raising polar opposites

April 24, 2010

For those of you that know my two oldest boys, Jonathan (6) and Caleb (5), you know how different they are in many respects.  Sure in many ways they are both ALL boy in their rowdiness and energy, but it never ceases to amaze me just how different they are from each other given their proximity in age (13 months apart).

Perfect example, today on the soccer field Jonathan was all over the place and scored three goals (he would have had 5 goals if he could slow it down a notch and control himself better).  I had to coach him during halftime on why you don’t take the ball from your own teammate!  Caleb on the other hand is a different story.  I find it difficult to motivate him enough to simply go out and go after the ball.  How can they be SO different?

I don’t want to be one of “those” dads that simply pushes their kids into something that the kid really doesn’t have an desire or aptitude for, but where do I draw the line between celebrating Jonathan’s talent on the one hand and helping Caleb find his own on the other?  Ever since they were in diapers I’ve had to in a sense pull Jonathan back and push Caleb forward.

Proverbs tells us to “Train a child in the way he (emphasis mine) should go,” and I think that is probably the toughest challenge of parenting multiple kids well.  They’re both unique and gifted in different ways and what may work well with one could possible destroy the heart of the other.  Yes, of course soccer is just a game and the main goal is them simply having fun (and wear themselves out of course!).  Finding their heart and coaching them into men that love Jesus Christ with all their mind, soul and strength; that is my goal.  God grant me the wisdom and grace to do it well.