Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Monday, October 12, 2009

climbing onto my soap box

Tonight I went to a program at the local library called "every child ready to read." It's a program that is supposed to teach you things to do with your child to help them get ready to read. The idea is to promote print awareness, vocabulary, etc so when it is time for your child to read they have the foundation to help them with reading. Now it's not likely that a parent would spend 90 minutes in this session if you were not at all concerned about your child's future education - am I wrong? So why is there inevitably one mother who has to talk about how much her child loves to read and how smart she is as though every other child pales in comparison to hers? This woman started talking during the time for questions and didn't ask a question at the end of her speech. Then the woman next to me just kept saying "oh how wonderful," " what a smart little girl," "you must be so proud," etc. I must admit that the woman's little girl did sound smart, but "being smart" isn't the be all and end all to life. Now I would love for Wesley to be smart and to do well in school, but more than that, I want him to be a wonderful, kind person who loves the Lord with all his heart and works to serve Him.
I don't fault the woman for wanting to brag on her daughter because who doesn't brag on their kids occasionally? I just think that as parents we have to avoid getting too caught up in what the world says we have to be as parents and who our kids have to be to be successful. I'm saying this as much for myself as anyone because I need reminded of this often!! I sometimes worry that Wes isn't as talkative or coordinated or social or well behaved as someone else's child, but I just have to remember that God chose Damon and me to raise and teach him. He is being used to teach us about ourselves, our attitude, and our faith and trust in Jesus.
Now I'm climbing down off my soap box and going to bed. Good night!


Mountain Girl said...

I agree with you! Some parents can only brag about their children when they might be smart, but can also be brats, etc.! I say follow your heart as you raise Wesley!

Mandy said...

I am with you. When we go to Parent Teacher Conferences, I am more concerned on how they are doing socially than academically... sharing, using their manners, being kind and helping.
You may not remember the "top 10" of your class, but you sure remember who the jerks and bullies were!

LeFemmeMonkita said...

I wanted to chime in here because your post hit very close to home. Our daughter, Audri, has been home a little over a year as well and she'll be four in three weeks.

Audri is still learning how to speak. She's very far behind every child in her preschool and tracks as an almost three year-old rather than an almost four year-old. It's very difficult not to get caught up in the "my kid is smarter than your kid" maelstrom, especially when our children had delays due to orphanage life and there is a visible difference.

But our kids are, as our pediatrician says, "resilient rascals". They're working harder than most kids in catching up--both physically and mentally. And your little guy is learning how to chew! That must be such a difficult skill for him to learn. In the end, though, our children will persevere and flourish. And by the time they hit elementary school, they'll be on target, which is something to be proud of! You've given a child who's had a rough start a second chance. He's special in every single way and the basic skills he learns day-to-day are a result of your loving, nurturing family.

Incidentally, our son is 7 and was adopted from Ukraine six years ago. He's a good student and a great reader. He may not be "head" of his second grade class but he falls right in line with his peers' academic achievements. I'm proud of him because I remember, too, when he was three and how "behind" I felt he was compared to other kids. He's come so far!

So I know your Wesley and my Audri are going to be ok. No...better than "ok"...they'll be great! They're both working harder than any other child their age to make up for lost time.

Keep up the awesome work and never lost sight of the wonderful things you are giving your child.

Chris and Celeste said...

Staci you are so right. We need to have an eternal perspcective. We are not of this world and it is hard sometimes not to get so caught up in worldly stuff. Teach him right from wrong, how we are to live according to scripture. In Jesus' day they went to school to learn the scriptures not geography, science etc. Of course we want our kids to do well, but I would rather have a child that thinks of others, obeys, respectful, loves God with his whole heart and is happy! You are doing awesome, have you read the book shepherding a child's heart. Great to practice!

Amy said...

Staci - you are so right!

IF I would have known 6 years ago what I know today - I would have held my oldest back in school... it was not only a stigma thing - but I did not want him to be labeled as a kid that was held back.. I should have worried more about his social challenges instead of his "book" challenges!
Wes is a little guy with ALOT of time to get ready to learn and read more - don't stress it at all! Most kids will "get it" at some point in their lives... its just a matter of balance and making sure that they are the best little people that they can be!

adoptedthree said...

I understand completely! I have learned not to compare my kids to any others, they are who they are.
It is even harder when you have a child with a very obvious learning disability. I am glad for their child but honestly I don't need to hear about it over and over.

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