Posted by: G. Lane Cavalier | June 1, 2007

Life: Learning about Goals – Another lesson from my Children!

At the beginning of the school year, my son (9 years old) made a perfect score on his spelling test.

He then asked his mom and I to make a deal, until he missed a spelling word, he got to set his own study schedule. We were NOT allowed to even ASK him about spelling or if he wanted to study.

During about week 4, he told me that he was going to go the complete school year without missing a single spelling word. Being the ‘conservative’ dad I am, I tried to tell him that all I wanted was for him to work hard, not be perfect.

About week 10 (still perfect), I told my wife I hoped he would miss a word soon, because I didn’t want him to be crushed when he did miss a word.

Came home last weekend 2 a.m. Friday morning and fell asleep on the couch as to not wake the family. At 6 a.m. my son woke me up and the first words out of his mouth was “you were wrong Dad, I went the whole year without missing a word!”

Yep, last week was the last of the year’s spelling test and he did it. A full school year without missing a spelling word, and without his mom or I telling him anything about when or how to study.

I told him that I was more proud of his setting a goal and making it happen even when someone (me) didn’t quite believe in it. I am also proud that he learned to make the goal his and took responsibility for it.

I continue to amaze myself that my kids seem to know more about commitment and having high goals than I do, they must have a really smart MOM!



  1. Children haven’t had time to learn the lessons like “you can’t be perfect”, “you’re not unique”, and “you can’t be a juggling brain surgeon that practices law while hitting 450 with the Yankees”. They are the blank slate where they aren’t allowed to write their own epic poem without negative help. Like in Marty movie, “I coulda been a contender”. Probably what you were trying to say that “he was your kid even if he spelled like a fat old turkey”! 🙂

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