Today’s Gospel: Luke 15:1-10
I used to be a helicopter mom when it came to my kids’ homework. I monitored what was due when, and tried to teach them organizational skills, time management, and good study habits. I played it that way for years. Consequently, both my boys had straight As.
But there comes a time when our kids have to fly. Last September, I pushed them both out of the nest. Zack was in eighth grade; Mason was in sixth. I felt they were ready to apply all I had taught them, and strike out on their own. To inspire them, I dangled the idea of a big reward at report card time if they stayed straight A students.
Right out of the gate, Mason caught his stride and consistently applied himself. Not the case with his older brother. Zack took a casual approach; and his grades reflected it. Suddenly, C’s, D’s, and F’s became common marks.
As the trimester progressed, Mason continued to quietly do the right thing in the background, like a good sheep. Unfortunately, I barely noticed. I was too busy trying every motivational technique I could think of to untangle his lost sheep brother from the briers.
When marks closed, each of their report cards reflected their effort: Mason earned his reward; Zack did not.
Oh how I struggled with toeing the line. As unfair as it sounds, Mason’s reward was delayed and downplayed so as not to rub things in Zack’s face. It was a very difficult and uncomfortable situation all around.
I am hopeful that the day will come when Zack’s grades WILL improve. On that day, there will be no delaying or downplaying his reward. Instead, there will be a big old celebration when my lost student finds his way back.
Do I have one child who struggles, and one who does not? Do I celebrate more when the struggling child succeeds?
Dear God, please bless my struggling child with whatever is needed to bring him/her back. Also, please remind me to to recognize and affirm my other child who consistently does the right thing.
Copyright 2018 Claire McGarry
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