My maturing 7 year old
I am so proud of Jude. Specifically this week I’ve notice a huge growth and maturing in him. He’s still the excitable and unique little boys he’s always been but he’s starting to grow up. I’m both thrilled to see his advancements but also sad to know this new phase means the end of my little boy Jude. But before I get to weepy let’s rejoice.
You may remember we’ve had some struggles with meeting Jude’s needs. Well, recently he’s really started to make progress in overcoming his weaknesses. Ever since we started homeschool I’ve been encouraging him to take the lead in his education. I encourage him to select the specific work he gets to do for the day (I offer suggestions and require him to choose a set number of subjects), the order in which he does his work, allow him to choose how much work to complete (occasionally). It’s freedom within a set of boundaries. He has to do work but he gets to select which work (most of the time).
He understands what the end goals are and what the rewards are for completing the goals. If the goals are met he gets the reward, if not he continues until he meets the goal. It’s fairly simple but I’ve found that allowing him this personal responsibility not only encourages him to obtain a reward but he’s learning how to manage his time, plan, and become self motivated. He also developing a love for learning because it’s self guided(mostly).
Giving him responsibilities has been such a huge confidence builder. I give him the freedom to approach a task on his own and the understanding that I will be there whenever he needs help. I’m essentially his biggest cheerleader. We celebrate success. We hit pause and evaluate the situation when things don’t work correctly. We approach tasks with a positive attitude.
This process within his homeschool has naturally spilled over into everyday life. He’s generally very helpful and eager to do chores and tasks around the house. He even occasionally asks to do more cleaning. Most recently he’s developed a love of cooking and I try to incorporate him as much as possible in our meal preparations. I always make sure to let him know how much I appreciate his help. And try to use positive reinforcement as much as possible.
I’ve found that so much of my parenting successes are based on my attitude and approach to situations. Jude is a very sensitive child and quickly picks up when I’m stress, agitated or angry and these emotions spill over onto him. My interactions and reactions with my boys are so critical. I make plenty of mistakes but I’m learning to be quick to ask my children for forgiveness so they understand what forgiveness is.
Jude has taken the responsibilities that were given to him and has started to make them his own. They are slowly becoming a part of his character and I’m so excited and proud of my amazing guy.