I put my kids in public school this year. After a lot of prayer and thought we decided it was best. And so far it seems like a good thing.
This means I'm giving up a lot of my kids day to another adult. And a part of public school is reward/penalty based discipline.
At our "big kids" school there is something called the "Jeans List". Kids are awarded for good behavior by being given a reprieve from the normal uniform required.
None of our kids have made it so far. They have been disappointed every time.
Uriah, on the other hand, has been awarded Athlete, musician and artist of the week.
I'll tell you what though, neither one of these things phases me, because I know who my kids are. I don't need them to receive awards or compliments for me to know who they are. Uriah was a good kid way before he was acknowledged by his teachers for being one. My other kids are good kids (who have their problems but are generally, usually fairly well behaved) even though they didn't make the "Jeans List".
Awards and acknowledgements don't change who they are. Neither are failures or moments of poor behavior. Doing the right thing is right regardless of who will notice. Wrong is wrong regardless of who will notice.
I shouldn't do things based on who will notice. Uriah shouldn't only be a good athlete or musician or artist when the teacher is looking. My other kids should not stop being good kids because they have to wear khaki instead of denim.
I want my kids to understand that my, and ultimately God's, love is not tied to their performance. That who they are as a person is not changed by what other people say about them. People miss a lot. And that could mean that someone who doesn't deserve to be acknowledged gets acknowledged while someone who does deserve it goes completely unnoticed. People are people and we are absolutely fallible and my self worth, and theirs, should not come from people but from the knowledge that God loves them, created them in His image and sent His Son to die for them.
I want my kids to know and be secure in who they are in Jesus, so that "compliments don't go to their head and criticisms don't go to their heart".
That's something I need too.