Monday, April 12, 2010

A Word To the Wise Is Sufficient

I am a homeschooler, but I sometimes have my doubts as to whether I am doing an adequate job, much less a good one.  At the end of the year, when Christine and I sit across from her evaluator my confidence returns; looking over the field trips, classical readings, and test scores reminds me of the time and effort we have put into her education.  It reminds me, too of the fun we've had.  Christine and I share a special bond that I don't believe would exist had we not spent so many hours together talking, laughing and learning. 

Steven and I had the same relationship but somewhere along the line boundaries became blurred and he began to see me as his equal instead of his authority.  Even close relationships suffer when boundaries are not established or respected.  When Scott and I became parents together, we worked to reclaim some territory, but reclaiming territory is never as easy as just holding onto it in the first place; Steven's age and independence, plus a few well-meaning adults, aided and abetted his "escape" from true maturity.  Christine however, was stuck.  Praise God.  Together Scott and I have established clear boundaries for Christine -- boundaries she has grown to appreciate.  (Understand I AM NOT boasting, except in the power and grace of God for sending me a wonderful man like Scott, and for working with mercy and grace in our lives.)  She understands that boundaries help her grow and develop self-respect.  She understands that boundaries as a young adult will make her a better woman, mother, spouse, employee or employer; they will bring her success, whether they are boundaries she respects or boundaries she establishes.

This is something we are working hard to teach the younger children.  Joe, like Steven, has rejected our rules.  He doesn't like to eat what's on the table.  He doesn't like that he is no longer allowed to fall asleep to the television, or sit for hours in his room playing video games, or texting while it is "family time."  He doesn't like being told to shower regularly, or clean his room, or fold his clothes, or have compassion or charity toward others.  Joe likes it when it is all about Joe.  What he and those who would support his "game" fail to realize is, rules are all about Joe; they are all about what's best for him.  They are all about growing and developing him into a strong, independent, successful individual.  Those who try so hard to "protect" Joe from growing up do so selfishly -- keeping him a child, or currying his favor by capitulating to his every whim, or using him to fill the emptiness in their own lives.  Ask me how I know.  These are the same mistakes I made with Steven.  They say those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it; I am determined to learn, if not for myself, for the sake of my children and step-children.  I realize there may be only so much we can do to prevent Joe and his "sponsors" from making the same mistakes Steven and I made, but Scott and I know there is One greater than any rebellion and it is to Him we pray.
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