This Tips for Parents article authored by Dr. Nadia Wedd from a seminar she hosted for Young Scholar families. She provides homeschooling moms advice by addressing some of the challenges homeschooling parents go through with their children. The article also suggests ways for mothers to make time for themselves through private reflection and socializing.
The most pressing concern was how to wear “too many hats” and the tension between trying to be Mom, teacher, chauffer, gifted coordinator, lunch lady, sibling wrangler, student (often slightly ahead of a YS…or not) and have some fragment personal time.
The kind of adolescent experience you have is partially driven by the kind of parenting you have. While that seems an obvious statement, it is a two-part statement. Partially being the first idea. As in, no matter what you cannot claim more than partial credit for your child’s successes; and more importantly, only partial blame for the times when you are filled with utter parental or teacherly dismay. Teenagers have incomplete life experiences and brains that are still in the process of maturing; the nature of adolescence is a poor sense of long term outcomes, a badly calibrated sense of risk, and the kind of hubris that it takes it launch yourself into the world. The faith they have in themselves is the kind of faith it takes to leap out of the nest and into thin air. It is breathtaking.
Partially, also means that you have the power to help tip decisions, to given them the chance to practice leaping while you remain as coach, cheerleader, audience and safety net. Through out their adolescence, small comments, gestures and examples can help them shift in one direction or another. Parenting is generally a process of small decisions and choices, interspersed with a few big moments.
Children are also in the process of learning and practicing the skills they will need in adult life. Often kids are not motivated to pitch in because failing to do so doesn’t really impact them. If they are responsible for their own laundry, then they either wear clothes they fished out of the hamper or they take care of their washing in time. Often these are easy ways to help them appreciate natural consequences when the stakes are low.
You can also give each child a night to make dinner. If that means pasta and sauce, so be it. But if they get distracted and the noodles turn to mush, they tend to hear about it from sibs and everyone eats mushy pasta.
The sibling rivalry issue popped up in all sorts of guises – the idea that your sib might get to do something potentially fun that didn’t include you made school time like bait for the other kids in the family.
The two solutions included how to use this to involve the other child in a constructive, helpful way, which either make it seem like work (and therefore uninteresting) or it furthered the education of both and furthered team teaching.
One parent suggested that the some of the tension came from putting each of these different tasks into different categories. “I find my peace by seeing it as just a part of my life, though that is not to say that all my days are peaceful.”