Rejecting the Checklists

Young woman meditating with open arms standing in fresh spring gI don’t really think of myself as a rebel, but as I look back over the years my husband and I have parented, I have to admit that it sure looks like it!  Growing up I was a list checker and tended to think inside the box.  However, some combination of marriage and children and maturity quickly shoved me outside the box and beyond the confines of comfortable. 

I realized that my sweet little boy who loved to please me could be incredibly stubborn about his environment, the things he learned, and how he learned them.  My happy little girl had a will of iron and was not at all interested in how other people did things.

And so began the madcap adventure of breaking the rules, living true to who we were, and insisting on a life outside the gerbil wheel.  It wasn’t easy.  I wasn’t sure what the consequences would be.  I wasn’t even sure all this was headed.

All I knew was that these amazing little personalities that God entrusted to my care were worth the risk.  I knew I had to let them blossom in their own way and in their own time.

There is no book or website or forum out there that can delineate the steps to success or even define what that means for your family.  The book is being written day by day in your house.  Remember that.

It breaks my heart when families begin to panic in high school over what it will take to get to college.  They’ve been told:  a national win, 12 AP classes, 20 different activities, Gold Congressional Award, etc. When one person is successful, they turn around and make checklists of what everyone else needs to do to replicate their achievement.  The problem is that everyone believes them.

I’m here to tell you that AP isn’t always the best option, that quality activities are more important than quantity, that creating can trump volunteering.  It all depends on the child, their goals, and the values of that particular family.

In the heady newness of spring’s rebirth, I invite you to take a fresh look at what you do and how you do it.

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