1. First Things First
I wasn't very many days into homeschooling, when I realized that I had a problem. I was trying to teach my daughter to read. I knew that she knew the alphabet - she could recognize and name the letters, but putting them together didn't seem to make sense to her. II decided to call a friend from church – a kindergarten teacher.
She asked, “Does she know the sounds the letters make?” Um, no, don't think so. So, I taught her the sounds. This makes perfect sense. We teach our children the dog says 'woof', the cat says 'meow', the cow says 'moo' and so on. Why didn't I teach her the sounds of the letters? Who knows? But, when I did, she became a whizz-bang reader! Quite a voracious reader. So thanks, Teresa, for that excellent advice. You helped make Hannah the brilliant adult she is today (maybe I'm slightly biased?) Also, I learned not to skip steps and do the first thing, first.
2. This Too Shall Pass
The first time my wonderful mentor, Roberta, said this to me, I thought, “How trite.” But she was right. My oldest child was 6 or 7 years old, so I probably had 4 children at the time. I can’t remember what my concern was at the time. Maybe it was about potty training boys; maybe it was about schooling my reluctant second child - I can’t remember. But, I have discovered that she was right; “it” did pass and it wasn't that big of a deal. As I have grown older, I have learned that “this too shall pass”. Whatever I might be worrying or complaining about will pass and it really is not that big of an issue.
3. You Are the Mother
While discussing the plans (or lack of) of my high school senior son one day, my friend Carol said, “Tell him he has to go to college.”
“Wait? What? I can do that?”
“Yes. You are his mother.”
Ok. So I did tell him that. And also told him, “You have to declare a major. I don't care if you change it later, but you must declare one.”
And he did. He went to college, and he declared a major, and he received excellent scholarships, and he graduated with honors.
I think he would tell you it was great advice, too.
Sometimes our children are paralyzed by decision making and they just need us to do it for them. That is what I learned. I think they are a little relieved when we do, unless they have specific plans.
4. They are not now what they will be when they are 35
When our young adult children seem to be floundering a little or making decisions that leave you shaking your head in bewilderment, we would do well to heed the advice of my friend Kay. I have a lot of children, so she reminds me of this frequently - they are not now what they will be when they are 35. It is true.
Only God knows the path our children need to take to mold them for His use. Truthfully, this could apply to all of us.
I think we can all look back at ourselves or friends, acquaintances, and classmates and marvel at where God has grown us.
We are not now what we will be. Thank God.
What is some of the best/most helpful advice you have received?