Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This Too Shall Pass

photo by xmatt
As many of you know we homeschool our younger two children. It’s been an amazing journey as we get to work as a family to learn about the world around us. It’s been grand reading from good books, playing with M&Ms as math manipulatives and using hikes through the woods as our primary method of learning science.

Then my daughter hit algebra and biology.

Oy vay. You’d think we were climbing Mt. Everest. I suppose in Rachel’s mind, we might as well be. See, the problem has been that prior to her sophomore year, learning came easy to her. She’s a really smart girl, scoring in the 96th percentile on nationally standardized tests.

But for the first time she’s having to really work at her studies, and unfortunately, her pride is taking a hit. I’ve spent more than my share of mornings lately dealing with frustrated tears. I feel so badly for her. And I understand perfectly.

How do you convince a child who wants to major in music in college so she can perform and open her own studio and music store that graphing the equation 2Y-1/3X = 2 after using the slope-interface formula or determining whether a parasitic bacterium is heterotrophic or autotrophic has any real-life application?

I could give the ol’ I-had-to-do-it-and-so-should-you rationale, but that wouldn’t sit well nor is it a reasonable response. Then I started thinking back on all the challenging moments of my life and what I learned from them. Here’s what I’m trying to convince my daughter of:

To get what you want you have to push through difficult and sometimes unpleasant tasks. She keeps stating that if she ever becomes president she’s going to make colleges change their requirements for science and math as part of the admissions process, because she doesn’t see the point of learning the intricacies of those two subjects. So that line of persuasion isn’t working with her. Although I’d vote for her if she ever did run for president.

Sometimes the benefit isn’t always obvious. Mastering algebraic equations and biological classification systems may not be on the top of her would-love-to-know list, but the critical thinking and problem solving skills she’s learning will carry her through life. I’m still working on making that persuasion, too. She’s not buying it, either. photo by raindrops

Pushing through the challenge is more rewarding than the attainment of the prize. The prize here being a passing test grade and completing the courses. I’m trying to convince her that it’s the journey and not the end result that matters. She doesn’t care, she hates the journey, too.

Time heals a lot of things. She only has biology and algebra this year, and then she’s done. Then there’s chemistry and geometry next year, but then she’ll be done with those. And Algebra II her senior year. Then her college general requirements will only require 2-4 semesters of science and 1-2 of math, but they’re only general courses. So, I mean, come on, she only has four or five more years of these subjects.

Keeping things in perspective helps. She’s not doing as badly as she thinks. And on top of that, a hard earned B is just as good as an easy A. Did I mention she has a hard time finding relevance in her life for algebra and biology?

God still trumps algebra and biology. In the overall scheme of things nothing is as important as God and living a life pleasing to Him {sigh}. He asks us to live with godly character and whatever we do, do as for Him and not for man {SIGH}. Therefore, do your absolute best, even in areas that are difficult {SIGH}.

I’m beginning to wonder if this parenting thing would be easier without the kids. You know what I mean?

Like Rachel with her algebra and biology, though, I’ll keep plugging away at it, hoping that what I say will have a positive impact on her life. Some days it is all about perseverance.
What do you have a tough time convincing your child of? Share it by leaving a comment.
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BPOTW said...

What great advice. My oldest daughter is only six so we're not at the frustrating part of learning yet. I like your perspective though. Kids don't really want to hear that we had to do it, so sit down and shut up. I like the idea of reasoning with them about how God wants them to look at the challenge. I just pray I remember this when we get to that level!

Thanks for submitting your post again!

Deb Burton said...

If telling my daughter that she has to do it because I had to do it would work, I'd use it. Unfortunately, I think I did too good a job of developing her critical thinking skills that I have to be really on my toes when offering persuasive argument!

Tongue in cheek advice aside, she's a smart girl who will figure it all out in time, but her godly character means more to me than any of her academic or creative accomplishments.

Thanks for stopping by Vicki!