No doubt parental expectations have kept the therapists’ appointment calendar full but commencement season provides proof that if you expect and demand more of kids, they’ll usually deliver.
Today’s proof comes from Wisconsin, where Sirtaj Grewal, 17, was the valedictorian of his Milwaukee-area high school this week, as was his brother before him, his sister before him and his sister before her. Straight A’s through school; no B’s and no C’s.
“I told them that you shouldn’t be getting any B’s because what stops you from getting an A in any class,” their father, Darshan Grewal, a math teacher, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Sirtaj didn’t sound too messed up from the pressure to live up to someone else’s expectations, at least judging by his message to his peers during the ceremony.
“I also tell them that if they do feel at any point that life is too hard and there are too many obstacles, they just have to remember who they are. You are you. You are yourself, and each and every one of us is destined for greatness. Don’t forget that and you’ll be fine,” he said.
Columnist Jim Stingl notes that all the kids went to public schools.
There is little television watching in their south side Milwaukee home, and then it’s just public TV. Even as young adults, their children do not waste time on social media as so many of us do.
“They pretty much understood their responsibilities toward their duties. We didn’t have to push them too much. They are great kids,” Pam said.
Besides excelling in mostly advanced classes, all four have been involved in sports, extracurricular activities and community service. Sirtaj was vice president of student council and National Honor Society.
He will attend UW-Madison in fall to major either in engineering or psychology. Gurtej, 18, attends UW-La Crosse and is studying exercise and sports science. Raj, 21, graduated Saturday from UW-Madison and plans to attend grad school to study environmental management. And Rupi, 24, a 2014 UW-Madison grad, is at the Medical College of Wisconsin preparing to be a doctor, possibly a psychiatrist.
Today’s discussion: What expectations do (did) you set for your kids?