“Life takes doing homework.” This was a statement I shared with my step son this week which turned into one of the best life lessons I have taught him.
Sometimes as a parent you walk away from a interaction or conversation with your kids and you think to yourself. “Did I just say that? Wow that was pretty good. I should use that again in the future.” These are the moments that as a parent you hang your hat on. Parenting is the hardest job that I have ever had, but without a doubt it is the most rewarding. There are stressful times, days you feel defeated, exhausted, and discouraged but after moments like this one you feel accomplished, influential, and wise.
A little context which led to this lesson. Ethan has been having a hard time with homework. As he puts it, “this work doesn’t mean anything; it is dumb”. Ethan is super smart (smarter than he knows) but he gets frustrated when he doesn’t get something quickly. He wants to just throw his hands up and gives up…but with just a little effort he gets it and can move quickly. His reading level exceeds his peers and he is wise beyond his years but sometimes his emotions get in his way.
So as we are working though this math homework and he is on the verge of ripping the paperwork down the middle I tell him “Buddy I know you are getting frustrated but this work matters. Let’s take it slow and work on it together”. After we are able to work through this I shared how I was in this same place just the night before. “Buddy you know what? Homework never goes away. You will be doing it for the rest of your life. Just last night you know what I was doing until 11:00? Homework. I had a project I had to finish for work.” I shared with him my work that I was involved in and talked about the amount of people that were depending on me to complete it. His eyes lit up.
I proceeded to add “for you to be successful in the career you choose, you have to put effort in. You have to practice, keep learning, and do your homework, and the only way you’re going to be good at this is if you start doing your homework today. Life takes homework”
I just got the “ya ok” look but honestly I pray these little lessons pay off. That he is able to apply them in his life and he accomplishes everything he wants to.