Happy 2020! Welcome to this new year and this new decade!
Welcome to any new readers. I am a veteran homeschool mom with more than 24 years of homeschooling. I have 2 homeschool graduates and my youngest daughter is completing her final high school year. I love to encourage other homeschool parents on this amazing adventure which I am currently writing as a series of letters to my younger self. Here is the next letter to my younger self — Letter 28 ~ Compassion
I believe that compassion is the most wonderful gift you can give yourself and your children!
Compassion can be expressed as acts of kindness, caring, and support that relieve the suffering of others and ourselves.
My dearest younger self,
Do you remember those first years beginning homeschooling your young toddler together with two other moms and their children? Everything seemed so exciting, an adventure! But as soon as you started to homeschool all three of your young children on your own, you became uber-intense, focused, earnest and disciplined. You became a teacher-at-home trying to meet everyone’s expectations and afraid of all the new and unknowns of homeschooling. You lost your compassion towards yourself and this spilt over towards your young children. The results were feelings of anxiety, fear, criticism, judgement, pride … an awful mix and mess.
Mom, have compassion for yourself! You will learn the most important lesson in homeschooling — let your children lead you in their interests, abilities, passions, struggles and strengths. Eventually, you will realize that you are meant to be your children’s facilitator and not their teacher. Your homeschooling role is rather as a planner, a tutor, and a helper. Remember that homeschooling is a journey of learning and discovery of yourself, of your interests, passions, strengths and struggles too. Be kind to yourself in this journey.
Be compassionate towards your children when they struggle. Their resistance and refusal and their tears and tantrums will cause you to have serious self-doubts and fears. You may even consider giving up.
Learn to use the word “YET” and encourage yourself and your children to say “I don’t know how to …. yet …” and give yourselves the time and space and grace to learn and overcome.
Allow your children to be different and unique. They are to become themselves and not a clone of yourself. They may shock or embarrass you and you may wish they were different, but you are the perfect parent for this incredible person with all their flaws, faults, failings, fears and fabulous uniqueness. When you find yourself in this situation, ask the Lord to show you your child through His eyes. He will reveal the amazing person that they are! Learn to love this wonderful individual with compassion, not fear.
Learn to never compare! Comparing your child or yourself with anyone will always be negative because you will either become proud or feel depressed. You will always find someone better or worse than you or your child, so this cannot be a measure or bring any security. Be brave to accept who and what you and your children are and focus on their strengths rather than weaknesses. This is compassion.
Most parents that are unable to accept the ugly or unattractive qualities in themselves will struggle to be loving and gracious to a child who displays similar traits. Mom, have compassion for yourself so that you can love and accept your children without judgement. When something in your character no longer serves you and your family, it is time to work on it and find another way. Be kind to yourself as you release these issues and work towards becoming a more whole and healed person. This will take a lifetime, so be compassionate.
Homeschooling is simply the tool the Lord is using to bring these things to light. Trust Him to help you work through your faults and failings. Only then can you help your child. Your new living way offers a new way for your children. Invest in this personal growth as it equips you as a parent to grow your children. This is where having an older woman or mentor can really help.
During those days when you feel like giving up or giving in, you will cry out to the Lord for grace and wisdom and He will come through for you and your children time and time again.
The Lord is your comfort and strength. He will show you another way, a new beginning, a fresh hope. He is the God of lovingkindness and compassion. And with the same comfort that you receive from Him, you will be able to share with others.
With compassionate and tender love, Nadene
I’d love to hear your views and thoughts on this topic! Would you share yours in the comments below?
In case you missed any of my previous “Letters To Me” in this series:
- 1 Learning Not School
- 2 Ideals and Compromise
- 3 Unique Individuals
- 4 Toddlers
- 5 Let Be
- 6 Husband
- 7 Action
- 8 Friends
- 9 Wait
- 10 Come to Pass
- 11 Teens
- 12 Casual Classical Music
- 13 Dare to be Different
- 14 Send Homeschooler To School?
- 15 On Track
- 16 Don’t kill it!
- 17 Perfectionism
- 18 Memories
- 19 Have Fun!
- 20 Trust God
- 21 Time
- 22 Striving
- 23 Fears
- 24 Failure
- 25 Change
- 26 True Skills
- 27 Creativity