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30 August 2019

posted 29 Aug 2019, 19:45 by Carolyn Brett
"The perfect is the enemy of the good." Voltaire

Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle, in his wisdom, provided a guiding principle known as the 'golden mean'. Simply, this is the mid point between either extreme. 

This is so very essential when we come to raising and educating children! Children are often under immense pressure to achieve, but is about getting the balance of over involvement and under involvement as right as we can. We can't be laissez-faire with a 'she'll be right' demeanour, nor can we constantly critique, observe, evaluate, provide feedback at every step of life's journey. The perfect path doesn't exist.

Parents and teachers do their best to provide clear directions and point out right from wrong, but too much guidance can be too much of a good thing. We need to be brave to allow children to explore the unknown, the uncharted and run into cul-de-sacs every now and again. As long as they feel safe, we need to allow them to make imperfect decisions and make mistakes and learn as they go. 

Aristotle describes things well in that the key is to be involved at the right time, at the right degree, with the right motive and in the right way. As I am writing, I'm thinking, yes, well that's certainly easier said than done, but I think if we are really mindful of this and we have this as an intention, we may get it just that little bit more 'right'.

This is timely as we head towards group Student Led Conferences next week for most. As the parents and teachers, I wonder how we can get our involvement, prompting and feedback around the golden mean! Let's make an effort to be 'good enough' and, unfortunately, there aren't any shortcuts when it comes to child development. Let's enjoy what they want to share and what they are proud of. 

Leading up to SLCs, it's also a  good time to reflect on the research around praise that I discussed in a June Newsletter.
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