…how would you be?
…what would you do?
The inspiration for these questions came to me from a most unexpected source in a very revealing lesson.
A fellow mum at my daughter’s school, had been trying to arrange a movie afternoon for her daughter and G to watch the (then) yet to be released new Disney’s film Frozen.
Unfortunately the first day that the movie was in the cinemas was the day before G’s Tap (dancing) exam, so I told both G and her friend’s mum that it probably would be best for her to watch it after the Tap exam.
And so that was that.
It was a simple unconditional appointment, in my view, to be able to whole-heartedly enjoy an entertaining new film without the pressure of a looming exam about.
However, I was stopped a couple of days later after drop-off at school, by the same mum who was clearly quite concerned and taken aback.
It turned out that G had informed her daughter that she would join her for the movie, after, she had passed her exams.
This was quite a revelation to me, as we had never ever placed any conditions on her passing or achieving anything in order to be rewarded. Partly because it was always assumed (and a given) that she would do well anyway, but also because it is our perspective that there are things in life more important than passing exams. Hence, the passing of the exam itself is the reward – although we may go out to celebrate it after.
Anyway, back to the revelation.
I pondered this for a while, and to be perfectly honest, I was rather concerned as to whether she was stressed about the exams to have had to actually say this – although she certainly did not seem to be concerned or stressed at all.
And then, my husband pointed out to me the fact that she does not actually know that she could fail the exam, hence her saying that she would have to pass the exam, was actually equivalent to most other people saying that they would have to take an exam.
It was a big big revelation and it turns out he was right!
That evening, we asked G herself, why she had said that she would only go to the cinema after she had passed the exam and her very quick, honest reply was…
‘Of course. I have exams to take, so after I pass them I will go to the cinema.’
‘So you’re not worried about failing?’
‘No, of course not. I’ve done exams before – they’re easy!’
And so…my great lesson yesterday again, was that it was all perception.