Lessons learned at Lo Jolla Tide Pools (part1)

4 Aug

This is how he learned

This is what I learned

little boy on beach sand

Curiosity starts early

Looking back at all the pictures I had taken at the La Jolla tide pools I couldn’t help but think of all the lessons learned on this simple trip to the beach. I had to break it down to three posts. I hope you can appreciate these learning moments with me.
My son Rocco (1 yr old)  is a total opposite of my older son Rockford(3 yrs old). While Rockford observes, analyzes, then makes a choice of action, Rocco is fearless, action driven and determined. I knew that just as my sons’ personalities were different, I too had to train and teach them in different styles (well somewhat).
While at the tide pools I was not the least surprised that Rockford would have a hard time trading his socks and tennis shoes for sandals. I expected he would be reluctant to touch the water, the little fish, and sea weed. I also expected Rocco to be hands on with everything. If Daddy pulled out a fish, Rocco wanted it. When Daddy held a crab, Rocco went for the pincers. And when we circled a little tide pool, Rockford watched on his feet while Rocco bent down to splash the water. They couldn’t be more different.
In parenthood we know there are many opportunity for learning lessons. As a parent I try to determine what is best for my kids. When Rockford asks me if he can climb a new play apparatus I am always confident to say yes because I know he is my little analyzer who wont venture on something recklessly, but will give it thought to determine his outcome so I give him freedom to make some of his choices. However, if there is a high risk scenario, I don’t hesitate to just intercept and make decision for him i.e. running away from mama in a parking lot.
Though Rockford has always been cautious and calculated, Rocco is reckless and determined. I learned early on that I would have to determine just how much freedom to give this boy because he doesn’t really assess things like my other son does. As a result, he gets injured a lot more, cries a lot more and is unhappy a lot more when he doesn’t get what he wants or gets frustrated with determination to obtain his objective…fit two VHS videos inside the VHS player, take out a tupperware dish stuck in the drawer, or drink out of an adult size glass. When he fails he gets angry.
So while at the tide pools as we are walking along the shore Rockford is walked closely to Daddy, but Rocco wanted to stop and play with the sand. I stopped to let him enjoy the beach sand. Soon his attention went to the water waves and his curiosity took over. Like every other objective he tackles, he was determined to go near those waves. As I stood there watching him. I made a conscious decision not to stop him. Yes, I knew he would get a little scared of the cold water splashing (water came up to his ankles). However, I knew if he experience this discomfort, he would learn not to go back there without me even having to say anything. That was exactly what happened. This was the learning moment for me too.

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Freedom isn’t free, but necessary
The autonomy or freedom we give our children comes with a price. Some mistakes are more costly than others. As a parent I want to give my kids opportunity to fail, make wrong choices, or experience discomfort while they are young and we can afford those mistakes. If they are never allowed to make choices or practice wisdom, how are they to gain wisdom? When will they make their own choices and at what cost? I don’t want to wait until my sons are in high school and are offered drugs, tempted to cheat on a test or getting involved with girls to only then start making choices for themselves. What wise choices would I expect them to make then?
Using God’s method
Just as I allow my children to have freedom to make choices, God has given me free will. I am free to do what ever I want, but all my choices come with a cost. Some choices in life have hurt me badly and though they came with discomfort and shame, I did learn from them and stop repeated them. Had God not given me that freedom and limited my actions, I would probably be like my one year Rocco and throw fits and be mad at God. I know He gives me freedom because He loves me and though my bad choices may cause Him more sorrow than to me, He wont intercept my choice.  That’s the price of His love for me, free will.
I can’t help what choices my kids make ultimately in the future years, but as long as they are young and the cost is affordable (a scratched knee, a broken lamp, a crying kid) I am going to take advantage of that and cultivate wisdom in them to better equip them for their future choices. It might vary by kid, but aren’t we all different too and God still works with us and teaches us and molds us to be better equip for our future choices?
I do take comfort in this and know that I am not alone in shaping and molding my kids. God’s word is my blueprint to raising wise, responsible and disciplined boys.
“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”~ Proverbs 22:6
What are your methods of exercising wisdom, discernment and or responsibility?
Great resources:
Have a terrific Thursday all! Blessings!

3 Responses to “Lessons learned at Lo Jolla Tide Pools (part1)”

  1. workmomad August 4, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    I have found counting to 10 before I blow my stack can be an invaluable weapon! 🙂


  2. IncidentalDomestic August 7, 2011 at 4:03 am #

    Isn’t it amazing how different the personalities of our children are and even more amazing how much we learn about God’s love for us through our kids? Great post!!!

    -Jennifer P.


    • Training Up My Boys August 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm #

      I agree Jennifer. I am reminded by just how different my husband and I are and how my boys will one day meet a girl who will be their balance for them just like their mommy and daddy are to each other. I am enjoying being flexible to each son’s need. Thanks Jennifer so stopping by and you just earned an entry for the Custom Made Bag Sweepstakes (by leaving a comment) Good luck winner is announced Augl 15th!!!

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