Yesterday, I watched my boy restless, emotional. I asked for a certain amount of schoolwork to be completed, and his eyes welled up with tears. A minute earlier, I had told sister she could omit reading time that David had spent a great deal of time completing.
It’s too much, he said.
My heart breaks. I know what it is like to feel irrational and overwhelmed, but David’s feelings of overwhelmedness were not because he had too much to finish. Still, I felt overwhelmed that he was too irrational to do the work; and not completing the work was not an option. Postponing the work is also not an option: our schedule is already streamlined, and we’ve had plenty of stretching deadlines this year. I can’t in good conscience put off the work. I asked him if there was something else troubling him. Nope. Just school.
So I asked God for help. I’m learning when I pray for wisdom that most of my wisdom needs are long-term prayer requests. I don’t need, nor do I get, instant answers. Instead, I must literally pray and watch for ways God is answering. Nevertheless, I realized two things by the end of the day:
First, that I really need to make sure I’m not resentful that his busy brain needs to be occupied. He’s not just an intelligent kid; he’s a social intelligent kid. That means he wants to do projects together. If I work within that framework, I’m not going to be ruffled at his restlessness, and yet I’m going to take it seriously. More prayer requests. (Did you know that when my children were small I was troubled because I couldn’t think of many things to pray about for my children? Now I have lots of things!)
Second observation is that when I suggested he come and do his schoolwork right beside me (squished next to me in our living room chair), the work was manageable. Maybe it was the physical proximity; maybe it was my availability to help if he needed help. I’ve noticed before the power of teamwork. My mom talks about the role of teamwork in motivating children, and she’s right.
Answers that give more prayer requests. More watching. Thankful that the God who sees is not far away, either.