Friday, November 13, 2015

Respect the child's decision

- There are parts of this post that are spiritual in nature so consider yourself warned before you roll your eyes-

For the longest time, Jordan has been wanting to move schools. Initially, it was because she wasn't settled at her school. But even when she did settle and found her footing, she seemed to still have this inclination to move schools.

By then, we weren't so keen to do so because she had a group of friends that we liked and she could count on. She had strong teachers who were providing her good grounding. It was a good school with simple, decent and strong Christian values. There were no airs to it and we liked that very much.

Unfortunately, she kept picking on things like the girls beingnoisy and sometimes mean and the toilets being smelly and dirty. While we tried to assure her that she would face the exact situations in any other girls' school, she remained like a dog with a bone.

Since there was no dissuading her, we told her that it was then up to her to make it happen. We told her that we would submit her application for her but everything else would be up to her. She would need to

1. Provide consistently good results.

Her edict to herself as she worked towards the year-end examinations
2. Do whatever she felt necessary to get in.

3. Pray for God to open the door for her.

And then we left it. All I had to remember was to submit her results every semester. Jordan on the other hand, talked about it incessantly as if it were already going to happen. When we told her not to get her hopes up, she took it one step further and chose to write to the principal of the school. Jordan then convinced Grandma to drive her to the school and hand deliver the letter to the school office.

A day after her final term exams began, we heard from the school. They were offering her a place for next year. It was what we had been half hoping for for the last two years but thought was never going to happen. Once we got over all the hairs on our arms standing because we knew that it was by the Grace of God more than anything else, we were overwhelmed with nostalgia and reluctance. After all, her current school had done her no harm but in fact given her so much room to grow and develop as a person. And by taking her out, we were in some way hinting that it wasn't good enough for her. And by taking her out, we were throwing her into a brand new environment that she would need to get used to and make friends, all over again.

But the decision wasn't ours to make. That conflict was the hardest to bear. As parents, we are used to calling the shots for JED. But we had put the responsibility of her getting into her school of choice, into her hands. So it was only right to let her decide. We waited till her exams were over before we told her. In the ensuing days, Packrat and I went back and forth, weighing the merits of the new school but lamenting the loss of the her current school.

When we did tell her, we did so most dramatically. We pulled her out of school once her exams were over, took her to brunch and showed her the email. And as she read the email and chomped down on her buttered toast, a grin spread across her face, wide enough to split it. That was our answer enough. People asked if we would have pulled rank and demanded our preference over hers. That grin and the look on her face told us that we would be doing her and in the long term, ourselves a great disfavour, if we took that moment away from her. It was her moment. She did everything she could to get it and if we pulled it from under her feet, she would never trust us again.


Later on, I asked her what she thought were the reasons why she got into the school after such a long wait.

Her response was that
1. She had worked very hard and she had got herself some pretty good grades.
2. She had prayed. Very very hard.
3. She had written to the principal.

I asked her when she had prayed. In the words of those annoying click bait posts on FB, her answer blew me away.

Me: So, Jordan, when did you pray?
Jordan: Today, at recess.
Me: You prayed today, at recess that you would be able to move schools?
Jordan: Yes. And after recess, you came to pick me up and told me I got in.


So, with a heavy heart and trepidation on our part and an excited one on hers we're off on this new adventure, all because God heard the prayers of our 8 year old. May she always remember this as her first encounter of God's faithfulness to her.


Post a Comment