Thursday, October 13, 2005

Holding My Daughter's Heart

I am trying so hard to foster this type of relationship between my daughters (and when he's older, my son) and myself. But here I am, up at 12:15, unable to sleep, grieving over ugly things my 6yo and I said to each other today. Six years old! I do not want to have an adversarial relationship with her, but we are constantly at loggerheads. I fear that if it is this bad at age 6, it's going to be just terrible at 16. Nothing seems to work. Spanking, removal of priviledges, stickers and rewards for good behavior. She's not a rotten child. She has a wonderfully soft and loving heart. But she is as stubborn as all get out, and bright -- you know, she thinks she knows so much more than Mom. Then I put my foot down because God put me in authority here and I WILL have obedience, and she's off. If I say red, she says white. Then we have a battle of wills. I can make her obey (theoretically), but I can't make her do it with a willing heart. It's her heart I want. It's her heart I long for. You know how some parents say "Oh, I could never homeschool, my child and I are just too alike. We'd end up hating each other"? That's where we are. Not hating each other, but I don't want it to go there, you know? But I know God has asked me to do this. I don't want to be fighting her peers for her heart. I don't want just five hours a day with her after school to come to know her and for her to know me. I don't want to be constantly undoing the lessons school life teaches her -- that it's all about the grades or the test or what other kids think. I want her to love learning for its own sake. I want her to love being with her family -- I want family to mean more than anything else other than her God. I want to foster all that. But I just can't quite get the magic formula right. And we're just in our first year of homeschooling. I know we'll get our rhythm. But I just feel so bleak right now.

Sorry, such a downer. I think I'll go to bed. 'Night!