How hard do I push?
I know I owe every one the last part to my funny story about Hollywood and that will come soon. I needed to share what was on my heart right now. My daughter is in the middle of writing her 7th grade country report. I drop her off at school today with her 6-page draft, her bibliography page and her 40 index cards, all which were done with both of our sweat and tears and maybe even some blood. As I wait in a starbucks line to order my coffee, I am pleasantly surprised by a fellow mom whose son is in my daughter's class. She inmediately spills out with all of the anxiety and stress this report is causing her. She goes on to share the issues with her son's attitude and poor work ethic, I listen intently as I am thinking "Thank God I am not alone!"
THE "AHA" MOMENT
As we sit for a minute, she spills her grievances on me, pauses, I dump on her, and so on; we both realize the problem is not the report or our "lazy" 7th graders. The problem lies in our hearts as mothers. As we listen to each other and ourselves, we both realize that we aren't pushing for our kids to do their best, we are pushing for them to do "our" best. In my case, it has stolen the peace that once existed between my lovely daughter and me; as well as, causing me to take out my frustrations on the others in the house, this isn't good. I want to be loving and nurturing, understanding and firm at the same time. So we prayed together, a little for our kids, alot for us and our attitudes. I need to be okay if my daughter gets a "C" as long as that "C" was earned with all she had, without selling her soul of course!
As a youth leader, I always knew that relationship, mental and emotional balance needs to be a priority over having a super star student who gets staight As and is in every honor class in the book. Of course, I am going to encourage and lovingly (keyword here: LOVINGLY) push my daughter to do her best (another keyword: HER). I will teach her that laziness leads to poverty in many areas of our life, I will show her that God has given her gifts, talents and a brain that must be used and strengthened, but more importantly, I want to teach her the importance of loving God with all of her heart, soul and mind, I want to teach her to respect God, her parents, and others. I want to teach her that giving is so much better than receiving; to have Jesus' eyes, ears, heart whereever she goes. If I yell, push, threaten, scream over things that really aren't as important such as a spotless room, straight As, perfectly combed hair, she will get weary of my voice and demands. This will cause her to shut down and closing the door to her heart, making her unable to receive the important and valuable lessons that will make her a true woman of influence and example.
Oh, I know too many people that were perfect students, successful in everything they did, yet their hearts are lacking, unable to love and respect others. This is not what I want for my children.
May the Lord help me find balance in this new season of the 7th grade!