Tonight I had a few minutes to do something so I decided to work on school shelves. I am very glad I did. You see, the negative self talk keeps telling me that I shoulda, coulda woulda been a better home education Mom. I shoulda, coulda, woulda pushed more and required more and bought better curriculum or even allowed my kids to have less curriculum and more time to explore interests and abilities. Oh, those shoulda, coulda, wouldas. My son met and in some cases exceeded the requirements for the state of Alaska to graduate high school. He is prepared for whatever path the Lord has for him. I am prepared to watch him travel that path.
See this folder? It contains his 8th grade writing assignments. I feel as though I have been a writing failure and that we didn't do enough writing. Guess what?? He did do more writing than I thought because I forgot what we had used and when. What a blessing that long left on the shelf folder has been to me tonight. I am thankful and I blessed.
Yes, you read that title correctly. Our teens have no curfew. Life for us just does not fit inside of a box and curfews just create a boxing in of sorts.
Curfews seem to create a sense of being out just to be out until curfew. Make sense?
Our approach is to assess each outing as it comes. If our teens are out at a friend's house for a game night then they are probably going to get a later time to be home than a set curfew would allow.
Our teens attended a movie with friends, on a school night even, they ended up going to a 10:00ish movie due to schedules and such. We agreed to the later time and they went to the movie. We survived and so did they.
Just this past weekend the teens stayed in town after the Sunday evening service to wait for one of their friends to arrive home from college. That late night trip to the airport will be a long held memory for all involved. But, they didn't just stay in town, they were at the home of a friend playing games and apparently eating cereal.
I dare say parenting isn't about a to do checklist. Every day is different, every child is different.
I personally am not a fan of teens just going out with no plan or place to be because it is Friday night. I lean more toward going about life with a purpose or plan. We are also blessed with great families to host the group our teens spend time with. Even if that plan is just game night with friends, it is a plan.
Life has a way of ebbing and flowing that also makes for eye opening experiences. Sometimes you can see the highest peaks clearly, just as a rare sighting of Denali while driving home from a weekend in Anchorage.
Other times the clouds roll in and the view isn't quite as clear.
Recently I have learned much and my eyes have been opened and the clouds have moved on and I can see clearly.
Perspective and expectations are two things I have learned along the way. What???
Yes, perspective and expectations.
What do I expect from from others and do I view situations from only my perspective?
Expectations often cause problems in relationships.
What do I expect of others?
Do they know my expectations of them?
Are the expectations realistic?
This brings me to perspective.
When expectations are not met it does pay to consider the life/situation of the other person.
I am thankful to have finally put these two items together in life circumstances. To remind myself that I should not expect more of others than they can give. I have also learned that I may not know what someone else is going through and why they make the decisions they make. I should give others the benefit of the doubt.