Melhuish Grade 11
The following is the winning Grade 11 speech winner in this year’s Melhuish Speaking Contest.
Think back to when you were five years old. You probably got away with a lot more than you can today. Your parents probably saw you as the perfect little angel, so it didn’t matter how many times you messed up, or broke a plate or how many times you tried to run away; your parents would always tell you “It’s okay.”
But you’re not five years old anymore. Your parents know that the world is getting harder by the day so there’s no time to be silly or try run away. They’re sizing you up to all the kids around you, and suddenly, you’re not their little angel anymore, but rather you’re irresponsible, unaware and thoughtless, and there is no other thought going through their mind except “Why can’t you be like them?”
But parents are hypocrites; they act like there was never a time where they couldn’t count by twos and tie their shoes and even as adults they won’t pay the bill on time, yet they have the audacity to ask their kids can’t you do any better? They talk about this child who got a perfect SAT score; they talk about that child never missed a free throw, but they never talk about their own child looking for what to do with all that potential. Looking for ways to get their parents to say “I’m proud of you.”
Every kid wants to be the best of the best, but behind every child who believes in him/herself is a parent who believed first, a parent who took pride in every accomplishment no matter how big or small it may appear, a parent who said “If you ever need help I’m always here.” You can’t expect a child to do better by making them feel worse, so when you put your child next to another and see how they compare, you’re letting them know that you won’t be there to pick up the pieces when they crumble under pressure; you’re letting them know that you see the cracks in the masterpiece they’ve been working so hard to create, and worst of all, you’re letting them know that they’re not doing good enough.
We all need a chance to prove ourselves; we all mess up. And we likely will continue to mess up because it’s all part of the process; it’s not about getting it right away, but growing, every single day, so we can’t let our parents’ expectations make us afraid to fail; take this from a kid who tried to meet expectations set so high that she’s had no other choice but to realize that she’s doing way more than good enough for herself, and that’s all that matters, so if you have a problem, solve it. If you have a question, ask it, and most importantly if you have a goal, do everything that you can to achieve it, because there’s no guarantee that we will ever be able to meet the standards set by our parents but when we know what we want, when we’re sure of it, and when we put every ounce of effort into getting it, that’s when we reach our ultimate potential.
Glory C, Mackenzie ‘18