(Jamie's note: Just a reminder to work on your 30-minute post for Tuesday's Blog Challenge. See you then!)
The following is a guest post written by Catherine of Coping101.
As a parent of a child with cancer my perspective is often skewed, sometimes to my detriment.
Lately I have been fretting over my son's academic progress. Did missing nearly 25% of kindergarten affect him more than I realize? How much more would he comprehend if he had not already had four years of chemotherapy?
We can’t help wanting our children to succeed and have a good school experience. We want what is best for them, but deep down inside we don’t really want to be "the mom of the kid who struggles in school."
Fall is by far my favorite time of year. I spend lots of time outside soaking up the Colorado sun and color. While out for a run a few days ago I started thinking about the similarities of kids to the leaves on the trees.
Think of the trees in fall: Some are still bright vibrant green, some are changing colors, and some have already lost their leaves. Even on the same branch some leaves are green, some yellow and some brown. Each leaf has its own time frame for growth and change.
The tree is its support but ultimately the leaves will grow, change and fall off at individual times. Similarly, you are there to support your children and help them along the way. At some point however you must realize that they too will do their own thing at their own time.
The Green Trees
The trees that stay green longer might need more time, more sunlight or more moisture to make the transition into fall. Just like the trees, our kids will grow and learn at different paces.
They will learn to read, write, and do long division in time. It just might not be as soon as others.
The bright red trees are hard to miss. They are bright, beautiful and change colors right when they should. They are predictable--so much so people travel from afar to see their colors. I think every child has his or her “red tree” time in life.
They shine, find their stride and come into their own. It will be different for everyone, but eventually they will be bright, beautiful and right on track.
The Naked Trees
These trees have lost their leaves before other trees. They may have been subject to a storm or colder temperatures. They may just be the type of tree that welcomes autumn early. Again, some kids will do things earlier than other kids.
Some may just be more advanced in certain phases of life.
As our children grow we have to keep in mind that with the right love, support and nourishment they will succeed.
Not every child will be a neurosurgeon or a lawyer. Most, however, learn to read, write and become productive members of society.
Finding the right way to support your children can be daunting. Making sure you are not putting too much pressure on them while still challenging them is no easy task.
By realizing that they will grow and develop at their own pace you are already doing them (and you) a great service.
Being a mom is by far the most humbling experience I have had. Each child is so different and individual--it is important to realize that while they may struggle along the way, eventually they will prevail.
They, like the trees, when given time, will do what God intended them to do.
How do you keep your perspective intact when it comes to evaluating your children and helping them grow?
***Catherine Bernard is a mother of three children and the author of So Now What: Seven Ideas for Coping with the Unexpected in Life. She writes and manages Coping 101, sharing her ideas about how to cope in a healthy way with life's stress.***