He comes out of school smiling now.
I know the answer before I ask it, “How was your day?”
I pull him close and ruffle his hair, but not too close, he’s a 5th grader and has an image these days.
On one of these good days, he stops and I squint at him in the sun, “Thanks, Mom.”
I ask for what and he says, “you know.”
And I do know.
We both remember how hard last year was-how his confidence was at an all-time low, beaten down by bullying peers and demanding work load. He was sullen and angry. He dreaded school. I feared we were losing a part of him to a world that can be harsh at times. We moved to a smaller town and school for so many reasons, but we both knew this was one of them.
But even months later when he confided, “I just want to be good at something,” we knew he was discouraged and trying to find his way. What we really heard was a boy who longed to be more confidant. We have been searching for the key to unlock his esteem. Between moving, his God-appointed teacher and a new love, archery, we have seen profound changes.
His teacher pulls me aside, “Your son is a smart kid. He’s a great kid.” She’s not telling me something I don’t know, but she tells him this and he believes her. I thank God for this Marine-turned-teacher every day. She laughs and says, “He’s a talker though. Boy, does he love to talk.”
I smile because I know he talks out of confidence. He is comfortable in his own skin again. He feels safe.
After homework, he heads to the backyard to shoot his bow. He’s a good marksmen. It doesn’t matter if he’s the best or even above average, he feels like he is and that’s all that matters. I watch thru the window and see the arrow land in the middle of the bullseye.
He turns towards the window to see if I’m watching.
6 Ways to Help Your Children Find Their Way:
- Listen to what they aren’t saying: Are their grades failing? Are they angry, depressed, down on themselves? Kids don’t always communicate with words.
- Let them fail: Oh this is a hard one. But they never really understand success if they haven’t tasted failure.
- Encourage them to try new things: Not every boy will be a football player and every girl a cheerleader. We live in a competitive society where people have enough money to help kids perfect their skills.
- Reevaluate: I’m not a homeschool mom (yet). But we decided a long time ago to evaluate education for each of our children every year. We are open to whatever our kids need and it might not always be public school.
- Be there: I have this overwhelming urge to fix things for my kids and I’ve learned this usually makes situations more broken. While I can’t stop them from falling, I can be there to help them get up.
- Pray: It seems trite, but I believe we have seen a difference because of prayer. We asked God to lead us to the right school and to provide the right teacher. He did both and that’s no accident.