Originally Posted by june'smom
And I have to disagree that it is appropriate to do your less than your best.
I'm going to have to disagree with this along with several other PPs. One way to think of it is like doing your very best is like running a flat-out sprint as fast as you can and doing less than your best is more like jogging around the block or even walking or strolling or occasionally just sitting it out under a nice shady tree. You don't always need to be "doing your best" and running as fast as you can. Sometimes you certainly do, but if you do it all the time you're going to be one tired, burned out, stressed out person. It's okay to amble sometimes and sometimes you really do need to give it your all, but it's an important life skill to know how to differentiate between the two.
My brother sounds like the opposite of your brother in some ways and he can be an insufferable self-righteous domineering prat. I'd much rather have to deal with someone who's easy going.
I don't think many posters here advocated doing a poor job although sometimes I do think that's okay, depending on the circumstances. For example, my hand-writing can be pretty good at times if I really slow down and take my time with it, and if I were writing an invitation or a thank you note, I'd take the time to do my best, but if I'm writing a grocery list all I really need to aim for is legible, y'know? It doesn't have to be calligraphy or anything.
For kids, I think it's really important to help them learn to differentiate between situations where they really do need to do their best (important school project, etc) and situations where it's not that important. For example, my 7 yr old first grader is really doing pretty well academically in both reading and math, but she still has number reversals in her writing. I don't correct these every time when she's working on actually doing the math. If she's trying to do some double digit addition or subtraction, me telling her that she needs to stop and fix the way she wrote the digit just interrupts the flow of her mathematical thinking. I do make note of it, "Oops, that 2 is turned around backwards, but I know what you meant. See if you can turn it around the other way next time." But I don't make her stop what she's doing in addition or subtraction to fix the handwriting issue. The important thing in this exercise is doing the math, not writing prettily. What could happen if I harped on the reversals is she would stop and become really upset that it's not perfect and miss the math part. She can write her numbers the right way and if she's just counting and writing down numbers I do encourage her to fix it, but she doesn't always need to do her best number-writing when something more important like math-learning is going on. That's my take on it at any rate.