Thursday, September 3, 2009
Are You Ruining Your Children? (Part One)
The answer is most definitely NOT! (Big Smile) However, I heard a statistic two years ago that just broke my heart. We found out from our state support group that one of the #1 reasons moms were putting their children back in school was because they were afraid that they would ruin their long term relationship with them.
Child training can be incredibly rewarding, but even more frustrating at times. It takes commitment and a time investment like no other. Every family is going to look different as they find what works in their home, with their children. I was recently reminded by my husband (of all people) how important it is to catch the little things today so they don’t turn into big things tomorrow. Let me humbly share my experience...,
We had decided to have a family movie evening and all gathered together in the living room to eat dinner and watch “Prince Caspian” the newest Narnia flick. It seemed to be going great until Jacob, my 7 year old son, rubbed his belly and dramatically began to tell us that his tummy hurt and he couldn’t finish his dinner. I looked at him for a minute while he stared at me with his big blue eyes. It didn’t take long for me to relent and let him off the hook.
As Jacob begins to put his dinner away my husband pauses the movie and calmly tells him, “no”, he needs finish his dinner. Trying to be the good wife, I stare at my hands as I watch my little Jacob’s face dissolve into tears. Not only does he crinkle that little nose of his, but his lip goes out and begins to quiver, he makes quiet sobbing, gulping sounds. I feel myself tense. Immediately I begin to make excuses for him. “Honey, his stomach hurts. He can’t help it.” I look over at my husband with my own little pout and there’s even a slight whine in my voice as I try to sway favor for Jacob.
Without acknowledging my intrusion my husband says, “Okay, if your belly hurts then you can go put your dinner up, brush your teeth and get in bed. If you’re not feeling well daddy wants you to lay down.” I sat there fuming. What was the big deal? I remember glaring across the couch letting him know that I thought he was too harsh. He calmly turns to me and says, “Sweetheart, Jacob doesn’t show outwardly bad behavior, but he is struggling with some pretty big heart issue’s...., lying, and manipulation". He then calmly reminded me that our job as parents it to train him up into truthfulness and integrity. He had a point, but my pride would not let me admit it.
Slowly, I begin to unwind and relax again as we watch the movie, when out of nowhere I see Jacob walking over to his daddy. He begins to apologize and tells him that he wants to eat his dinner and he’s sorry for saying his tummy hurt. My husband quietly talks with him and off Jacob goes to get his dinner. I happen to look up a little later and notice that he is sitting on his daddy’s lap. He is snuggling and happy and looks so secure and content.
I was reminded that this is an important part of our homeschooling lifestyle. I am not only training the mind to excel academically, but the heart as well. How many times do I toss a careless order over my should to behave, sit down, be quiet in the busyness of my day without really following through? I have found that Words Without Action Cause Division. It makes me frustrated with my child and my child frustrated with me. What an example my husband was as I watched him follow through. The end result was a child who loved and wanted to be with his daddy. It built trust that dad was looking out for his best interest.
As a big proponent of educational choice, I firmly believe that each family has to choose what works best for them. However, it breaks my heart that there might even be one parent who feels compelled to make a decision out of fear. There is HOPE!
Child training done in LOVE, full of patience and purpose should be the most important part of our homeschooling lifestyle. We have a unique opportunity to help our children work through their heart issue’s. It pulls me away from the phone, the t.v., making dinner or occassionally even makes you pause a movie right at the good part! (smile)
The things we don’t correct and retrain today our children will spend a lifetime working through as adults. Should you choose to go with another educational option because you feel led that it’s right for your family then I say GO FOR IT! However, I hope no one ever has to make a decision they don’t want to because of fear. You are the best parent out there for your child. No one loves them like you. No one loves you like them.
Tomorrow I am going to follow up with Part Two of this article. "Tying Heart Strings". Which is all about how to have FUN and create lifetime memories that your children will cherish and carry with them FOREVER!