Disappointment is part of life. It’s one of those emotions that one experiences daily in small doses. Sometimes the doses get really large, of course. Hopefully, not daily. So, in our homeschool, it’s not like we have to make a lesson plan about it. Opportunities for disappointment abound at any given point in the day.
My kids want to do something that should be done only after we finish school, for instance. The answer is, “Yes, we can do that, after you finish school.” If they ask why, I usually explain, “Devotional first, then school, then recess.” We try to make many things fun during our devotional and school times, but recess is fun by definition.
Disappointment hurts and one cannot prepare for the pain. But, one can learn (1) the steps out of it and (2) that there is life after disappointment. As Christians, we know that God’s answer to our prayers may be “No” or “Later” at times. As we trust Him, hope replaces disappointment.
The other day, as we were coming home late from our classes in Knoxville, we planned a Taco Bell drive-through run for dinner. They had a 30-minute wait. I said, “Forget it,” and drove off.
My son was so disappointed, he cried and screamed all the way home – about 15 minutes – asking me to turn around. I thank God I was kind and patient with him, explaining several times and from different angles that we have food at home which we can fix faster. That I was also disappointed, but it would not make sense to wait that long.
He would not listen. He got a consequence for being loud and crabby – we removed one of his privileges for a time. Ever since, he has been more polite and understanding of limitations and changes of plans.
Did he resent me? Not at all. That night, before going to bed, he apologized and wrote me a card. It said, “I ♥ you.” I will always treasure the card as a reminder to stand my ground when my kids get emotional and demand something irrational. It’s so easy to give in just to stop their tears.
Homeschooling allows for lots of time spent together – it’s the main reason I chose this educational path for my children. As I spend quantity time with them, quality time pops up here and there. That’s when you can influence your children the most. I think the Taco Bell incident above was one of those moments for us.