I’ve been struggling over this month’s theme for several weeks now. It’s been rough. How rough, you may ask? This is the first time I’ve ever been late getting a post up here, and I considered just not doing it at all and running away. Every time I started to think about resilience it was like opening a dark cabinet, peering in, seeing an eternity of zilch, and going out for tacos. Or like like playing chess with a squirrel. Or something about something with hopscotch or something. My point is that resilience…is…sigh.
My professional side, the teaching part of me, insists that resilience can be taught, and hey music is a great place to learn it. You learn it through supported failure, and when you’re part of an ensemble and learning with others, there’s gonna be a lot of supported failure. Daily “one more time” with failing and finally succeeding, and through the whole process getting really good at dealing with it all. I’ve been doing that for 30 years now and still learn from the process. My sons have no interest whatsoever in playing an instrument. Breaks my heart.
Then there’s my parenting side. This is the side that wants to play hopscotch with a taco-eating squirrel. I know about the importance of teaching resilience to my sons, but how? I have one son who is amazingly resilient, who learns from his mistakes and failures, and noticeably improves through the process. And I have a perfectionist son who despises failure and would rather shoot the metaphorical horse than get back on. One son I support through the process, the other I look at in despair, wondering what I should do and when or how.
See, he’s the complex one, and there are still so many outstanding issues that I don’t know where to start. So while I agree that resilience is necessary for life, do I push that one before or after improving his barely-existant executive function skills? At the same time as improved focus or just one or the other? What about self-discipline or self-motivation or “doing something because it just damned well needs to be done and it doesn’t matter how much you do not want to do it?” So. Yeah.
Because of his twice-exceptionality, he works twice as hard to just appear average. And because of his 2e, skills that others have picked up easily are still a work in progress for him. And because I am an exhausted homeschooling mom of the aforementioned 2e child, I have no idea where to begin. So teaching and encouraging resilience becomes just one more thing of a million things that keeps keeps getting pushed aside by all the other things.
So like everything else my wonderful and stubborn child needs to learn, this will be baby steps over a long period of time. He’ll eventually get it (I hope), and I’ll continue to name my grey hairs after the learning experiences. In the meantime I’ll go out for tacos with my hopscotch-playing squirrel and hope for the best.