The Homeschool Minute ~ Diana Waring – My Child Said What?!
There is so much about parenting that leaves us gasping for breath, isn’t there?
Things our kids say, things they do, things they suggest. It is breathtaking–literally sucked right out of your mouth on the spot. I know, because I raised three kids.
And, here is what I have learned. Lighten up. Laugh a lot. Ponder the practical wisdom in the Apostle Paul’s words, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.”
So, with that in mind, let’s consider a few scenarios:
Your wonderful child, taught in your home, loved and cherished, suddenly blurts out, “I HATE school!”
Gulp. What do you do?
Well, if you are like me, and you hear this from your child, as I did, you stop yourself from reacting to the personal affront. (I wish I had heard that advice!!) Instead, you gently begin to query your child to find out what aspect of homeschool they hate.
In my case, my high school son was REALLY missing having interaction with others as he was doing work. I had reasoned to myself that he was now old enough to take the stack of books to his own room and do his own work, but, as a thorough-going people person, it was draining him dry. Once we figured out what the problem was, the solution was in sight: do at least some of the work in my presence, with my interaction.
You sweet child opens her mouth and says a word that has never been heard in your home, one that shocks your in-laws who happen to be sitting at your dining room table.
Gulp. What do you do?
Well, if that is NOT a word used by folks in your family, then your dear daughter probably picked it up from a friend, a neighbor, or a television show heard at your in-laws house! And, 9 times out of 10, she has NO idea what the word means. So, instead of coming unglued, gently take her into a private room and lovingly ask her some questions. Find out where she heard the word, in what context it was used, and then gently explain why it is a word that is not used in your family. Talk with her about how amazing language is, and how we want to use the very best words available to us–not the worst ones!
(If it IS a word used in your family, then the responsibility lies at the door of the adults using it. Don’t punish a child for a word she hears used by the adults in her life.)
The scenarios could go on and on, couldn’t they? The responses look very similar:
Stop before you say anything damaging.
Gently ask questions.
Respond with kindness.
Even if your parents didn’t do that for you, you can have this incredibly good response for your kids. It makes a HUGE difference.
Remember, stay relational!
P.S. We are excited to be at SHEM in Springfield, Missouri, this weekend. I will be doing some of my favorite workshops at this conference, along with the two new workshops with Dr. Jay Wile: “I Didn’t See That Coming” and “Arguing to Learn.” Be sure to come by our booth to sign up for a chance to win our soon-to-be-released products, America, Westward Ho! and Musical Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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