We’ve been trying to work on her multiplication and division facts daily. She hates it. She puts up a fuss whenever I bring it up. She tries to negotiate. Mom, can we just do the 6’s today? She sighs. She rolls her eyes and sometimes stomps her feet and sometimes gets sassy and sometimes cries.
On this particular day I was folding laundry on our bed and I asked her to come go through her facts with me. She started with her normal protest. She got angry. And then she melted into a mess of tears.
Now some days the tears are just a way for her to try to get out of it. I give her a firm little pep talk and we move on and she does her facts reluctantly. But on this particular day these were genuine, mom please don’t make me do these stupid math facts, tears. I’ve come to know the difference. So instead of the usual firm pep talk, I enveloped her into my arms and just let her cry it out. Because I’ve also come to know (maybe from a bit of my own personal tears), that sometimes it’s best to just take a minute to be mad and to be sad and to allow emotion to have it’s time.
After she had calmed down we chatted about how sometimes things take discipline and repetition to get better. How yes, it’s not fair that math comes so easily for her brother, but I also reminded her how he really struggles with things like coloring and handwriting, things she’s really great at. That God gave us all our own talents and things we are good at, but He also asks us to keep working on the things that might be a bit more challenging for us. How yes, her neighbor friend down the street might not have to do her math facts every single day like she does, but that’s really not her concern. That she needs to focus on her and what’s going to help her get better at math and not worry about her brother or her neighbor friend. That doing the hard stuff now is going to make math easier in the long run. That the things that are good for us are usually not easy. And I know that’s hard for her to understand. Heck, it’s sometimes hard for me to still understand.
It’s hard for me to understand that things take discipline and repetition to get better. That God asks us to keep working on the things that might be a bit more challenging for us. That it’s really not my concern why certain people seem to have it so easy. That the things that are good for us are usually not easy. Oh yes. I’m learning these things as her parent, as an adult, right along with her.
She then took a deep breath and recited her math facts for me as I finished up the laundry. And she smiled that beautiful smile that made me feel blessed to be her mom and be the one to help navigate life right along side her.