Grandteddy (Grandpa) was visiting today. Grandteddy speaks French, so I thought he would get a kick out of hearing the boys read to him in French, and that the boys would enjoy showing off their new reading skills.
Scotty went first, reading a short story that he had virtually memorised. On cue, Grandteddy ooohed and aaaahed at his French prowess, and Scotty grinned ear to ear. Score for parenting: 10/10.
James went next. James had just started a new book at French school, so I warned Grandteddy that James was reading it for the first time. James frowned at the book choice, but I encouraged him. "Grandteddy knows it is your first try," I said confidently. Then wished I'd eaten my words. James read it incredibly well for his first try, but all Grandteddy noticed was the hesitations and mispronunciations. Instead of oohing and aaahing, Grandteddy corrected and became impatient. James fidgeted. Trev implored me with his eyes to stop it before James broke down in tears. To James's credit, he managed to finish the text, but fled out of the room. Score for parenting: Minus a zillion.
Learning point: set your child up for success (Scotty's situation), not pain (James's). Especially when the judge is well known for perfectionism. Ouch ouch ouch.
I felt so awful.