So, its the end of the year, we are thinking about next year. Maybe you have an 8th grader like I do?
My husband and Abby just got back from a 5 day field trip to Savannah. The 8th grade year in school is all about Georgia History, and for the students that qualified (academically and behaviorally), they spend 4-5 days in the seaport of our state learning all of their subjects in the form of tours, discussions, touristy history and some fun mixed in. They start every morning at 7am and every night are not back to the hotel before 11pm. Throughout it all, the kids have a scrapbook to complete that encompasses all of their classes.
Math. Science. Music. Everything.
It is a lot to learn in a short period of time and the pace is exhausting. This is the third time my husband has gone on this trip with our children, having gone with Lucy’s and then Emma’s classes. He, as a dad, is in high demand obviously as a chaperone, and now is considered a veteran of this trip. He will go in two years with Mollie’s class if the field trip still exists and with all our subsequent children (I hope, lol). It is a fabulous experience and the kids learn so much.
Forrest told me that one of the big discussions on this trip amongst the chaperones is how entitled the kids are. How they act. What they seem to believe. How do we as parents balance this in our kids? Give them what they need, a little of what they want, in order to set them free in the world to accomplish what God intends for them? To even see the path that is laid out and the actions that are required?
I have always believed that my job as a mother, and my husband’s job as a father is to release into the world children that make a difference. Children that care about others. Children that grow up, see issues that need fixing and figure out a way to fix them, thus benefitting the many. To heal. To build. To be THAT curative person to someone else: a stranger, a spouse, a child. It is not my job to be my child’s best friend. To look cool. To go along with whatever is happening so that my child can be popular. I’ll be honest, I don’t care a whit. This sometimes makes me the bad guy and I’m totally comfortable in that role.
Do I want them to have friends? Absolutely, but friends that have their best interests at heart, not 3 million followers on Instagram. We try to foster a sense of independence in our kids for exactly this reason. When faced with the rights and wrongs of the world, I want them to dig deep and ask themselves what really matters in that particular situation? Who gets hurt if I go one direction or the other, or who benefits? How does my decision impact someone else?
There is no doubt that my children feel entitled at times. They have iPhones, they swim, they go to good schools, live in a nice house. But it falls on me and my husband to make sure that they understand without a doubt our other mantra:
To whom much is given, much is expected.
They lead a good life, and they are very lucky. But they have this good life because they are expected to DO something with it, and its my job as their mom to make sure they understand the whole equation, not just the part of it that exists within their bubble.
I’m ready every day with the pin to pop that bubble wide open.