My second child, now ten, has been so easy to raise – she’s compliant, eager to please, and easy-going. When she has a new interest, she pursues it with a passion. Until this past fall, we had very little to work on regarding character issues. That’s when we discovered she has difficulty seeing things through.
It actually began about two years ago, when she decided she wanted a horse. She was so certain that she even chose to stop taking ballet lessons so the money could be saved for a horse. But purchasing a horse and all we needed to care for it was a big step for us, and we needed to more to be financially ready. In the meantime, I said, how about getting a puppy? We used to have two dogs, but we had to give one away when it kept killing our chickens. Another dog would be fine.
Because it would be a while before we could get a horse, she agreed, putting all her energies into the project. She read about all the different breeds and saved her money for dog toys and treats. When someone offered to give her a dachshund they couldn’t keep, she was thrilled…for about a two weeks.
As the novelty of dog ownership wore off, my daughter began looking again towards a horse. I might have thought that a dog just wasn’t a good choice, except that over the years she’s also tried a kitten, a bird, a hamster, and a guinea pig, all of which she eventually gave up to her siblings. There was a bigger issue here than just finding the right pet.
The struggle with commitment was apparent in her music studies as well. She took piano for a while, but quit as soon as I would let her. She began flute lessons last fall, and now she already wants to quit taking those. What would happen if we bought a horse?
I’m not worried about it anymore. This is an area where she struggles, but it’s also an area that she can improve. We’ve talked about it and decided she can learn to stick with something. She can learn to follow a commitment through to the end, even if things become difficult or uncomfortable. She might whine and beg, but I’ve determined that I won’t let her quit. We see the problem, and we have the time to work on it together. And we’re still saving for that horse.