I was scanning Twitter during a break at work when Mike’s tweet stopped me cold.

“I believe you,” he encouraged people to say. Fair enough. For me, though, it was missing a word; in. “I believe IN you,” it needed to say.

Mike’s blog, Puzzling Posts, will always have you thinking reflectively about your parenting and this tweet did that for me.

“I believe in you.”

I need to say that to my kids more often. They need to know that I want them to be the best they can be. Not the best ever, but the best they can achieve. They need to know I am behind them and trust they can achieve their best.

The tweet struck me because it’s report card and parent/teacher interview season. While I’ve adjusted my expectations from high grades to high effort, Zacharie hasn’t produced either. He’ll never be the top of the class, but if he applies himself, even just a bit, he can swim with the others just fine.

But he’s lazy. Like his dad. Except where I coasted on skills that put me near the top, my son coasts on skills that put him near the bottom. To succeed he needs to put in effort, and he’s not.

“I believe in you.”

We found out he’s been lying to us about bringing books home and homework assignments. Dammit, he’s only 8, why am I already dealing with deception? I trust that my son is doing what should be done, and then I find out he’s being lazy and struggling.

“I believe in you.”

Last night I got angry at the deception and the poor results. That was wrong. I can’t get angry at his deception. I need to show him encouragement. I need to give him an environment where he can succeed. One where he feels safe to fail, and strong enough to try to achieve.

I can’t yet say “I believe you,” as Mike would wish we do more often. He’s been blatantly lying to us. But I can say “I believe IN you,” as a way to support him.

I feel like such a failure when my kids aren’t their best. I will try harder. I will nurture more. I will nudge them along to make sure they are the best they can be.

I guess need to believe in me too.

I believe in you

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