Tag Archives: Hard Days

street intersection by Gidget

Dog Phobia Challenges

We, as a family, really need to get more exercise. {Don’t we all, right?} So, I decided that the way to build up our stamina was to park about a quarter of a mile away from the library in order to walk there and back. {I hate walking without a purpose.} And, I would slowly increase the distance that we were walking each time.

Perhaps I should also mention that my son, who has Aspergers, has a severe dog phobia, and anytime we are out {and especially walking} I must scan the area constantly to be sure that we are not going to suddenly have a dog near us. If he sees it before I do, then I have a flight situation on my hands. As you can imagine, this can make for an exhausting experience.

On this particular day, we were coming up on an intersection, and all of a sudden Rex says “Dog!” and breaks to run away – INTO THE STREET. I grabbed his arm, stopped him, calmly asked him for his hand, and held on tight. {In my heart, I was anything but calm!}

I looked around, but I couldn’t see where the dog was, so I asked him. He pointed to a vehicle that had just parked, and said that it was in the SUV. He was afraid that the dog was going to be getting out. As it turned out, the gentleman was just dropping something off, and the dog’s feet never even touched the ground.

After we got home, and the event was over, I spoke to him. I said “You have to promise me that you will not run into the street if you see a dog. A dog may bite you, but a car can kill you.” He explained that he couldn’t make me a promise that he might not be able to keep because he couldn’t think when he saw a dog. {You gotta love the honesty even if the situation is heartbreaking.}

My husband and I talked, and we decided that we simply can’t take the chance. We have decided not to take the chance just to take a casual walk down the street because you can never guess when he might try to take off – dogs I can see are one thing, but dogs that are inside of a car?!? – that I can’t be prepared for. The only other option would be to hold his hand at all times, and at 6th grade, I simply can’t see that happening.

Who wouldn’t want to walk down this beautiful sidewalk?

Do you have experience with dog phobias? I’d love to hear what worked for you in the comments – or perhaps just share your challenges with phobias and we can commiserate together – after all, there is strength in numbers, right?


Rex - unhappy

Homeschooling: Not for the Faint of Heart

You know, sometimes I think that when we talk to other people, we tend to gloss over the less than fun parts of homeschooling (or at least I do). But, the truth is – some days are just flat-out HARD.

The kids won’t stop arguing – everything is taken as an offense. No one wants to do their schoolwork. They don’t understand anything that you’re teaching. There are no clean dishes to prepare lunch. The list goes on and on (and on). And, you may find yourself standing there berating yourself with, “If I had only done it differently when they were small” or worse,”I’ve completely failed them!”

This week, we had a particularly bad case of one of those days. And, if I’m being completely honest here – I did not handle the situation well. I lectured, cajoled, and pleaded to please, please, please focus and do better. I even threatened (although they know I would never go through with it), “Do I need to just send you to public school? Cause you’re obviously not listening to me.”

And, the really sad thing is that I could have turned that horrible day into one of love and togetherness. Ann Voskamp has a wonderful printable called “10 Points of Joyful Parenting” that I printed out quite a while ago, but oh, how I wish I would have remembered #7 on that oh, so very trying day.

7.Today, the moment when I am most repelled by a child’s behavior, that is my sign to draw the very closest to that child. ~ Ann Voskamp

So, yes – I made a mistake (several, if we’re keeping count). But, luckily, I have taught my children that “We are all sinners and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)” So, they already know that I am not perfect, and there was no shock when I went into my daughter’s room that night and apologized to her for my lack of patience and asked for her forgiveness. To which she replied, “I forgive you,” and wrapped her arms around my neck. I was reminded at that moment that regardless of any of our (perceived) educational shortcomings, I haven’t “failed them” because I have continuously pointed their hearts toward God and Jesus.

Hear, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah:and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

~ Deuteronomy 6:4-7 {American Standard}

We are blessed to be able to travel this homeschooling road – even during the rough days. Perhaps I should say – especially on the rough days. All of that time together sure does ease the small bumps and dips along the way. How do you handle those times when things are not going according to the plan? I would love to hear what works for you in the comments!