Thursday, February 16, 2012

Choices

Life is full of them, isn't it? Our days are full of them...

I know I daily make right and wrong choices...I just hope that the right outweigh the wrong at the end of the day.

We have been VERY busy in our house with Science Fair projects - two of them. Jellybean did her project on crystallization via Coal Flowers and Bug wanted to show how to make a magnet using a battery, nail and copper wire.  Our choice: to help them to get organized, arrange their thoughts, their processes and then support them in what they had to do after that. 

The Science Fair was yesterday (we won't know who wins until tomorrow) but, there were a few projects where you can tell the parents did the majority of the work instead of merely supporting the children as they learned and worked. That was their choice and I do not judge them for that. Our choice, however, was to make sure our children knew they were supported as they succeeded at what they chose to do.

There were two MAJOR meltdowns this year. Jellybean had one two days before the "big day" as there were daily journals, project reports, single page analyze reports, and the list goes on and on...she became overwhelmed. We could have, and resisted choosing getting right into the midst of what she was doing and take over but...we, as parents, decided to take her in our arms for a moment, soothed her tears, told her how bright and smart she is and that she is perfectly capable of achieving all she was hoping to accomplish.  We prayed with her and her little brother gave her a big hug and told her he believed in her.  Bug had his the night before. "What am I supposed to say to the judges? I can't talk to them!" We talked it out, did a few practice runs, hugged, prayed, laughed and sent him off to bed to just get a good night's rest.

That next day, as much as I wanted to not go to work so I could go to the Science Fair, I wanted to send my kids a good message. I went to work, grabbed a lunch I could eat in the car and on my lunch break zipped over to see and support my babies.  The responses from the judges were so positive. Bug was told that he presented his project very well and really understood what he was saying! Jellybean's feedback was super positive too! {Tomorrow we find out the results and, to be honest, both kids are hoping they don't win first place as there is a next level to go on to}

We could have stepped in and did a lot more work with the kids than we did but what kind of lesson would that have been. I don't know if our choice was right or wrong, more right or more wrong than what the other parents did or didn't do but I do know that for our children, the decision was right.  They came home with a sense of accomplishment, a sense of overcoming and a sense of consequence to their decisions.

We have a busy house so arranging and organizing time to do these projects has been a challenge for both.  Bug came home the night of the Science Fair, settled into the couch, snuggled into a blanket and asked if he could please just stay there all night. "I was pretty stressed out, guys."

I think it is so funny that, as much as they want to have done well, the best either of the kids wish to have gotten is third because that ensures they will not be moving on to the next level in March. I, personally, think that they have all ready won so much more than a ribbon; they both feel such a sense of accomplishment, of overcoming a, seemingly, hopeless challenge and a job well-done. I am so proud of those kids and so relieved that neither one of them want to do this again, so far, next year... {grin}

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