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Accepting Change - Issue 137
January 29, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week I have spent most of my time tweaking our study routine, deciding on subjects to study and preparing lesson plans. I was confronted with the reality that my children are growing up and things need to change. I wasn’t really ready for that. This experience is the basis of this week’s newsletter – Accepting Change. So after I dealt with that rude shock I have been able to pull together studies that are suitable for each of my children considering where they are at today balanced with where we want them to be. We are nearly ready to kick start our studies on Monday.

We have had a great January working on the family projects we had earmarked. Of course, we didn’t get them all done but we did achieve the important parts of our list. I still want to visit a few waterfalls before the wet season is over so we may just have to lay aside the books for a day or so in February to make sure that happens.

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Accepting Change

People say to me all the time “Oh, your children are growing up so fast”. Generally they are seeing physical changes as the children grow taller and voices deepen etc. Yes, they are growing up but it is more than just physical – they are growing up morally, spiritually, emotionally and socially as well.

Growing children will bring change to our family.

Growing up means that our children

  • may need us to relate to them differently
  • they may need different boundaries
  • they may challenge previously held beliefs or values
  • they may need more food, more exercise, more sleep (or possibly less sleep!)
  • they may need more or less study time
  • they may need different toys or activities to fill their day
  • they may need more responsibility
  • they may need a different routine
  • they may need more time to talk to you

They are growing up!

How are we as parents handling this? Our first reaction to change is often resistance. Why is this? Change is an aspect of growing up, of maturity – it is a good thing. But we tend to want to hold onto the old ways, the ways we are comfortable with, the ways we can manage. Change breaks our routine. Change makes all things new. Change creates a sense of fear deep in our heart and that is unsettling!

But what are our options? Have you ever tried to ignore change, tried to keep on going as if life never changed gear? I have. It never works. Change, growing up change, is outside of our control and when I ignore it - it only results in stress. Anxiety about uncertain times ahead is understandable. Times of change are the times that we need to rely so heavily on Jesus – God never changes. There are times that He maybe the only stable thing happening in your life.

I, the Lord, do not change.
Malachi 3:6

So how to handle growing up change? We can see this as a necessary evil or we can see it as a blessing – after all we don’t really want a 13year old who has to be told what to do all the time, we want there to be change, we want there to be maturity, we want them to do what is right without direct instruction. So what is our problem? Change happens unexpectedly and that is what throws us off guard.

  • Assess your children and understand developmental changes you need to expect – know what is normal (from a Biblical perspective) for each age group. Talk to people who are ahead of you in the parenting journey. Prepare yourself
  • Assess your family life in light of who your children are now. One thing we have done in this area is change our back yard – the swing is not so important now – but table tennis is. Bedtimes are another thing that change over time.
  • Determine your family values – these things are timeless – they don’t change just because your child is now older.
  • Keep your eyes on the goal knowing that each change is a step on this journey. Your goal will be different than ours – one of our goals is to have our children as morally mature people who love God and serve others. There needs to be change, there needs to be maturity for this goal to be achieved. Can I see the growing up happening in my children as them walking towards this goal rather than an inconvenience?

So are you ready to embrace the changes that are happening in your children? They are different people than they were yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, last year. (So too are you to be honest!). Relationships are always growing things, we cannot box our children, we cannot prescribe how their life is to be but we can get to know them, grow with them and enjoy the journey together – if we can accept change.


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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!


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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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