The Consequences of Being an Achiever

Yesterday was Ralph's Recognition Day. This year, he achieved not only his ultimate dream of bagging the Gold Medal for General Academic Excellence in his grade level but also obtaining 2 golds and 2 silvers for the extra-curricular activities he joined this school year. I was the proudest mommy in the world as always and I know he was happy with himself, too.

The school's chaplain shared a meaningful message in his homily during the para-liturgical mass before the awarding ceremonies. He spoke about the danger of achieving awards. One of them is being over-confident. Another is being used to success that failure becomes the end of the world. I was bothered with his message because I already see these symptoms in my son. I guess they become even more magnified because he is an only child. He is used to have our full attention especially when he excels in something.

He sets goals for himself which I think is not bad at all. However, I feel the need to be involved in his goal setting just to be sure that they are reachable. Like in any planning session, there should be a leveling of expectations. It is best to dream about something that is feasible so as to avoid disappointments in the end.

Ralph can be overly confident at times that he doesn't mingle with other children but gets along with adults. If ever he makes friends with children his age, he makes it a point to be with the smart and more matured ones. I guess this is one reason why bullies pick on him frequently. Come to think of it, he became the bully's enemy because he is a snob. I remember in one school activity when he campaigned for environmental awareness, even his supposed bullies cheered for him. When he returned to his seart in the theater, he shook the hands of his classmate except his bully who looked pitiful with his hand stretched out in open air. I already spoke to him about this and he is still in the process of conditioning himself that he can transform his bullies to friends. In my previous posts, I have written about bullies being victims too because they really are. They just need friends and I hope my son also develops the same feeling towards these children.

The priest spoke about how more important spiritual achievement is than receiving fame and recognition. In the end, we are still answerable to our Creator. My son is still young and he still has lots of time learning about these things. With proper guidance from us, his parents, he will develop into an achieving but well-grounded individual in the future.

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