Sunday, October 2, 2011

Never Give Up

David O. McKay wisely stated, "No success can compensate for failure in the home."  I love how eloquently he teaches us that family is more important than the rest of the world.  That our efforts with our children and spouse are long-term investments.  That all the glory and money the world could heap upon me would pale in comparison to having a righteous, happy family. 

However, I recently heard a story about a reporter further questioning the author by asking for his definition of "failure."  His answer was that failure is giving up.  This is really food for thought. 

How many parents do I know whose children are struggling, and they have given up?  They are just going to love their child and send them to whatever program the public school offers and be satisfied with whatever comes.  How many parents are just praying their child will "outgrow" their struggles and somehow magically be able to pay attention and sit still after puberty hits?  How many parents think it's okay if reading is hard for their child because it must be genetic---the parents and grandparents struggled, too.  How many parents just turn their head when their child attempts to participate in sports or playground activities because their child "runs funny"?  To my way of thinking, these strategies are all "giving up".

The reason I say these strategies are "giving up" is because  a) they seldom bring success and  b) there is no action being taken by the parents.  It's not enough to hunker down and survive---we, as parents, need to be learning and taking action for our children EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, even if those steps are unpleasant, tiring, demanding and take every ounce of our strength.  We cannot let others be in charge of our child's progress.  We can certainly get help, but we are ultimately responsible and should keep ourselves in the drivers' seat.

I, sadly, watched the Detroit Lions play the Dallas Cowboys today.  Detroit was losing 20-0 in the third quarter.  But they still never gave up.  They fought and fought and came back to win 34-30.  They didn't give up.  They looked completely defeated, but they never quit.  They played football for the entire 60 minutes and because they took every possible chance they were given, they WON. 

And, as parents, we should, too.  Don't give in to a negative prognosis from a professional.  Don't let anyone tell you that parents aren't qualified to make decisions about your child.  Don't give up because it seems progress is coming too slowly or not at all.

Learn, learn, learn, learn.  Inform yourself.  Get a VARIETY of opinions and don't discount your instinct regarding your own child.  If you have professionals working with your child, know every detail and be in the ring on your child's side.  Make your time at home with your child productive.  Stay focused and dream at night about your child's success.  Work like it all depends on you and pray like it all depends on God.  And never never never give up!