Letter to Nikisha (5 years 4 months):
My little school girl,
When Grandma was here the first week of this month, we would talk all about you, your sister and your cousins. When we talked about you, we talked about how amazing you are with school and everything you do. Then Grandma mentioned something that is part awesome, part scary. She thinks you might be a perfectionist, and I agree. You seem to get upset if anything is done or said wrong. If we ask you if you know the answers, you say ‘yes’, but if we ask what they are, you shrug. You refuse to answer or change the subject when you don’t know the answer to the questions we ask.
Halfway though the month you came home with what you called ‘the bad note‘ from your teacher explaining that you don’t listen and refuse to participate in class. She noted that you would prefer to play with your classmates instead of learning. We were shocked to learn all the things she’s said about you. The next day, we went to your very first Parent Teacher Conference. It was full of surprises for us. You are a completely different person with us than you are there. It’s so hard to imagine you being so shy and not willing to participate in class.
Daddy and I decided to work on that with you almost immediately after we left your classroom. We wanted you to know that it was okay to be wrong sometimes. You shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and tell your teacher you don’t know the answers. You should try to answer if you think you do. Of course, we didn’t pressure you, but just let you know.
A week went by and we hadn’t heard anything. I was unsure of your progress until you came home one day with a note and puzzle from your teacher. She gave it to you because you’ve been doing so well in the following week the conference and wanted to encourage you to continue.
I wrote an email to your teacher telling her about what happened next.
Hello Miss Kim,
My husband, Nikisha and I would like to thank you for the puzzle you gave to Nikisha. It was very thoughtful and generous of you. It’s also nice to know you remembered the things we’ve mentioned about her.
On our way back to our place after school, she told me about it. Immediately after we got in the door, she wanted to get started on it. It took her about 10 minutes to put the whole thing together. It IS too easy for her, but she loves it despite that. She took it apart after showing me she did it, and then proceeded to put it together a second (and even third) time.
Now (the next morning) she took it apart and decided to try to put it together flipped over where she can’t see the picture and can only go by the shapes. As I’m typing, she is halfway done with it. It amazes me how she’s able to do that and wanted to share that with you.
We’ve been working with her to teach her that it’s okay to speak up in class and she doesn’t always have to be right. I’m very happy to hear that it’s working.
Thank you again for the puzzle. I hope that we’ll continue to be able to work together to bring out the best in Nikisha and further her awesome development.
My little Niki. Oh how happy it makes me to know that you are mine. I can already tell you’ll be a smart little cookie when you are older and that’s a good thing. You’ll give all those boys a run for their money. You won’t be easily fooled. YOU BETTER NOT BE OR SOMEONE WILL REGRET IT! I’m just not sure who (him, you, me) just yet.