Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Disappointment

"Pleeeeeasseee, can I have one of those loom things to make bracelets?"

"But, Mom, it's the role I always dreamed of.  I don't know why I didn't get it."

"She keeps pushing me away and it hurts."

"The lies she has told are spreading."

"There are three things going on that weekend and I don't know which one to choose. No matter what I do I'm going to miss out on something."

It's hard to watch my children face disappointment.  I want to take it away.  There are times when I am the source of that disappointment (as in the case of those silly loom bracelet making things and my steadfast household ban, due to the amount of junk already in the house, two girls who need to learn the art of cleaning up after themselves, and the knowledge that this fad will pass just as quickly as other money making ploys in the past) and I could take that disappointment away with a simple change of mind.  But I remain firm. Other situations are caused by factors outside my control. I could try to step in and manipulate and argue for my child. I hold my tongue. There are times when I can do nothing, even if I wanted to do so. Instead, I pray.

So why don't I give my children everything they want and more?  Well, for one, it's not financially possible.  But even if it was, I hope that I would still make the same choices.  My children are going to face disappointment in life and there will be times I can't do anything to take it away.  I pray that they learn this lesson now.  I also want them to learn where to take their disappointments; God is ready to hear their sorrow and to redeem it. For now, the sadness comes from a friend who has wronged them but someday that may be an employer.  Today, she doesn't get a role she wants (actually, she was 10 when the above scenario happened) but someday that might be not getting a first college choice or the death of a dream career. Right now a plan gone awry, thwarted by unfair circumstances might seem like the end of the world but someday it might be an unexpected diagnosis. Lessons learned in disappointment today will not only teach coping skills for the future but will also grow them into the person God wants them to be. I also want my children to experience disappointment because this is where we learn empathy and compassion for others.

But there are times my Mommy Heart aches as much (sometimes more) as my child's heart does.  I find myself asking God, Why?  And in those moments I need to remind myself that I don't want to teach my children entitlement and happiness.  I want to teach them empathy, faith, and joy.  It is in our disappointments that we grow the most.  It is in reaching out to God when we don't understand, that we learn faith. It is in learning that life isn't all roses and "going my way" that we learn joy despite circumstances.

So rather than jump in and fix it for them, I will stand with them.  I will listen.  And as the days go by and the time is right, I will teach them what I really want them to learn.  Together, we will decide if there is a course of action which should be taken.  If they need to speak to someone, together we'll choose the words that need to be said and how it should be said.  I will be the encourager from afar when it comes time to do that, however.  Learning to question, debate, and stand up for yourself is best done by yourself, not by Mom.

Kids, this is my prayer for you. And you can find me sitting here on my hands and holding my tongue so that I don't jump in and try to fix it.

I will not jump in and try to fix it.  I will not jump in and try to fix it...

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