If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not My Normal Thought Pattern

I had 2 conversations and an object lesson along a similar topic yesterday that got me thinking.  My instinct as a mom is to protect and shelter my children.  I consider things like homeschooling for all the wrong reasons.  I don't feel called to it but I do want to protect my kids from those "other children" who might do them harm.  

I was talking to a friend yesterday about how I have to allow my kids to experience life outside my protection and be exposed to electronics, the internet, "those other kids", and all the things that I wish weren't a part of their life but must be if they are going to function some day as successful adults.  A few hours later I was working with Jack on a pumpkin project that he was dreading.  The boy hates homework and even if it is decorating a pumpkin, he is going to fight it.  What should have been an enjoyable time together turned into me (God forbid) making him decorate a pumpkin while I lectured him about his attitude.

An hour or so later I was venting to a friend and mentor about my frustrations from the pumpkin project and she said something that made me think.  She suggested that maybe I should have just let him do it and if he didn't that I should let him fail.  Can I just go ahead and confess that my first thought was, "but then what would his teacher think of ME?"  Yes I am that bad.

But she has a great point.  In the same way that my instinct is to protect my child from all of the outside influences that might hurt him, do I also protect him from some very important lessons like failure?   She made another good point that it is better for him to fail now then to learn that lesson in high school when it goes on a transcript.

So as I think of this more, I actually think I am going to look now for opportunities to let my kids fail.  I know that is SO NOT MY NORMAL THOUGHT PATTERN, but I think it is good.  You see I am not just going to let them fail, but I am also going to be armed and ready to use that time to teach them about things like humility and how to recover well so when they fail again and I am not around, they will (Lord willing) have what it takes to survive and be stronger on the other side.  Okay friends are you with me?  Let's go help our kids fail and fail well!  :)

4 comments:

Brooke said...

haha! Love it! You sound like a fantastic Mommy!! Glad to be following along your life journey! :)

Rachel said...

Ginny you and I are so much alike it is scary! I read a book that I bought at a Ron Deal parenting conference at our old church. I think it was called "How to Make Your Kids Mind Without Losing Yours" not sure if I have that exactly right....so sorry to the author if I don't---can't find the book right now... anyway there was a big section in that book about "natural consequences" and this is exactly what you are talking about with Jack. I have thought of that same thing so many times and what would happen if I applied this man's theory (which is incredibly successful if you have the heart to follow through with it)....I just don't think I can! I have applied this with little things such as....Luke refusing to put on his shoes, make him go without to the store and then read him the sign that said no shoes no service or whatever it was (I might have pretended that sign was there---I will neither confirm or deny this....) I said, "oh I'm sorry Luke you can't go in because you don't have shoes. I guess I will have to leave you outside while we go in. See you in a while and make sure not to go with strangers.....of course I did not actually leave him there it didn't get that far... Guess what, he never refused to put on his shoes again. This is the same type of technique. I have had mornings where we would be very late (the kids would be very tardy) if I wasn't following them around practically doing everything for them. According to this author, who has actually done these things, I should let them be very late and write a note that says that they are late and whatever the consequences are at school for being late they should get----conduct mark or whatever (oh no!) that would be devestating for them! I haven't had the nerve or heart to do that, but what if....would I forever after have kids that automatically do what is required of them in the morning? The thing is, not only can I not stand to see them upset or hurt, I worry about what the teacher or store clerk or anyone else witnessing any of these natural consequences will think about ME as a mom. I shouldn't but I do. We all do---it wouldn't be normal not to! This pumpkin thing---don't even get me started. I love how the note says WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO HELP WITH THIS..... yeah okay....so....whose assignment is it and what if I don't?ha! Anyway I have the same thoughts about homeschooling for the same reasons and many manhy many other thoughts you express. I feel more normal now knowing another mom feels the same way and she is "normal" and always seems to have it together. I feel the opposite most of the time! Good luck with the pumpkin....what character did he pick just ut of curiosity? hehe....

Teri said...

Amazing...how I feel this way all the time. I worry too about the "me" in them and how that will reflect on me rather it be their clothes, assigments etc...You are so right about letting them fail...all that love and logic...so I am with you!

Holly S. said...

I love this. One of the things I love about you is your honesty. Thanks for being so honest. Eventhough I homeschool, my kids have plenty of opportunity to fail. I just hope I can take advantage of those times and teach them a godly response to failure. I wish I had learned to fail in a godly way. It would make life easier. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

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