As the boys get ready for school, anxiousness bubbles all around. As the school year begins, the first thing that comes to their little minds, is that they hope to be with their favourite friends in their classes. Once the boys see their class lists, they are beaming, out of the corner of my eye I notice another boy in tears. My heart breaks. His mother tries to console him and tries to maintain composure. I head to my car and pray for him, I pray that his day gets easier. This may seem like a small problem, but in their little world it is everything. Someone loses. It is like a lens is shining on my past. The new girls sits and looks around, she knows it’s up to her to find friends. Acceptance is all that she wants.
Days start to fly by, and schedules begin. Classes, try-outs, prep camps are all in motion. My boys are busy again, and I feel frazzled, as the family time starts to diminish. How can I control all of this? One activity – but seems to be taking up so much time. Is it that I am overwhelmed and is it only me? My boys seem to be full of excitement. Why is it I feel so unsettled?
It is such a fine balance, we want to support our children, but who is driving the schedule? Is it me?
The drive to be the best, to be an individual surrounds me, and overwhelms me. It is everywhere, at school, in the workplace and has become part of our culture.
Time is flying by, and I feel like I don’t know what is best. The balance is hard to achieve. I look to Him to guide me.
My goal as a parent is to develop kids that have a heart for the hurting, and realize that within they are good people, but mostly for them to be humble in their accomplishments. Perhaps this is from going through being an underdog in my childhood – being the new girl and at times feeling like I needed to build a wall up so that I could protect myself against the disappointment. Disappointment is all part of life; this is something I cannot protect my children from.
The truth is, we live in a hurting world, and disappointment helps us grow. Disappointment helps us develop if we are open to it. I know this; there have been many times where disappointment has turned into something wonderful. So why is it as parent I want so badly to protect and shelter my children from the reality? It is because I love so deeply. I love my children, and the people that surround me.
Try-outs begin for sports, and I am reminded again of disappointments and accomplishments. I see perfection in my children, as I watch them play. They are so beautifully made. So many parents looking the same, and at the same time many feeling worried for what is to become. Why? We want to shelter them from the disappointment. But is it a reflection of their ability or ours? Do you see where I am going with this? Is it our pride that is driving this?
“That is why Scripture says: God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6b
What I have discovered through this process is that our kids are oblivious to the hierarchy. They are also acutely aware of what we say and do. They would not concern themselves with the hierarchy if we were not concerned. The quest to be the best isn’t achievable. It may be temporarily, but there are always winners and losers.
The question I ask myself is what is the balance? How do I set my kids up for success while ensuring that they live a humble life?
I think the answer is simple – I model it. I have not been always the greatest model, but I strive to be humble, kind, and show my thoughts through my actions. The reality of every situation is that there will be ups and downs. It is through the downs or disappointments that we learn adversity and how to overcome it. But this has to come from within us.
I will build my children up while reminding them, at the end of the day, some will win, and some will lose. It is in their reaction to the losses that our true selves become evident.
I believe in my children, but also tell them we all have learning to do.
I recognize I am not in control, all I can control is how I choose to respond.
My choice is living in the moment, encouraging, and believing the best in everyone. Hopefully by choosing this, my children will follow.
I wish there was a manual – God knows. But there is not. One thing I do know for sure – God is in control; when I try to control life – it gets messy.
Dear Lord God,
Open my eyes to reality, lead me in my actions and reactions. Help me to be the parent my children need. Life can be chaotic, but it is through you that we achieve clarity. Help me to be humbled and to be aware of my actions and reactions. Show me YOUR way father. I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen