I’m an educator and I often find myself talking to parents about how their kids are doing in school. My advice is the same as the experts, “you should let your kids fail. You don’t need to save them from everything.” But when it comes to my own kid, I turn from Educator Kelly into Crazy Person Kelly as the mom of a teenager who recently took an online math class. The grade he would achieve in this class would determine what math level he would take in high school, so this was high stakes. Educator Kelly knows that Josiah needs to demonstrate his own learning; if he gets an F, it’s because he deserves an F. But while he’s taking an online test, I am fighting with myself to stop from asking, “Are you sure you should click A as the answer?” That’s when I realize I’m doing the wrong thing and I think about what I tell other parents -- what the experts say. I got trapped, like parents do, in fear. I was so afraid he was gonna miss out on something that I acted insane. I am the worst version of that parent I speak to in my office. I have to check myself all the time.
- Kelly in San Francisco, California