As a single mom with two kids. My daughter 9, and my son 7, it’s very hard to learn all the different ways that we learn, and are motivated to learn. My daughter is definitely hands on and visual. Self motivated. She is my creative little artist and musician, taking after mommy and the rest of our family. She talks more than she should but is otherwise a pretty good student. My son, on the other hand. Bless his little self, is just a mess.
Child B, we will call him.
When i was a kid, my aunt used to yell “BONK” at us kids if we did something wrong or said something we shouldn’t. So i have since adopted that.
Child B is a very happy kid. He loves to dress up like super heroes and play fight with plastic swords or light sabers. He loves to ride his bike and try tricks in the yard. Torturing his sister is so very fun to him. A Typical 7 year old boy. Child B also enjoys washing dishes. (Stay with me). Child B loves to help mommy cook (for about 5 minutes) and has no problem doing chores because he gets to “check them off his list”.
So far Child B sounds like the perfect kid right? BONK.
Well. Child B also enjoys taking money out of the children’s church offering plate, then telling me “Look mommy, someone gave me money”. But he knows mommy will not believe that, especially since all the bills were individually wadded up or folded differently. So he will essentially tell on himself. Of course i made him go back to apologize and return it. This has happened more than once. BONK!
Child B also enjoys collecting small erasers, pencil accessories, slap bracelets, etc. None of which are his. He will tell me that he won them or that they were given to him. BONK. Why Lord?
Child B does not have any desire to be in school. He is struggling in fact, in most subjects and is up for possible retention. He has had Central Auditory Processing Disorder testing, which would give us insight as to if its ADHD related or not. These tests showed mild results for both. My opinion is that he is not motivated. What motivates a 7 year old to do his best?
One day, he will take a worksheet and Christmas tree the entire page in 2 minutes flat. The next day he will complete it with almost 100% accuracy. He has “below level” reading scores but can spell “snowman” backwards without writing it first. One day, he is the most well behaved kid in class, the next day out of control. He gets overwhelmed and anxious when there is a science project which includes sensory components. But if its on paper, he is ok. He has a freakish ability to whistle very well, where most kids his age cannot whistle at all. He randomly says things that are extremely creative. But he has trouble reading simple sight words. Makes perfect sense right? BONK. Why Lord?
Child B is making me crazy. What is the condition in which a child has inconsistent learning tendencies and desires, and inconsistent behaviors?? Whatever condition it is, its about to make me have some desires and behaviors that there is no condition for.
So as i search for answers, both with physicians and google, I’ve come to a Revelation. That WE as (Adult) Christians are so much like this.
Some days we are the most driven people in the world and could take on overseas missions and world hunger with ease. The next, we can’t even get motivated enough to get up for church. We lose our cool for no reason and end up saying things or making choices we seriously regret. We have amazing gifts and talents that we don’t even use because we don’t think we are qualified or adequate enough. Or we take on other people’s purposes as our own. We don’t actively seek opportunity to use our gifts. Or we avoid opportunity because it may mean we have to be uncomfortable. We pack our schedules so tight that we don’t even allow ourselves the FREEDOM to be motivated. What are we displaying as “below level” that perhaps we are just not giving our all to? Are you seeing the same similarities that i am?
We have so many great qualities but we tend to focus on the imperfect ones. And sometimes, its not even that they are imperfect. They are just different. But seeing different as a flaw will hold us back from fulfilling our God-given purposes.
Our children model themselves to what they are taught. If WE convey to them that WE are imperfect or not good enough, or if WE let failures lead to bad choices or attitudes, what do we expect from them? And if it filters into OUR lives, it will filter into THEIRS. School included.
What if our children are geniuses that we are holding back because we are simply teaching them to measure themselves up to the wrong things?
“Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”
2 Corinthians 10:12
Well no joke, we are without understanding. How could we understand how we compare to others when what they are comparing themselves to is another, and them another…?? Everyone comparing to everyone, but no one ever stays the same, so no one could ever measure up to anyone!! Why does no one get this? Including myself.
Yes, its possible that for Child B, learning may not come easy. Its possible that there are some underlying issues that we need to recognize and address. But its also possible that Child B is very intelligent, maybe even a genius, who has been held back by his ADULT role models who don’t believe in themselves quite enough. I’m not sure what the issue is but…
I’m leaning towards genius.
No matter which explanation is correct. I have to acknowledge that part of Child B’s issues may just be lack of motivation. It may be that, as his mommy, i need to work on myself and lean more on Christ when i feel inadequate. If i do this, so will they. We have to teach our kids to lay it down at the feet of Jesus. We have to instill in them Holy Confidence. Confidence that comes, not from being cocky, but from knowing God has a plan to use us exactly how we are. Confidence that is a direct result of the peace we have when we know He will carry us through.
Google did not give me this one.
He has to be my go-to for all things stressful and frustrating. For all things unsolvable, and all things out of our hands. But also for all the things that work out perfectly and easily. Even when we don’t feel like we need help. Because even when we think “I got this”, its only a matter of time before we find out how much we don’t.
The one universal solution is to hand it over. Hand it over to the One who is the solver of all unsolvable things. The original Google.
If i didn’t know The Lord, i would have checked myself in already. It’s so comforting to know i dont have to figure this out. I dont have to take it all on and find all the answers to questions i dont even know to ask. This is what our children need to know. They have their own little set of frustrations and issues. If they learn nothing else in this life, let it be this. Do not compare yourself to anyone, unless you want to become a no one. And as for Child B- God has got him. Genius or not.