Nearly every day I have to remind myself not to put limitations on my child. What I mean by that is: I cannot ASSUME that she cannot do something simply because I didn’t do it at her age.
This weekend she asked to play the game, Cranium, a super fun family game that my sons enjoyed when they were about eight and nine years old. If you’ve never played, it’s a game that involves some creativity, teamwork, and a lot of laughs. Seriously, if you don’t have it already, consider buying it.
Anyway, when she asked, I immediately thought about the reading and pop culture portion of the game and thought she was too young to be able to do it. However, I went with it and figured we could just skip the things that were beyond her knowledge base and that’s what we did. That said, there were some things I considered skipping, but that she adjusted to suit her age and abilities. When there was a charade activity, instead of trying to sound out a word she wasn’t sure of, she just made up her own charade for me to guess. For a sculpting activity, she surprised me and sounded out the word mushroom on her own and was able to sculpt it.
We had a blast!
My eyes were truly opened with that game. Had I listened to myself, we’d have missed out on a lot of fun and she would have missed a great opportunity to show off her reading skills.
The point? As parents, we really have to remember that reality is our perception and truly…it’s limitless. We put the limit on ourselves and if we’re not careful, we can put unnecessary limits on our children. I guess even when we feel unsure of how they’ll do with something, if they show an interest, we owe it to them to let them try and be there as they need our support.
In addition to that, I let my daughter lead the entire day’s activities. At first she just wanted to watch television and play on her tablet, but before long she said, “Mom, I’m bored!”
I replied, “Maybe you should consider turning off the television and tablet for a while and doing other things.”
We started out by building a volcano from the BookShark Hands on History kit. I mentioned it in a previous post, but you can also find it here. This activity led to a discussion about a trip I took to Hawaii many years ago and the black sand beaches there. She was so curious that I dug out my Maui travel guide and we looked through the pictures and I showed her the various landscapes that can be found on that island.
She now wants to go to Hawaii and asked how far it is and if we could go one day. I’m planning to let her plan a vacation there and perhaps we can make it a family goal to go in the somewhat near future.
After that, she danced in the rain for a while, then we baked gluten free brownies, where she learned how to get 1/2 from 1/4 and 1/3 from 2/3. This was not on purpose. This is because I’m short measuring cups and we had to do math because….brownies!
Hey, it’s all about priorities!
She decided to take a break to color for a while and then asked to play Boggle (another game I wasn’t sure about). I gave her her word list book just in case she needed help, but she decided we should just focus on “a” words and “I” words, so we did and she seemed to really enjoy it.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I let her take the reins. As you may know, I used to be a teacher. As a teacher, the whole day from 8-3 was scheduled to the minute! Kids have four minutes between classes – not five, not three. FOUR. Lunch was the same exact time each day. Bells demanded attention at each hour.
Letting things “just happen” doesn’t come naturally to me, but I’m learning that it’s absolutely okay. I’m also learning that I can trust my daughter. I can trust that she will fill her day with things that interest her and she will be learning all the while. It doesn’t need to be forced.
Since I’ve stepped into my own power as mom and homeschooling mom, I can let go of the worry. I can breathe. I can even focus on some of my own interests, like making a quilt for my grandson and reading. I can and have (yay!) cleaned my house and organized it to remove the clutter that stifles my Spirit. I truly believe that my inner clutter is manifested in external clutter. I think, perhaps when we begin to live our lives as we choose to, we can let go of all of that and truly live the life we’re living.