I got an email last week which included the question:
How do we break it to Grandma that we’re not sending the kids to school? She keeps talking to our daughter about starting school, and that's not going to be happening. I don't want to upset my mom, but I know she's not going to be happy about this.
If you are fortunate enough to be part of a family where your parents’ support is important to you, there are a few things you can do to help them adjust to the idea:
- · Find out what their real objection is. Are they worried the kids will be freaks? Are they concerned that they won’t get into college? Do you have a history of being a flake and they’re worried you’re going to drop the ball? Directly address those concerns.
- · Were you sold on the idea from the very beginning? Tell your parents why. If not, tell them what finally convinced you. Share your sources.
- · Can you take them places where homeschooling families are? Is there a scheduled outing of a group near where you are? Send an email ahead of time asking for one of the veterans to “hang out” with your family. I’ve “casually” chatted up quite a few grandparents on field trips at the zoo. I’m always happy to help and so are most other veterans.
- · Involve your parents in the planning, if they live close enough to help. My children’s Oma (German for grandmother) was a fast convert when we asked her to teach our children to speak German. It’s hard to fight against something you’re a part of, so get them on the inside of it.
- · Show your parents how normal life is going to be for their grandbabies. Take a moment to remember that their objections are coming from a place of love for your children. Your parents love your children so much that they worry about their futures. Do you know what a blessing that is? Do you really?
- · Pray for them. There is no heart so hardened that God cannot soften it. If they just can’t seem to get where you are coming from on this, let it be for a while and give God a chance to work on them.
· Just for a moment, ask yourself…could they be right? Entertain that thought for a second especially if their objection is a character flaw of yours (like laziness or poor follow through.) Is it possible that you need to do a bit of work on yourself before you start teaching your children? Is it work you are willing to do? There is none of us so perfect that we can't use a bit of tweaking. Take the honest criticism and use it to make yourself stronger, take the not-honest-just-mean kind and ignore it. That stuff doesn't deserve your time or energy.
The bottom line of it all is that these are your children, and the decisions about their education are completely the responsibility of you, their parents, and no one else. Listen to the thoughts and ideas of the people who love your family, pray about it, and then realize that ultimately it is all up to you.