Monday, June 11, 2012

The Warped Hierarchy

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If you have more than one child, you know that each child is different.  In my case, of my four children, I have three that love to play team sports and one who prefers individual sports.  I have one who loves to sew, three who love babies, one who loves to bake, and one who can fix anything. I could give more examples, but if you are a mom, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Our children are not only different in their preferences, but also in that which they excel.

Which leads me to one of my greatest frustrations when it comes to raising our children.  Some kids are very academic and do well on tests without even studying.  Other kids can take something apart and put it back together just right, and yet struggle to get good grades.  Some kids have the warmest hearts and are always thinking of others, but their report cards tell them that they aren't one of the "smart" ones.

Why are we so quick to judge our child's worth on academic test scores and grades?  Or perhaps we judge them on their athletic prowess or musical giftedness? Why don't we realize that there are different types of gifts and we should value equally the gifts our children are given? Of course, academics, sports, and music are important and I firmly believe we need to teach our children to always do the best they can do.  But I never want my child to believe that they were less valuable just because they struggled with test grades or to make a goal on the soccer field.

Our children are judged severely in their growing up years on their grades, their athletic ability, and even their musical talent. This leaves many children stranded in our school system.  They may not be good at any of these things but instead have amazing mechanical ability, logic skills, or a magical touch with babies or animals.

This warped hierarchy is one of the reasons I love homeschooling.  As moms, we can focus on our child's strengths, all the while teaching them academics in the best way for them.  But, for some of us, homeschooling isn't an option.  So it is up to us to make sure our child never feels worthless because they struggle on a test, aren't the star athlete, or can't act, sing, or dance.

Ironically, once we leave that microcosm of school, we lose total interest in anyone's GPA or awards.  Do you even know if your co-worker was an A student?  Or if the man at church was the star football player in high school?  No, not normally, because it doesn't really matter in life.  But what our children believe about that matters.  Let's be so careful to keep our priorities in order when it comes to the fragile spirits of our kids.  Let's appreciate them for who God made them to be.

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