This week for Jada brought the pain. In one case it was felt, which was good. In another case I don't think it was felt, which was not good.
Let me explain, although in some things I need to be a little blurry. I was made aware of something Jada did at school that was not intended to be mean but in fact can be extremely hurtful and borderline disastrous. It wasn't hard for Amy and I to convey - and for Jada to understand - that in our scolding her we weren't say she was a bad person but that she had done a bad thing. So I'm pretty sure that the waves of horror that washed over her as she realized the potential consequences of her action were a good form of pain, in terms of retaining that lesson so that she doesn't repeat a far worse version of the act when she is older. In fact, Amy and I are proud of how she responded, feeling the right amount of contrition commensurate with the severity of the deed.
Where she didn't feel similar pangs but should have was with her grades for her first marking period, which were good in some subjects, OK in others, and awful in writing. Academics are a tricky thing for Jada given her developmental issues, but some of her poor performance can be chalked up to simply needing to hanker down in the classroom and out. In other words, the ol' stick-to-itiveness that Amy and I have been trying to grow in her. She's heard our message loud and clear. But I'm not sure the sting of a bad grade stings as much anymore, and that worries me. It's hard not to view her from my own childhood perspective; I can tell you that the few times I got bad grades it gnawed at me something fierce and fueled a volcanic desire to improve the next time around. I realize I am pretty zealous on this front, compared to most folks. But I wish I saw more of this in Jada. Bad grades should hurt, and I think she does feel that hurt. But I want her to feel it more, and to have that feeling fire her up towards greater diligence with the books. We'll be monitoring this closely.