Monday, October 5, 2009

Is This Your Hill?

My husband and I have a phrase. Actually, it was my phrase from long before I was married or a teacher. . .

"Is this a hill to die on, or this a hill to climb over?"

You're probably asking yourself, what does this have to do with me as a parent of a gifted child or me as a teacher of gifted children. I would say, everything. I think this is one quote that can radically change your parenting or your teaching, and create harmony.

As we go about our daily lives, working and dealing with all kinds of people including those gifted, we are forced to make choices, lay down rules, enforce consequences.

Does it exhaust you?

Don't be shy; I know it does! I have talked to countless others in your shoes who barely manage to get undressed at night because of the fatigue! We are tired of explaining, answering why, defending our choices, facing a little pint sized judge and jury over every last action.

And I think it might be because you choose too many battles. We so want to children under our influence to turn into happy and successful adults that we turn into these nagging, nit-picking, critical caregivers. Instead of remembering our goal- happy and successful future adults- we get bogged down in the day to day minutia.

Have you found yourself

Annoyed that your child forgot their lunch box again?

Stressing over your child's apparent disregard of hygiene?


Irritated with mismatching socks?

Explaining for the tenth time why you chose to have spaghetti for dinner?

Frustrated your child still cannot tie their shoes?

Annoyed over a dirty bedroom?

I could go on and on (and on) giving examples of ways that gifted children seem to disappoint us. But I will get to my point.

Do those matter?

Really?

Look at the list. Which of these are keeping you from your goal of helping shape your child into future adults? If you are going through the day feeling exhausted, take a look at the battles you are choosing to fight with your child every day. Then take a look at WHY. If you don't have a really good reason for WHY, then let those battles go. Choose to climb on over that hill, and save your strength and energy for the battles that matter long term.

I'd say if you can winnow it down to just a handful of battles that are really important to you. Pick the things that matter the most to you as a parent or teacher. Then, fight those battles. Be consistent, be firm and fight to win. When you are letting that other stuff go, you (and the children you influence) will be much better off. . .

1 comment:

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