It's not an easy thing being a parent.
Yesterday my son had a melt down. Over stuff. The stuff of learning something he doesn't want to, but stuff necessary to increased understanding that will help him in the long run. We have this understanding in our house that "stuff" isn't worth getting mad about. If you break stuff by accident it's not worth anger, it's just learning to be more careful. If you can't understand book work ... it's just stuff and sometimes you just need to let it set in your brain to figure it out. It's just STUFF. it's not heart work or relationships or character building.. it's just STUFF. We don't hurt each other, we don't act dismissive of God or his creation. But stuff... we let stuff go. It's not worth it. People and God are worth it, stuff is just .. stuff.
He immediately apologized because he knew himself that directing his anger at me was inappropriate, but it didn't help him learn a better way of handling his frustration.
After being given time to chill out for a while and let the physical stuff from emotional ruin settle out of his system, we were able to chat a bit. One needs to let that angst run out.
I explained how what we were doing in our lessons would be beneficial for him in the long run. He has this tendency to think he should understand what we are learning IMMEDIATELY. Of not realizing that sometimes baby steps lead to increased understanding. It's hard... I know it.. sometimes you just want to know things without having to do the work of gaining the necessary knowledge to get there.
I asked him how long we normally do short lessons?
"15 minutes mom".
"mm.. is that very long?"
"No, but sometimes it feels long."
"Yeah I know, being upset about things can do that to a person. Makes it seem like it goes on forever doesn't it?"
"Do you think it you kept yourself calm that it will seem so long?"
"I don't know mom, maybe".
"Well let's test it out and see. Can you remember that it's just stuff and usually stuff isn't worth getting all upset about."
So for 15 minutes my son breathed through the work and oh my goodness, it went so fast 15 minutes was up and gone and the work was done. MOM! I got it!
It's that getting it that helps to cement the learning you know. Not just the book learning but the heart learning.
Then it was the heart felt..
"Mom, I AM sorry. I didn't need to get so mad it's just stuff right mom?"
"Yes lad... it's just stuff and stuff can be learned. Anger doesn't help it does it?"
And so my eight year old continues to learn..not just book work, but life and heart work as well.
And yes, it's tough, but it's also good. Because THIS stuff is worth it. :)