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Being Fair - Issue 304
June 21, 2013
|Hi there! ....
Last weekend we were going to go camping with some friends but we left it too late and it didn’t work out so instead we packed up for the afternoon and headed to a spot along the river. Though we were only 10min from houses, we felt like we were in the bush. It was a great time – we sat around and talked, kids played on the rivers edge building a dam wall, Daniel caught a little fish, which was cooked on the coals Thai style (as our friend is Thai). Unfortunately the fisher-people amongst us didn’t catch enough fish for us all, but we enjoyed our chicken and sausages cooked on an open fire anyway. Getting outdoors is refreshing for everyone and we should do it more often!
This coming week I am off to Darwin with Peter. He has some conferences to attend so I’ll be using the time to catch up with folk, do some shopping and have a break. I’m looking forward to that. So if you live in Darwin, I’m having a homeschool mums catch up on Tuesday morning, email me and I’ll get the details to you. If you aren’t a homeschool mum and would like to catch up, email me and we’ll see what we can arrange. Email: Belinda (at) lifestyle-homeschool (dot) com
Live life with your kids!
If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.
Last week I read a poster that has stuck in my mind – it said: Fair isn’t everybody getting the same thing… Fair is everybody getting what they need in order to be successful?
I think that is a very good definition but more importantly I think it is an idea that we as parents need to live by, and one our kids need to understand. Life will not be the same for everyone.
What do your kids need to be successful?
Parents often get flack for treating their youngest differently – I know I have and I probably do treat him differently. But is that unfair? He has a whole different set of circumstances to live with than my older kids, and they differ from him. We could equally say, that it is unfair that he didn’t have the same one on one opportunities that my oldest had. But it isn’t about being the same, about being equal – it is about working with what you’ve got!
Considering this quote we need to be very clear on what ‘successful’ means, and it may mean different things to different people. To me, successful means able to live in harmony with your values. This looks like:
In our house obedience, self-control, respect, punctuality, patience are ‘right things’. We expect each of our children (and ourselves) to exhibit these responses regardless of the circumstances of life. Diligence is diligence and the standard of what is diligent doesn’t change. But each of my children have had a different learning curve as they have grown in diligence. Each of my children need different training opportunities, lessons and practice in order to grow in diligence. What I do to teach them diligence will look different for each child – this is fair – this is what it takes to make my child successful (aka – to walk with diligence).
So the training will look different but the outcome will be the same. God’s word stands true for every person, regardless of race, gender, personality or talent.
This is contrary to developing gifts and talents. Both the training and the outcome will look different for each of our children, because they are created different. Do you know the unique gifts and talents your child has been created with? These aren’t just things that your child can do but also passions and motivations that are unique to your child’s make up. Our daughter Jessica is a nurturer, it is in her, she cares and she puts that caring into action. This is a part of her created being and as a parent I have had to help that aspect of her grow as much as I’ve helped her interest in music or organisation or writing or understanding the Word of God grow.
Last night I watched “Miss Potter” with my girls. One of the saddest parts of the movie was that Miss Potter’s mum did not appreciate her passion or talent. She belittled Beatrix’s creative efforts because it didn’t fit with her expectations. Let us not be the same.
I think being ‘fair’ where everything is the same, is a part of human nature, maybe the edge of the tall poppy syndrome. And as our kids get older they start to express this – awww Muuum, that’s not fair! Or they may pick you up and say, “You never let me do that when I was younger!” (Yes, you can read between the lines here – my kids have said this!) This is why I love this quote. It is my standard response now: I’m doing what I need to do to help your brother/sister be successful. Do you have a problem with that?
Of course this answer only works if it is true. Am I working with each of my children’s unique situation – their personality, their quirks, their challenges, their strengths? Or am I just getting slack the more children I have, the older I get?
Am I being fair? Am I helping everybody get what they need in order to be successful?
During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I haven't blogged at all but you may like to dig into my website some.
Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool
Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.
Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.
Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?
This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.
Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you.
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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter
Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!
The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool
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