When I was in sixth grade, my mother got called in to speak with my teacher. They had a long conversation which ended with my mother feeling helpless and frustrated as she shared the same view with my teacher but felt like there was not much she could do. Essentially the teacher was frustrated that I was intelligent but refused to apply myself. From that point on I did try harder in school but I never focused the way some could. I have been that way my whole life, even in university I skated by and then in my last year I decided to apply myself with patience and dedication to my studies and did very well in comparison to the first few years.
I was never a terribly motivated child, adolescent or adult. To this day I still have some things such as finishing writing a book, that I simply put off not because I can’t but because I allow myself to be lazy. It’s a fine balance because I need myself to have dedication but I can’t have that dedication rule my life. I have gone there too, been too dedicated to losing weight and had that consume me. I can’t seem to be a patient and dedicated person who is well balanced, often I am an all or nothing girl.
So I suppose it’s not a surprise that my oldest son is exactly like me. Last night we were practicing our reading together and he was not focused even though I know he could read those particular words. He would rather not be participating and that was really annoying me. I told him that his teacher wanted him to know these words and if he wasn’t ready then he would have to stay in that grade (I was frustrated, not my best moment myself) and immediately he read all the words clearly without any hesitation – he was simply not interested and that I could understand.
There’s a lot of things I am uninterested in but maybe it’s more of a lack of interest in the process – there is often interest in the solution or end result. My son seems to be the same way. He would love to read everything but working for it isn’t enough to get him there.
I think right now as a parent I am struggling with me and my children – they are exactly like me and though I no longer blame my parents for any wrongdoings growing up there is a part of me wanting to do better. I don’t want my children to wake up one day and resent me and I think that’s a big issue here. Often times I think : if my parents did this, I may have turned out a different way, maybe even better. Now I am struggling to push my children in a way that’s also supportive; but I am doing it out of a fear of being resented later in life because that is what I did to my parents.
My job as a parent is to support my children, slowly, with patience and that means helping to see the full picture: the end result as well as the journey or struggle along the way. That journey or struggle may be hard but when tackled with patience the whole process is much smoother and filled with love.
In retrospect patience is something both him and I need to work on. If we were patient together we could achieve many great things. It isn’t necessarily about the struggle, it’s about being patient to the end. We want that end result quickly we often power through or don’t deal with the struggle at all but it is in that struggle that we learn and grow and find ourselves, to skip over that would be to skip over ourselves and neither one of us wants to live that way.
All we need is Patience.