Friday, March 21, 2014

{No More Perfect Kids} The Reality of Real Life

This week we're hearing real-life stories from dads. Letting go of perfection is a message from which everyone in your family can benefit. "No More Perfect Kids" by Jill Savage and Kathy Koch has been a fabulous resource for me. You can buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christian Book Distributors.

Now, let's welcome Dr. Rob Currie. I was glad Jill Savage recommended him for this real-life dads series of mine and I was thankful he was willing to participate. 

What are parents to do when they learn their child has a serious problem? My wife and I were faced with that when our son was in third grade. That's when we learned that he struggled with reading comprehension. That was 13 years ago, but I remember well the parent-teacher conversation when we received the news. I was crushed. My wife and I were troubled because reading comprehension affects nearly every subject in school.

What intensified the difficulty for our son was that he attended a school that had a challenging academic program. This meant he was falling far behind both his peers' performance and his teachers’ expectations when it came to reading comprehension.

In addition to being unpleasant news, it caught us by surprise. We’d always made reading an emphasis with our son. We read to him, took him to the library, kept a variety of stimulating books around the house, and every night we read to him at bedtime. Given the effort we’d put into his literacy, we never thought he'd struggle with reading.

But with prayer, psychological testing, and trying out different strategies at home, we discovered he understood material very well if it was read to him. He followed the flow of ideas and had meaningful comments about what he's just heard.

We eventually settled on homeschooling because we could work with him one on one, reading his books to him. Years have passed since then. He graduated from high school four years ago. After trying out several jobs, he's chosen truck driving as a career. It's a good fit for him and we're happy for him.

God rarely gives parents the children they dreamed they'd have. Instead, he surprises them with real kids, with complex needs and personalities. The good news is that our real God helps our real kids with their real problems in the middle of their real lives.

Dr. Rob Currie is a professor of psychology at Judson University in Elgin, Ill., and has spoken at Hearts at Home. He and his wife Kay have two sons. Currie also wrote “Hungry for More of God” and “Preschool Wisdom: What Preschoolers Desperately Want to Tell Parents and Grandparents."

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