, or spend timebwith your significant other, and SMILE about that! Get to the dishes when you can! Better yet, tag-team it with someone in your house and spend some time with them while you do the dishes!
- Don’t focus on the number being too high, too low, to slow, to long, etc. and focus on the positive things that come along with that number!
To anyone and everyone reading this, YOU, YOUR FAMILY, YOUR KIDS, and YOUR FRIENDS are more than a number! KNOW THAT and be sure your let your loved ones KNOW YOU KNOW THAT as well!
*Photo credit: Chanda’s Photography