Bit of a touchy topic here on the blog today.
But I'm not really one to mince words, so I suppose I'd best just cut to the chase...
You ready for it?
Okay, here goes...but don't say I never warned you that this might be a touchy subject!
Please, oh pretty please, beware that coddling your children will not result in any long-term or lasting good. It won't! It can't!
DEFINITION OF THE WORD "CODDLE": treat in an indulgent way; to treat with extreme or excessive care of kindness; to tend indulgently SYNONYM = "mollycoddle"
Ever meet someone, anyone, whether a child or full-grown adult, who had been overindulged at some point in their life? who did not know how to live in the real world (which is not exactly an easy place to live, mind you)?
It's tragic to see, isn't it?
And yet as homeschoolers who love our children & desperately work to train them up with a deep & abiding sense of security & protection, it is easier to coddle them than we'd care to admit. (Yes, I am speaking from experience here. That witty one-liner, "Ask me how I know", is to be inserted at this point in the blog post...)
It can be a fine line indeed between "mollycoddling" & protecting, that is for certain.
Here is one thing I know for absolute sure after 5 kiddos and 25 years of homeschooling: They will rise to meet your expectations or will fall to meet them - but where, exactly, that bar ends up being set isn't determined by your children. That, my friend, is entirely up to Y-O-U.
If you lack expectations, you will see ample evidence of that lack all over your life (including in your homeschool).
And it really does help your children to know that you BELIEVE in them enough to RAISE THE BAR for them. (Should I say that again for the ladies in the back??)
They know you truly believe in them when they have to stretch a bit higher to succeed. It's healthy growth I am advocating here - not poor parenting that leaves the child without approval or love no matter their attempts at pleasing their parents. That is something we should dissuade at all costs!
Oh, no, I am not advocating anything unBiblical or emotionally damaging, not by any means.
But having a standard as unto godliness...that's worth working toward. In the Christian home & homeschool, that truly does end up providing the child with so much more than a traditional public education. It is of eternal value to know you can stretch a bit and learn to fully rely on the Lord as you look at life's challenging circumstances and take that bold step of faith. What parent doesn't want that for their child?
And what child would rather be tended to with overindulgence rather than being able to shout with glee, "I did it!"
Hint: you already know the answer :)
In fact, I'll take this one step further. Today I an officially giving you, homeschooling mama, permission to shout with total joy, "I did it!" every now & again. Maybe we could even start doing this today?
Sweet homeschool friend, whether you are in year one or year twenty of home education - whether one child or a dozen - whether it's going to be COVID homeschooling starting this August or you're in this thing for life...today, I want you to smile and say with total glee, "I'm doing this! I did it! I made the big decision - I completed last year even though it was so difficult - I'm jumping in with both feet for next year...I just graduated my youngest from our homeschool. I did it!"
Because you're no mollycoddler.
You're a homeschooler!
Lord bless you! - Jan
All Things Homeschool on Facebook
Author of "The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study" (on Amazon)
The Burt (Not Ernie) Show Podcast
The Once-A-Year Homeschool Planning System & the eBook "So Long, Guilt & Shame"