I love riding my bike.
There is something freeing and magical about the wind in my hair and the road stretched out before me. Teaching a child to ride a bike however is not so magical. I remember lots of tears, tantrums, and skinned up knees, but you can't get to the magical, freeing part without the hard.
I recently listened to Keith McCurdy on a podcast. He is a licensed family therapist who has worked with families for more than 25 years. McCurdy claims one of the major themes he sees in family life today is children are too fragile. Fragile children often view normal life rigor, like a broken cell phone, as a traumatic life event. You can read more about Keith's recommendations to build sturdy children here. One of the many reasons I choose classical, Christian education for my children is because I believe it is good for them to do hard things, and to stretch themselves academically, physically, and spiritually. Just like parents, children get stronger in the struggles of life. There is a reason God allows our lives to be full of struggles. He is more concerned about our character over our comfort (Romans 5:3-4).
Parents as we embark on the new school year, let's decide ahead of time to be thankful for the challenges our students will face this year. Students learn to appreciate Shakespeare through years of wrestling with the mechanics of language and other great books. Honestly, I don't even like Shakespeare, and I blame that on the utilitarian track I experienced in my public high school. I haven't done the work to get to the good.
Students win state basketball championships through thousands of shots at the goal. They keep shooting at the goal even when they get injured, stressed, and tired.
Students offer forgiveness to those who have offended them after understanding how much they have been forgiven. They let go of grudges because they wrestle with the fact that we all need grace.
Just this morning, I dropped my daughter off at school for her the first day of senior year, her last first day at CCA. I am choosing in advance to find joy in every moment of her senior year in the victories, defeats, laughter, and tears that will surely come. I hope you will do the same.
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