The (in)courage giveaway will be coming! Due to issues with my blog and circumstances beyond my control, I’m not able to post it now, as earlier promised, but I will as soon as it’s possible! I appreciate your patience and understanding:)
Did it just happen? Did it happen overnight? What were things that we, as parents, did to help and train her? What were some keys that unlocked her motivation, and helped her develop discipline. What changed our distracted dawdler, who had difficulty finishing anything, into an Awesome Accomplished Achiever, who is a motivated leader and finisher of tasks?
This isn’t an exhaustive list, or the only way. Picture me, just another mom, sitting on the sofa next to you, with our coffee in hand, (and our chocolates on the table:) talking about what helped with our daughter.
May I give you some hope? Some suggestions?
- Keep on. Keep on. Keep on. And Don’t give up.
- Surround her with structure, and give a foundation of discipline on which she can build her house of creativity.
- Continue to be an example to follow.
- Do not grow weary in well-doing. Don’t explode, say angry words, vent your frustration, or rail on her.
- Love her: 1 Corinthians 13 says, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind…Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Have the vision to believe in what she will become.
- Give her bits, and little bits more, to accomplish, and praise completion.
- Memorize appropriate Scripture with her.
- Praise improvement, don’t expect perfection.
- Don’t overwhelm her with instructions.
- Find her best method of learning–her learning style–and use it to motivate and communicate with her; to teach her truth, and, if you’re Homeschooling, to help her with her schooling. (We had an auditory learner who loved music: her learning style was to be less distracted if there was music playing in the background while she worked or studied.)
- Allow her to use her creativity when possible; don’t squash her ideas because they’re different than the way you think or would do it.
- Read God’s Word, listen to classical music, give her piano lessons, (these are the best for training the mind to think in an orderly manner).
- Help her by showing her how to put things in order. Demonstrate, teach, train, show her how it will benefit her. (Kelsey enjoyed receiving letters and saved them: keeping them orderly meant that I would allow her to keep them and she could find the one she wanted.)
- Surround her with companions who are excellent workers, and teach her how to do well the things you expect her to do. Do not think anything “should be obvious to her.” For instance, if she is responsible for helping clean up the kitchen, make a list of everything she is expected to do in order to be “done.” Then show her how to do the job, and retrain when the level of excellence falls. Inspect what you expect. (Again, here is a time when our daughter did better work if there was cheerful music playing.)
- Never assume. She honestly doesn’t know how and she really did forget.
- Pray, pray, pray some more. Be on your knees for her (and for all your children).
- Expect God to do a mighty work in her (and in all your children). Expect the best, and verbally bless her with predictions of good things for her future. (Be honest. When she wanted to tell our little neighbor boy about the Lord, I told her that God was going to use her desire to tell others about Him in a mighty way in her life, and that He had made her just the way she was and He was so pleased with her.)
- When you have trouble loving her, ask God to love her through you, and to show you how best to teach and train her.
- Value her spiritual maturity, wisdom and love for the Lord more than her organization, academic excellence or ability to complete a task. Wisdom is the principal thing.
- Do not be selfishly thinking about how she has embarrassed you, or will. This is not about you. Expect the best, remember the work is a “work in progress,” so don’t make any final judgments–she’s a little girl. Don’t ever predict failure for her, or tell her that she will “never” do, or be, or be able to ___.
- Picture success, accomplishment, and a bright future for her in word pictures.
- Make analogies to what she is interested in.
Our daughter loved horses. When she was 10-13 years of age, she was able to attend a Horse Day camp. When she would have difficulty with a horse, often there was a “teaching opportunity” about character. She was able to come up with the lesson herself. All I had to do was ask appropriate questions, and show her the analogy between the horse and herself.
God created her with specific strengths and a particular personality, but He intended her to have her impulses to run, her natural bent and desires “reined in,” and for her to be under the authority of her parents and God.
If a horse does not allow its strength and power to be controlled and directed, it will not be useful for any good thing. It is beautiful. It may have phenomenal abilities (it may be able to run like the wind). But, it must be willing to receive a bit and bridle, and follow the guidance and direction it receives through the slightest movement of its Master. A great horse does not decide for itself what it will do, but it is obedient to the wishes of its Master. Like that beautiful creature, she would learn that obedience and submission were the keys to a wonderful relationship and usefulness for accomplishing the purposes of its Master.
What was our daughter like at different ages and stages?
How did we work with her and what worked?
Come back tomorrow to find out.