With kids from hard places, academic, cognitive, and/or developmental goals can be more frustrating than motivating. The way trauma-laden anxiety sabotages any behavioral consistency is enough to make even the most laid back parent reel. As I reflected over this year for our family, I decided to focus less on the “what” and more on the “how,” focus more on the process than the outcome.
I resolve to focus less on what they are learning, but more on how they go about it. Rather than being exasperated that we still have to review phonogram sounds EVERY. BLESSED. DAY., I will find solace in the fact that they are learning a valuable study habit. “A” for effort. Rather than worrying that they’ll never hold a job due to poor working memory, I’ll hope that they will keep a job because they won’t give up when others will.
I resolve to focus less on what basic responsibilities they almost constantly forget, but more on how they are learning to set up umpteen reminders on their devices. After all, I can barely remember anything for myself that’s not written down either.
I resolve to focus less on what they are not able to do (i.e., communicate in written form or make decisions), but more on encouraging them to ask the appropriate support for help. In the real world, you usually can get help if you can ask…even to write a basic email.
I resolve to focus less on the attachment that’s not happening, but more on how they are experiencing more unconditional love in one day than most will receive in a lifetime. For everything I fear they are not learning about relationships, I am having a chance to grow and stretch myself, for I did not understand fully what it meant to love unconditionally until parenting kids who did not love back. I’ll find solace that this journey has not been in vain…at least one of us is learning.
What goals for your kids do you need to re-visit?