I recently read a blog post that moved me. It was written by a mother who loved her children. She loved these children so much that when faced with the truth about her son’s reading deficit, she chose to speak this truth to him…in love. By doing so she spoke life into her son and changed a bad situation completely around.
I’m not naive. I do not think that any and every situation can be instantly changed by just telling someone the truth. I do however believe in the power of speaking life into people. I do believe that things like love, honesty, time, patience, and encouragement, whether used once or over time can change things. Speaking life means taking the time to pay attention, loving enough to believe the best, having the patience to endure, and communicating these things through actions and words.
So often I would watch children come into my classroom defeated, deflated and hopeless. They were breathing, but barely alive. They put forth little effort. Often times they were behind academically. Everything in their being said “Who cares?” When I first started teaching I would call my parents and complain that I was constantly expected to deal with the “problem” children. If a kid couldn’t keep it together in their own classroom they always seemed to find their way into mine. It was not until a few years in that I came to understand why. Standing in the hallway outside of my classroom, frustrated and trying to explain to my administrator why the child she had just placed in my room was unfair to me and my children’s learning environment, she told me why I was always “chosen.” “You care,” she said. I didn’t say anything else. Having complete comprehension of what she meant, I walked back into my room, put the child at a desk and made him apart of the class…as usual. This happens so many times in so many school buildings with so many teachers that “care,” but they can not be the only ones.
In the article, A Lesson Learned on Medical Leave http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/13339715/1088/, I was moved because this mother did what so many of us do not realize is necessary. Her son struggled in reading, so much so that he was in danger of failing the third grade. After taking time to help with homework, talking constantly to teachers, this mother just did not know what to do. Then it happened, in one moment where she had been forced to slow down and pay attention due to medical bed rest, she saw her son’s problem. He simply wasn’t trying. This loving mother realized in that instant that she had a responsibility, she had to speak life into her child. Looking him in the eyes she told him that his problem was not a lack of intelligence, but a lack of effort and his laziness was going to cost him big time, he was going to be retained. From that moment that child put forth the effort needed and passed the third grade.
Is all this to say that if you tell your kids what their problems are they will instantly change and become wonder kids? Heck no! But what I am trying to say is that our kids need to hear the truth from us because we love them and they need to know it. Whether that truth is good or bad, we must deliver it to them. The truth spoken from a place of unconcern can be like a blow to the gut…taking the breath/life out of you. But the truth spoken in love can plant a seed that will grow and flourish and…live.
A Lesson Learned on Medical Leave http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/13339715/1088/