Almost There, Part 2

21 Nov

M2 called me the minute she got home yesterday. I could hear the frustration and agony in her voice when she told me the remaining results and the final average mark, 73. No further improvements from the last count and one short from achieving the 74 mark set.

Ouch. The almost there is not quite there. So near yet so far.

In my mind, I recalled the hubby reminding me to be objective and to look at the bigger picture of things. It shouldn’t be that small failure that determines the situation.

I talked to her while in my mind, I was analyzing the bigger picture and realized that M2 did study hard. Only one subject came in with a horrifying result, a plunge from a ‘B’ to a disastrous ‘D’! The other subjects saw an overall improvement and an increase in total marks. For this improvement, how can I fault her and say she did not study and try her best? A bit unfair, no?

So rather than focusing on the near miss of the 74 average for all, I relooked at the qualifying factor and adjusted it so that M2 can have a sense of achievement. After all, our intention is purely to motivate with reward and not punish with frustration.

I decided then to give a probational reward (the right to use the iPhone4) because the fact is evident that there was an improvement and we should not ignore this effort. Come next year, if she improves further on what she has achieved this time, the phone remains in her possession. But if there is a decline in the results, the phone comes back to me, hence the probational clause.

This is the best solution for now. I don’t feel mean, she feels relieved and happy and today, being the last day of school, it should end on a happy note.

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