Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Life With Kids

My toddler recently picked up a charming habit. A high pitched screech whenever the mood strikes (which is roughly every 10 seconds.). Quite different from a non verbal child's screech, this kid is quite capable of verbalizing emotions (she just told me she was "starving" and that her baby sister was "adorable.") Her screech is just something she's playing with lately. It also may just drive me stark raving mad.

We have a new chore chart and while the kids are doing pretty well with it, I still have to remind and remind and remind and remind them to do their work. All while doing my own work. The effect is near chaos much of the time. Sometimes it's just simply easier to do it myself then to extract a child from some outside pretend play and drag them inside to finish a job that was 98% done. It's a balance I'm still finding. Grace versus holding someone to an unrelenting standard.

That may be the tension that life with kids is always about. When to draw a line in the sand. When to come along side. When to just turn them loose and handle it yourself. With a mix of ages and stages, needs and requirements, it can all get a little bit knotted up. It can make me feel like I'm losing my mind. It can be tempting to have a set plan that never changes, but I've noticed something about life: It doesn't work out like that.

Babies who once slept through the night at one stage suddenly don't. Older kids who were once cheerful and helpful start to push back a little. While it can make me feel a little schizophrenic, the truth about raising kids is that you are raising people. And people are fluid in so many ways. I know that my feelings and needs vary from day to day - and it stands to reason that is true of my children as well.

A friend asked me yesterday how I dealt with a certain issue in our homeschool. I talked for a little bit before realizing I was giving her the verbal equivalent to a shrug. Because, honestly? I don't know. Having encountered the problem probably a zillion times, I still didn't know how to change it. Maybe that's the answer. You can't change it, you can only figure out what your response is today. Right now.

That's not to say that I don't believe in consistency. Of course I do. But sometimes the constant is just this: Love. Peace. Comfort. Strength.

And the wisdom to figure out how to get there this time around.

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