Taking a Breath

I’ve been reading some books lately on parenting and teaching my kids.  It’s like I have taken a deep breath in and then slowly released it.  And with the release, I am feeling much better.

I don’t have the time or the ability at this point to articulate all that I’m thinking…nor do I think most of you would want to know.

However, I will say that today I was reading to the girls about India and their caste system.  They were not interested.  They were wiggling all around, doodling on random paper, and generally just not paying attention.  I tried to redirect them a couple of times and then I took a deep breath.

Normally, I would have said harshly, “Now listen.  I am your teacher.  And if you don’t learn from me, you will have to go some where where you will listen.  I am not putting up with this.  Sit still and listen.”

And they would have put on a good show.  Sitting still.  Pretending to be listening.

I would have finished reading, asked a couple of questions and probably given them the answers because, like I said, they weren’t listening. But I would have checked my box for reading them the chapter of History.

And it wouldn’t have meant a thing.

So back to that deep breath.

“Ok, girlies.  I can see that this isn’t going to work.  So, here’s the plan.  You two are responsible for teaching your dad about India–it’s caste system and whatever else you learn after you read this chapter.  Ok?  You’ll need to draw a diagram or something and figure out what all you are going to say.  Don’t come out until you are ready.  Love you!”

And out I went.  I vacuumed, dusted, and cleaned downstairs.

photoThey worked on their assignment.  It didn’t take them terribly long.  Ruby was more studious.  Molly did the least she could and then left Ruby to finish.

You might wonder, “Are you ok with that?”

Well, Molly is likely to be embarrassed tonight as she and Ruby “teach” their dad.  Ruby will be more prepared.

Now, Molly may not care at all that she isn’t prepared.  I’m ok with that, too.  It is just a reminder to me that I have some work to do in teaching her how to love to learn.  It won’t help if I am barking orders and telling her how bad she is for not applying herself.  She is 7.  We will work on it as we continue to do life here day in and day out.

In one of my parenting books I came across a quote that I love, love, love.  It’s another one of those deep breaths.  I am not responsible for my children’s entertainment.  They have played so much better now that I have established that I am not going to figure out something for them to do.  They know that when they come to me and say, “I’m bored!!!,” they will likely hear this:

photo copy

Isn’t that great?  And it is true!  They have done so well at PLAYING together and figuring out something fun to do or even reading.  I love it!  And I do things I need and want to do…like reading!

There is much more running around my thoughts, but for now, that is where I will leave it.  Somebody has got to cook.  And for now, that is me.  Pretty soon I’d like to see my kids doing the cooking.  Now that would be the start of something wonderful!!



Leave a Reply