Thursday, 8 December 2016

We Do Hard Things

There is a terrible tension we all face as parents. Of wanting to see our kids succeed, conquer tough stuff and develop strength of character but the tension comes from the fact that no parent likes to see their child have to struggle or life to be difficult or for things to be hard for them. We desperately want our kids to be able to "do hard things" but it hurts so desperately when our kids have to "do hard things."

This where I am right now. Our little family is facing some "hard things". My 5 year old has been struggling with separation anxiety for about 6 months now. We have done all we can, from gently trying to coax and understand her irrational fear to forcing her to face her fear and remaining determined to get her past the tears and tantrums when she is afraid being away from me (because once she is wherever she needs to be she is fine). The struggle of trying to determine if this is just a behavioral/attention/control issue or whether there is something actually triggering fear. But I have come to the end of my available tools to help her and it hurts my heart every time I have to leave her in tears because some days just going to school is a "hard thing" for her. She is struggling and she is not able to verbalize all that is going on inside of her. I am exhausted from watching her struggle through this and we have done all we know to teach her to cope and understand her feelings and why she has these emotions.

The other "hard thing" we are facing at the moment is with our youngest, who is the most delightful, full of life child. She is such a joy to us all every day. But we were beginning to see that her speech was not where it should be. She jabbers all the time and she understands instructions and comprehends communication perfectly but intelligible spoken words were fewer then should be at 28 months. We had a speech assessment for her yesterday and my hope was that we would be told that she was just a little slower then others but time would fix that. Unfortunately this was not the case. She is struggling with her motor ability to form words and sounds. She has not be formally diagnosed with anything but it was obvious to me as the speech therapist played and assessed her abilities that my "baby" was struggling to make proper sounds and words come out and she would often just resort to the sounds she was comfortable with rather then try the difficult one.

This is tough. I don't want life to be "hard" for my kids. I don't want her to have to struggle just to form words.  But we will do "hard things". It is going to take time and it is going to take a great deal of work and persistence. She will speak normally but it is not going to come easy for her. 2 year olds shouldn't have "hard things", is what I want to tell myself, but the truth is we all have "hard things".

I want my kids to grow up strong and resilient. I want to see them conqueror the world in their own special way. So as  parent it hurts to watch them struggle but I know they do not struggle alone. None of us struggle alone. I love my kids too much to leave them to flounder and God loves us more I could ever love my kids, so I know He is with us in our "hard things".

I feel like our new family motto is going to be "We do hard things!" (which I would rather it be then we do easy things) but we won't conqueror those "hard things" because we are strong but because we are weak and He is strong. The truth is we will all "do hard things"find courage in the fact that you don't have to do them alone.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 
(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Love from the Parlee family.

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