As a young child I was bullied nearly everywhere I went, even as a young tween in youth group I was the one people snickered at even when I said nothing at all. For a long time I thought I would be hated my entire life and I had no idea why. It would take me years to realize the reason why was because I had a protruding upper & lower jaw, and that made my smile a bit weird thanks to my large gum line. Now that makes it sound a lot worse than it was, it actually wasn’t that bad, but kids are mean sometimes.
In high school the issues with my jaw began to effect my health and at that point I had jaw surgery, my jaw was reconstructed but it took years for this reconstruction to effect my heart. Because of the bullies I encountered it caused me to develop a more shy personality, my value as a person had been deeply hurt at a very young age.
It would have been easy for people to blame my shy personality on the fact that I was homeschooled. If they ever did my parents were loving enough to keep those harmful words away from my pretty damaged heart. Instead my Mom would hold me in her arms and pray that Jesus would bring me friends someday. The blessed, wonderful thing is that He did bring me friends later in life. Ones that would make up for an entire lifetime of loneliness.
Now here I am with my own kids, with their own unique God-given personalities.
Dreaming Daughter is very shy, is never rushed for anything, cries easily and is afraid of pretty much everything. Most days she is busy inside her own mind dreaming up something beautiful to give someone or for the family to enjoy. A loyal friend once you get to know her with one of the most thoughtful hearts. A prayer warrior unlike anything I’ve seen in a child. When she does something wrong she cries a lot because she is REALLY sorry, like a lot sorry.
Tenderhearted Guy is pretty sensitive to himself and sometimes sensitive to others. If he is having a bad day it’s because of some injustice, usually an injustice to himself. I know someday the injustices of others will impact his heart in huge way if we can only steer his heart the right direction. I know this because he is just like his Mama. He also has the tendency to get irritated with others disorganization and messiness. That is only because he has an extraordinary gift of keeping things meticulously clean and organized.
Wild Little Girl does not like to be steered any direction but her own. She reminds me of a wild Horse that sometimes just needs to be looked directly in the eye and given some love instead of that stern talking to I want to give. Love is what will break her wild spirit in the end, that is, if I even want to. Maybe I don’t want to, some days I’m not sure. She has added so much joy to our family and has the wildest imagination. It’s the crazy things she comes up with that keep us all laughing through the hard times.
Little Brave’s personality I have yet to fully uncover. At barely two he hasn’t said much but has the strength of a tiny Goliath. I can already see in him a boy ready to tackle the world one problem at a time. He is constantly figuring things out around the house and has an obsession with dangerous things, as long as that dangerous thing is a mystery in his mind meant to be uncovered.
Each child is completely unique, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. This is a given to most people, that is, unless you are the parent of a child who is homeschooled. That is when the comments start flying around.
I wonder if your daughter is so shy because she is homeschooled?
Perhaps your son wouldn’t be so sensitive if he were in school?
If my daughter were in school maybe she would be more calm if she were required to follow directions, stand in lines and stop talking? (Because sometimes the comments are running through my own mind.)
We’ve all heard people comment on the faults of kids personalities before, there is nothing new about this. I myself am guilty of thinking that if only my littles were in school, all their personality flaws would be smoothed out. Then I come back to my senses and so should we all.
Nobody blames School for their kids personality flaws when they are in school, why should this way of thinking be applied primarily to homeschoolers?
My children have their personality positives and negatives as a result of who they are. My child is different than your child not as a result of homeschooling but just because they are different. The success of a family will have less to do with where their kids went to school but far more to do with whether that parent has nurtured their child according to their individual personality. I have seen parents do this in public, private and homeschool!
I will no sooner give credit to homeschooling for my child’s strengths than I will blame homeschooling on their weaknesses. This is the tendency of both homeschoolers and those outside the world of homeschooling, but I will do my best not to take part in it. I won’t blame public school for your child’s weaknesses either, but will instead see your child as they are, an individual learning to navigate this world, just like mine.
Maybe our kids aren’t perfect, but how much do we want to change their personality?
I am all for character training and teaching our kids to strive for God’s best plan for their lives! But how far do we want to take this? There are parts of my kids personalities that many days I could honestly do without. It’s so much easier when they just do exactly what we say, but would we really be happier with the overall outcome?
The older my kids get the more I can see that even when their personalities can feel like a drag, God has a purpose for every strength and weakness. My only job is to point them towards the One who created them and teach them to obey God. Only God knows what their lifetime will be spent on, I truly have no idea what they are going to spend their lives doing!
So maybe God will need that wild spirit someday.
Who better to follow God without anything holding her back?
Or that day dreamer late for everything and shy as can be.
Who better to slowly take her time in the presence of God?
The boy who gets angry when things aren’t fair.
Who better to bring justice in this broken world?
Or a boy determined to figure out with his hands what a book cannot teach.
Who better to determine to solve a problem without everything being handed to him?
Embrace all that they are and all they are becoming.
God will determine who they will become.