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Hammer

Today is one of those days that I feel like a hammer and the world is a box of nails. Specifically, one of my children is a giant, flat headed galvanized nail. It is the responsibility of a parent to mold and train; we teach and encourage. Today, I felt like a blacksmith with an anvil. The child is not openly defiant nor is he willful. He folds, like an aluminum chaise lounge. In making himself smaller and tighter, he attempts to elicit sympathy and rescuing. He is hoping for excuses. In the past, it has pandered to my mother-guilt. Not today. I am not his friend or his buddy. He doesn’t have to like me or think I am cool. He can think ill of me, punch his pillow and grumble all he wants….as long as he does his math homework and applies himself at school.

Can a parent tell when their child is of average intelligence? ┬áDo all smart people assume their progeny are smart, too? Would I cut some slack if I accepted that he might not be the shiniest penny in the fountain? But, honestly…..he is crack the whip smart. Stunningly smart. But there is danger in derelict genius. And as a parent, I must trust my intuition and be forceful, stern and authoritative with a brilliant, wandering child. I do not want him to fold. I want him to be disciplined. He can learn to access his skills and talents for a given situation. His originality is only made more vibrant with education and knowledge.

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  1. Children at their core are wonderful raw materials. The originality, the energy, the raw talents are what make this beautiful piece of unformed steel. But it is our job to help this steel become forged. To hammer out the steel into a blade, to fold it and cool it to create the right mixture of hard and soft. A good sword is both flexible enough not to break when met with force but also strong enough that its edge can cleave through almost anything. We must hone the blade, so that when it is finished becoming a sword the child may care for it, love it. A good sword when finished still must be cared for but first we must lovingly forge it in the fires of our hearts and minds.

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