No matter how many times or how much we encourage her, Kaitlyn just cannot seem to believe in herself. She is very much a perfectionist, but the standard that she sets for herself with everything is so high that she is bound to miss her mark on occasion. Amber and I just cannot seem to get that across to her sometimes.
This morning, for example, Kaitlyn was working on a word search in her baseball puzzle book she bought a few weeks ago. When she would find a word that she did not know the meaning of, she would ask me what it meant. Of course, I was more than happy to provide the information to her. She told me that she wanted to “know everything about baseball,” so one can imagine how that made me feel.
A few minutes before I left for work, I figured it would be a good idea to do a quick review with Kaitlyn for her math test today. We reviewed for a little last night, but I wanted to be sure that Kaitlyn was ready. Today’s test is on double-digit addition and subtraction, and Kaitlyn was a little worried about it.
We went over the review sheet she brought home, and she did fine. She even gave me her own example (100 minus 40 being 60 because 10 minus 4 is 6), so I thought she was more than ready. When I told her that I knew would do great, she told me that she was worried she would not do well. She said that, “the answers are not all in my heart.” I told her all she has to do is take her time and make sure to answer every question, and she would do great.
Her comment about not having the answers in her heart was typical Kaitlyn. She believes that she should get a 100% on every test she takes, and while that is a great goal, Amber and I know that she may miss a question from time-to-time. As long as she gives maximum effort, we are happy, but Kaitlyn does her best to talk herself out of doing good every time; the sad part is that when she brings the tests home, she does the best on the ones she was most worried about.
Amber and I both know and understand that Kaitlyn will continually think that she is not good enough, or that she can do better. It is pressure that she puts on herself, and it is not necessary. It is a delicate balance for her when it comes to self-esteem, and we do the best we can every day to reinforce positives with her, without dwelling too long on anything negative.
I am confident that Kaitlyn will do great on her test today, no matter how hard she tries to talk herself out of it. If she does not meet her expectations, we will use today as an opportunity to do better next time.