Last week Pip finished school for 2009. Next year he moves into the senior years, where everything counts towards his university entrance.

Right back in the middle of the year Pip and I attended parent-teacher interviews. His teachers were all very frank in telling him that his average to good marks were not a reflection of his intellect, but rather of his effort. He is always respectful of others, his behaviour is exemplary, but his dedication to his social development at school far outweighs his dedication to his academic requirements.

My son is a very clever boy and, truthfully, school has never challenged his intellect. He has always been true to himself and has never really felt the need to please others. My Pete and I have always encouraged him to be a free thinker and have never expected him to make choices just to please others. I believe that this is very important in life, but doesn’t always fit with the school system. We don’t pressure our children to achieve. We know they are good, honest, hard-working people and that is more important to us than academic achievements.

Philip wants to go to university and knows what he has to do to get there. While we will offer him encouragement and support, we won’t take responsibility for what needs to be done.

Following the mid-year parent-teacher interviews Pip took some time for reflection, lots of parental counselling was done, reassurances were offered and it was made clear that he needed to make his own decisions about what to do next.

Today his end of year report card arrived. His average to good marks are now good to amazingly good marks. Every teacher has rated his behaviour as an A. (This is what I check first.) In all subjects except one his effort is rated as an A. Teachers have made comment about his maturity, conscientiousness and work ethic.

My very favourite comment comes from his art teacher, “An imaginative student whose work is always original.”

Right now Pip feels so powerful. He set his mind to make a change to his behaviour and it resulted in improved academic results. The life lesson he learnt from this can’t be under-estimated. He is beaming at his own success and the knowledge that he did this. His decisions and his efforts made the difference.

I couldn’t be more proud of him.

* All illustrations by Philip Petersen. Taken from his original pen and ink drawings following the path of a paper aeroplane.


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30 responses to “Maturity

  1. candiedfabrics

    Bravo Pip…and kudos to his parents!

  2. grandma

    We are so proud of Pip. He is a one of. His art work always amazes me, and his art teacher told him that he inspires her because he thinks differently and his art reflects that. To top it off, he is always funny, is not afraid to laugh at himself, has no teenage angst that I have seen and lets his grandma be the roadie for the band. Love that boy.

  3. Well done Pip… and well done Mum and Dad.

  4. Well done, Pip.

    I’m with you. The comments I read first are the teachers’s general comments. The ones where they tell me how he is going personally. I know he’s bright, but he knows what he wants. It’s clicked – Yr 12, 2010. I just need to know he is “well rounded” and working to ability. So long as he’s doing his best, I’m happy – best not necessarily translating to marks.

  5. Wow – amazing work in becoming a grownup Pip!

  6. Proud, proud, proud. Wonderful! Congratulations all round.
    And what an artist as well!

  7. Congrats to Pip!!!!
    You’re raising great kids.

  8. Good for Pip! I’m feeling proud of him so you and your Pete must be full to bursting.

  9. Well done to Pip. It’s been a hard road for him, with the operation, the travelling, the to and fro-ing. He is an incredibly nice kid, as I had the honour of finding out first hand.

    And a bloody good artist, as these pictures tell!!

  10. What a fantastic and uplifting post. You must be bursting with pride, not only at his wonderful results but those drawings. I had an attack of the wanties – they’re quite amazing.

  11. I love this post (and Pip’s artwork). A great parenting lesson to stand back and let him make his own decisions. My parents were the same, and I hope I will be as my children get older.

  12. Pip, You are an amazing young man !

  13. Would it be ok with you, if I printed out this post, laminated it, stuck it to the inside door of my closet? My thinking is the same as yours, it’s just that when the time comes I need to be sure that that is how I react!!!! Well done Pip.

  14. Nice one! No wonder you are proud – I would be too!

  15. That story sounds like it could be deja vu for my son, currently 15 … time will tell … they are sure some fierce paper planes!

  16. And he is a fart joke (I’m trying to type conneseuier… dammit three times wrong! And I’m gonna leave it now)!

    It is all the more better that you did not push, but that he chose a path and undertook everything in his power to make sure of his destination. That is more valuable than the achievement itself.

  17. This is such an uplifting post for me. I’ve just had a very similar conversation with No2’s teachers. He is just choosing his GCSE options and I really hope that next year a bit of ambition will set in and make him realise his full abilities. Like you, I try hard not to pressure him as I’d rather he was a well-rounded boy/man. The biggest compliment I received from his teachers was that he was polite and empathetic. I’m still grinning!

  18. Oh, and his drawings are just amazing!

  19. Congratulations to Pip and also his parents. I also believe that EQ is more important than IQ, but it seems your Pip has plenty of both! Merry Christmas!

  20. I love these drawings of Pip’s – they have a maturity and beauty about them that reflect Pip himself.

    what a wonderful post Tracey – thank you for sharing it ..

  21. Hurrah, Pip! Seems the year end reflection is starting early!

  22. I am so glad for all of you. You seem like a truly nice family.

  23. He is so talented Tracey. I wish him well for his future. Our son is also talented, but finds it very hard to be a ‘conformist’. Life does not often reward the best of talent, somehow.

  24. Fabulous post T. Your son sounds so similar to mine, and the way you have brought him up like our style too … I can only hope that my son bucks his ideas up in time for his exam years because he too has all the makings of a brilliant scholar if only he would apply himself. We are always getting reports from his teachers of what a lovely boy he is, which makes us very happy. Your Pip has a huge artistic talent there! xx

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