Musings on Self-Discipline
© Beverley Paine, Mar 08
I used to believe that my kids were doomed because I was hopeless at disciplining myself, especially when it came to finishing things I'd started. However, this wasn’t how other people saw me – they were usually amazed at how much I had accomplished. Often I’d be told that that I did too much and that I should slow down!
Life is busy, that’s for sure. I usually have a dozen or more things on the go at once. This could be one reason why I believe that I never finish anything – so many things to finish sitting around waiting to be done! My life looks and feels chaotic. I simply can’t discipline myself to be centred on one task until it is complete. Most of the time I will get 90% of the way there and then start on another project, or pick up one of the unfinished ones. It frustrates me sometimes, but only when I’m trying to fit into the image of how I ‘should’ be working.
I tackle most projects and chores with enthusiasm, largely because I give myself permission to do them when I feel like it or want to do them. This usually translates into intense periods of concentration on single tasks until I’m exhausted, which usually occurs before the task is completely finished! Sometimes I can work for days or week like this: I call it ‘binge working’. Because I do things when I’m highly motivated I perform in a more focussed way, enjoying what I do, and this usually translates into a job well done.
Observing how I work and organise my tasks, and noticing how I use self-discipline to achieve my goals, has helped me to understand how my children approach this aspect of life. It’s given me a better sense of empathy, which is always helpful as a home educating mother!
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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