I love to share what works here on Practical Pages, and I admit that I often only seem to showcase the best sharable moments, but of course, I am not supermom and things often are less than perfect!
Here’s another in the series of “Getting Real” posts ~ Tears
Some children cry more than others.
Some school subjects produce more tears than others.
But as a school teacher I seldom had children cry in my classroom. As a homeschool mom, especially in those early years, my children often burst into tears or sat silently weeping during school, and I cried buckets too!
I think it is because at home, we are emotionally connected and we feel safe enough to express our fears and be more vulnerable. There are also relationships where children operate and manipulate with tears. But that is another story.
Tears is often an overflow frustration and fears. Difficult work, challenges, struggles, anger, resentment, and not knowing another way often trigger tears. As homeschool moms, we need to create an environment where children are encouraged to express these feelings in words and we need to be able to reflect these emotions back to our children and help them figure out another approach.
My youngest child would burst into tears when she was overwhelmed by too much work. She hated to see the year plan or the “bird’s-eye-view” of the curriculum. She could only cope with the day’s timetable and perhaps the next few days. I learnt to shield her from seeing the full picture, and help her break down her work into manageable bite-sized pieces. Also, I learnt not to put pressure on the pace of the work, but to provide extra time in her schedule to allow her complete her work without stress.
My sensitive child cried simply because she felt her work wasn’t perfect enough. This was in her own head, not due to pressures from my hubby or myself. She hated making mistakes and would weep when her answers were incorrect. We decided to let her use a whiteboard marker or pencil instead of pen so that she could easily erase mistakes. We also gave her more time to do her work slowly and carefully and learnt not to rush her. We told her that we were proud of her efforts and that we did not expect her work to be perfect.
My children cried in some of their art lessons! As an art teacher, this was very upsetting for me, but I understood that they experienced frustration in their expectations and their lack of skills to achieve the results they hope for. It helps to break the art project into more manageable bits and assist them working through the creative block or the skills needed. Some lessons we modified completely, changed the medium, focused on the process rather than the outcome.
For my high school teen, Maths was an evil that caused her to shut down mentally and leak emotionally. The only way I could help was to find the very simplest Maths course and hold her hand and literally do the entire course for and eventually with her before she finally managed to do the work on her own. It took a whole year to arrive at the final stage.
I also had some seasons of tears, simply because of the stress and frustration of trying to teach all three children and try to meet everyone’s needs and expectations. I did not always cry in front on my children, but often with my hubby at night, when I described my or a child’s struggles and frustrations. I often felt like a failure and I just didn’t know how to approach our schooling differently, or help a child through their issues and crisis. It really helped to talk with him or another sympathetic parent to find some clarity and hope. I always found prayer to be a huge help. I would search the Word and trust the Lord for wisdom and grace.
So, here’s huge hugs to those moms struggling with weeping children or who may be sitting in tears themselves. You are not alone and I hope that you find the grace, wisdom and strength to dry off your tears and keep going.
Please note that I do not judge myself or them or others for the pains that come with struggles and growth. I wish to share these “real” moments so that you do not feel alone or a failure if you experience similar struggles. Please feel free to share your experiences or advice in the comments.
Blessings and grace in those real moments,