This summer, I learned that I’m a bit of a pusher. I tend to push our kids.
I pushed them at different times throughout the summer. Mostly to do things that I figured would benefit them in the long run. I pushed them educationally. Both were responsible to read most days and to do some workbooks as well. Ellee worked through some Language Arts and Christian through an Algebra book that I bought online. I also pushed them to exercise. Let’s be honest. People usually don’t just get up and run on their own, and most kids especially don’t. But I pushed and encouraged and we covered quite a few miles together. And finally, I pushed them out of their comfort zones at times. Because it was where they were comfortable, and at times they just needed a little help to step out.
And for the most part, my pushing was good.
But there were definitely times that it wasn’t. Because sometimes, I just pushed too hard. And then it caused some pretty solid conflict and frustration.
And I realized that at times, my motivation wasn’t where it should be. My selfishness came into play and those were the times that pushing our kids didn’t end so well.
And it made me realize once again, that parenting is hard. It’s hard to know when to push and when to just sit back and let our kids get going on their own. It’s not always clear to see that kids need to learn how to motivate themselves and that with the right amount of encouragement, they will.
For me, it’s been about learning how to step back. It’s about learning to calmly encourage and motivate to an extent, but then to stop talking and just let them go. And I can’t say that I’ve perfected it, but it’s a work in progress for sure. I’m working to find that balance which is probably what they and I need the most.
So to Ellee and Christian, this is my goal. I’m still going to push. Because I’m sure it’s part of the official written code of good parenting. But I’m also going to learn to start trusting that you will achieve and accomplish on your own too. I love you guys and know that with a good foundation and the right amount of pushing, ultimately, you will learn to motivate and push yourselves to do great things, in life and for God. I love you both so much.