When children approach their adolescent years, they sometimes revert to their terrible twos as they exert their independence and question our authority. This becomes an important time to work on the third degree of obedience: full submission of one’s judgement, for this is when obedience really becomes virtuous.
In last week’s post, I touched on the importance of teaching our children to obey. We homeschool moms are keenly aware of the necessity of obedience, for without it not much learning takes place and the home deteriorates into a battle zone. Indeed, several moms tell me they are reluctant to homeschool because their kids won’t listen to them. The reality is that many of us struggle with getting our children to do their work promptly, responsibly, and without whining or complaining. Teaching our children to obey well takes a lot of patience and consistency, and it takes a lot of prayer. But the good news is that homeschooling provides us with ample opportunities to grow in those virtues and it gives our children lots of practice in obedience.
Do you ever have times when your children’s behavior is baffling? Last summer, All-Star threw a foosball at our sliding glass window on purpose. His aim was shattering. Why an intelligent, well-behaved boy would throw a hard foosball at a glass window on purpose, I’ll never know. He never gave me a reasonable explaination for what he did, at least not one that I could comprehend.
Understanding our children can be one of the most mystifying aspects of being a parent. There are times when our children’s behavior or words leave us perplexed and confused: a daughter who bursts into tears when you mention the weather, a son who becomes sullen and dejected for no apparent reason, or a healthy child who pretends to be sick. Try as we might to understand their motives and thought-process (or lack thereof!), we are sometimes left baffled and bewildered. And this can be frustrating because we want to help our children, but without understanding, we do not know how to deal with the situation.
One of the beautiful things I relish about our Catholic Church is how we celebrate the Liturgical year. This year, I love how the end of the Easter Season overlaps with the month of May, the month dedicated to honoring Our Blessed Mother. Surely this is part of God’s plan. He wants us to look to Mary, who willingly suffered with her Son every step of the Passion, and thus played a key role in the redemption of mankind. Mary is our co-redemtrix and our Queen, and it is right that we give her our honor and praise.
Outside of our house the azaleas are in full bloom, the tulips have come up, and the warm weather beckons my children to study and play outside. It’s spring. Yay! And so it’s that time of year when I begin to plan next year’s curriculum. Double Yay! Planning curriculum is one of my favorite things to do. That’s when I dream of all the wonderful things my children will learn and all the delightful books we will read aloud together. Eight years of homeschooling has not dimmed my enthusiasm for planning and curriculum. But they have taught me some hard-learned lessons which keep me grounded in reality even while I dream of all the promise and potential that a new school year holds.