I'm sure I'm not alone when I say how frustrating it is for the parent when kids break down into tears and insist that whatever task was at hand - be it sorting socks, multiplication tables, or completing my taxes - is simply too hard. Time for a little perspective!
Opening Song: Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree
Opening Prayer: the Boy
Lesson: I asked the kids what were some things that were hard for them. Boo started with piano lessons but changed her mind and decided that being an inventor was hard. (Seems that all the good stuff is already made.) Boy said that playing Lego Harry Potter on the Wii was hard. And so was reading. And coloring inside the lines. And brushing his teeth properly. And the list went on. I had to reel him back in before the tears welled.
Then I explained that sometimes new things seem difficult at first. Using an old issue of the Friend magazine, I read them a story titled "I Can Do Hard Things" by Nita Facer. In the story, Jon decided that school is too hard and he'd do much better staying home and helping his mom with his little sister. His mom reminds him that when he was first learning to tie his shoes, it was very hard but now he can tie them with no problem. Even his little sister is learning hard things by trying to walk on her own. Although she falls down a lot, she still gets back up and tries it again. When Jon asks if his mom thinks he can learn to do all those difficult tasks at school, she says he can, if he keeps trying. Jon decides that perhaps he can do hard things.
After the story, I asked the kids to name something that they are good at. Boo chose piano and we talked about how she really had to practice to get better. Now, she can read music pretty well, even songs that aren't in her lesson books. She was pretty happy when she realized how far she's come since she first started but I reminded her it took lots of practice to get her to this point. Then it was the Boy's turn. He was convinced there was nothing he was good at but once we got the ball rolling, he started naming all sorts of achievements. I said he's gotten better at building with his Legos. Boo added that he's good at Lego Star Wars on the Wii. Boy pondered that and he decided he was actually pretty darn good at all things Legos (maybe because he plays them far too much...). And once again, he needed to be reined in.
In closing, we set goals on things we thought might be hard now but we were going to keep working on until they were easy. I pledged to keep with a new exercise class I started, even though the instructor seems to enjoy trying to kill me. The Man has similar goals. Boo said she wants to learn to ride her bike without training wheels. Boy decided he would do the same. How's that for some sibling rivalry? And Baby? She's considering tackling the whole potty training thing.
Closing Song: Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam
Closing Prayer: The Man
Treats: Boo was in charge of treats and decided we needed to have ice cream sandwiches. I agreed.