Monday, November 22, 2010

I originally posted No Mediogre Kids because I agree with her that often things that drive us crazy are strengths in disguise. As caregivers and teachers we need to take the time to figure out how to channel and use a child's strengths in ways that are constructive and train in a way that gives the child opportunity to grow and use his strengths to the glory of God and the benefit of others and to compensate for weaknesses. I'm a firm believer in taking the time to figure out the gift side of a problem. Sometimes you can use that gift side of a problem as motivation for a child because you can find something he/she enjoys doing and turn behaviors around.

It's also important for kids to learn to do what they don't want to do with a good attitude (with the heart of a servant), to communicate respectfully and count other people as more important than yourself. Love covers a multitude of sins.

I also found it a rather scary site to explore. I got scared when they started talking about the use of "Socratic" questions. Not because of something heretical but because I live with a man (we're married) who thinks and asks critical "Socratic" questions at work (or so I'm told). He explained all that to me one day when I was particularly frustrated with him. I realized that frankly, that process will always drive me crazy but we're very different and I knew that. He also accomplishes things with his teams at work (glory to God) that I never will - work that few people accomplish. The thought of young people that sharp (that brilliant) with that kind of leadership capability is just scary...These kids are the God-given diamonds set in gold that require diamond-cutting and gold refining but who will probably have the courage and natural abilities to go and do what other people never will.

Kids with leadership strengths need stronger leaders than most kids, like a dog from strong working lines isn't a dog for the average owner. He needs a highly skilled, experienced, benevolent handler. Kids with strong leadership aptitudes & attitude need stronger leaders with keen people skills, the ability to make split second decisions and enforce them (with a dash of benevolence as needed). The ability to channel those God-given aptitudes to the glory of God, to the benefit of many without breaking their spirit (good luck with that :-) isn't easy. It isn't easy to train these kids to do what they don't want to do with a good attitude. It isn't easy to find ways for them to just be kids.

I've only skimmed some of the articles on the site but it's worth a read and worth sifting her thoughts & experience through the scriptures... Scripture is full of strong leaders. Some chose to walk with God. Some didn't - imperfect men, all, but God used them.

For leaders, there's a time to drive forward because it's the right thing to do and it will ultimately benefit many in the end (soldiers, people on a deadline). There's also a time to journey in such a way that pregnant women and young children can keep up and rest when they need to. Refugees - the people of Israel crossing the desert. A time to be hard-nosed & unwavering and a time to extend mercy. A good leader will know how to balance all of that. That's wisdom.  A huge responsibility. I think the more of a conscience you have, the more sides of the problem you see, the harder the job. Learning to serve is always a good thing - for some, leading. For some doing dishes. God and His people need both.

Which reminds me, I was thinking about the difference between equity and equality this morning. Allowing kids to do different things - things they enjoy, things they're good at - praising/rewarding each for a job well-done (even if it's not what everyone else is doing) is equitable. Making everyone take turns doing the same thing for the same limited results - that's equality. I think God is more into equity than equality...different roles and different jobs for different people. He also asks us to do what we don't want to do. He also judges each of us impartially. He's not a respecter of persons... which takes us back to sifting life through scripture  and wrestling with God through the contradictions ...on our quest to know Christ Jesus and to learn wisdom. That's the greater challenge.

Phil. 3:12-14

Hosea 6:3 (I like the NAS translation for this passage.)

Go back to Isaiah 55:9-11, Psalm 119, Proverbs, Psalm 90 . . . Lord, teach us wisdom. Lead us and guide us so we can share what You give us with those you give us for whatever time You leave them in our care...May they leave our care more connected to You than when they started...

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