Monday, 20 September 2010

School glorious school!

I went to Alfred Sutton Primary School, and honestly believe that I received a well-rounded education. I had the opportunity to play various instruments, take part in sports, learn the usual academic stuff, do drama and singing lessons, and even paid 5p for fellow pupils to decorate my hand with henna during our lunch-breaks! I loved primary school and want pretty much the same for Little Miss O - only better - in every aspect! What Mum doesn't...?!

It seems like only yesterday that Little Miss O came into this world. Yet, two years, five months, and one day later, I made my first phone-call to enquire about schools. SCHOOLS! Not for me, but for Little Miss O. Sure, she goes to nursery and she 'learns' things. Sure, the other day she said 'je m'apelle Liana', and sure I felt myself burst with pride but school is another matter altogether! 

 Of course academic achievement is important to me, and I want her to get the very best results that she is capable of, but more importantly I feel that school should be a place where little people can have fun, feel free, learn social skills, personal skills and generally build self-esteem and the confidence to excel at whatever they are good at! I want 'school' to be a place that fills Little Miss O with a thirst for knowledge, an interest in other people (from all walks of life) and a place that genuinely supports the effort that we are making as parents to help her discover what she enjoys - and what she doesn't. Now, that's a lot of things that I want from a school. I have spoken to everyone I know about local schools and to lots of strangers who I don't know and it seems that no school has this perfect combination of qualities. I know I'm being picky, but when it comes to Little Miss O, I have to be! So, choosing a school is SO SO hard. Even the fee-paying and religious schools don't tick all my boxes. 

Why does the 'best' school have to be the one with the highest academic attainment?
Why is 'personal development' so much more poorly scored than 'academic development' in many of the so-called 'best' schools?

How confusing....?!?! Why can't our little cutie have it all!?!

Maybe I should just set up my own school with this new 'free school' initiative malarky... I have to say, I do kind of like the idea of prescribing exactly what kind of education Little Miss O and her little pals should have....after all Mother knows best! : )PPPP

What was the most important thing you learnt in primary school?

Mrs O

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Good traits turned bad...

...I've finished the book I have been reading on being submissive to your husband. Not the Bible, but The strong-willed wife...hooray! 
Before reading this book in its entirety, I saw submissive women as being weaker in some way than their strong-willed counterparts and funnily enough, I've had a complete U-turn in my thinking...OK, well maybe it was more of a 5-point turn, but I have definitely changed my mind on this issue. I  mean, surely my fear (and it was fear) of submitting to Mr O actually has nothing to do with his competence to make 'executive' decisions for the good of our family but has a lot more to with my incessant need for 'control', - my monica gellar-bing-esque tendencies for planning and my constant need to know the next step, to prepare for it and single-handedly make it happen.  I'm not saying I'm going to give these traits up - it would be impossible (that is how God made me - a self-starter, a motivator - a stubborn taurean basically), but what I am learning to do is consciously rein in these parts of my character and keep them in check.

This book plainly explains how these 'great' traits can turn ugly....and puts a VERY interesting spin on Proverbs 31. In summary though, it explains how, sometimes:

'motivating' turns to 'pushy'
'problem solver' turns to 'busybody'
'opinionated' turns to 'argumentative'
'independent' turns to 'overly self-reliant'
'extroverted' turns to 'abrasive'
'leader' turns to 'loner'
'determined' turns to 'stubborn'
'focused' turns to 'selfish'

It's funny, because this list perfectly describes my really well personality. Whilst many of these traits have clearly led me to succeed in so many areas of my life, when these have not been kept in check they have also led to some of the unnecessarily difficult points in my life! Oh the irony. I guess, it's about knowing when you're standing in the right place and time and knowing when to use them. I am learning, slowly but surely!

Isn't it funny how things make so much sense when you understand them!
Over the past few weeks, I have really been enjoying being conscious of how I use my attributes and actually, I'm feeling stronger because I can confidently leave things up to Mr O without worrying about having to redo things or give instructions the whole time (this was part of the monica-syndrome). The thing that I think is making submission easier for me is that I trust that Mr O would never ask me to anything that would hurt me, compromise the things I've worked hard for or to do something I was uncomfortable with. So, where is the harm in allowing him to lead us. 

I feel like I've been making real progress, and Mr O has complimented the new-edition of me too - hooray! Hopefully, over time, I can internalise these steps and use my 'strong-willed' nature to honour my Husband and God without having to think about it.

Happy days I think!

Mrs O
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