Leo Babauta wrote an excellent article titled, “9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn.” His last one was “Dealing with Change.” He says: “Life is an adventure, and things will go wrong, turn out differently than you expected, and break whatever plans you made — and that’s part of the excitement of it all.”
My husband and I both grew up moving around a lot. As an army brat, Don lived between Louisiana and Germany, even graduating from high school in Germany. While I lived in the same general area in Texas, I hopped around among several different school systems and houses – my dad was on a quest for the perfect home on the right plot of land. (Fortunately, he found it, but that was after I graduated!) So, needless to say, we experienced much change in our developmental years. And fortunately for us, we were comfortable in it, embraced it, and for the most part loved the adventure of it all.
We were able to carry that into our marriage and family culture – we’ve moved several times ourselves across states, and are always up for a roadtrip or new experience. Those types of “changes” are typically ones we can plan for and look forward to. However, we have also experienced our share of unexpected changes, and I’ve been thankful for how we’ve “rolled” with it all. Our children watch us and get to live through many of these changes with us. Thus, the unknown and unpredictable becomes familiar and comfortable.
I loved this article from Leo. As a family, we resonate with and adhere to most all of items on the list, but I still appreciate reading an articulation of what sometimes can be so nebulous and intangible. There were a few I’ve lost sight of for a while like, “Asking Questions” and “Tackling Projects.”
There are times when I’m trying to breeze through a reading in our school day, trying to get out the door, and know that their question will add more time that I had allotted, and so ask them to just wait on it. The better approach would be to stop where we are, dialogue around their question and just pick up the reading again at another time! And the article got my mind churning on ways to inspire the kids in a wide assortment of projects to tackle during their down-times – interests and hobbies that can turn into finite, productive, enjoyable goals.