Eating an Elephant and Raising Children

You have probably heard the old adage about eating an elephant. It goes, “How do you eat an elephant?” And the answer is, “one bite at a time.”

While in actual practice this may only be partially true (since no matter how small the bites you cannot sit down and just continually eat that much food), this is a good life premise. 

I recently sat down and figured out the cost and materials needed to homeschool all 3 of my children for the next 8 years. At that point they will all be finished through twelfth grade. As my oldest gets ready to start high school this fall, a lot of questions run through my mind. 

“Should I continue homeschooling through high school?”

“Will he be mature enough at 13 to start high school, or should we wait a year?”

“Is my curriculum going to be too challenging…or not challenging enough?”

I know what our plan is, but as parents there are constantly so many questions we have about whether we are raising our children the best way. It is a really difficult job! There will always be plenty of people ready to offer “advice” if you throw your questions out to anyone who will listen, but they don’t know your family members or situation like you do. Each family and child is different. Each situation a different. What works for one might not work for another. 

I believe the best way to raise a child is much like eating an elephant…a little at a time. Take each day on its own because each day will have its own challenges and rewards. Don’t stress out over the future because things can change so quickly. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for the future. Plans and goals are very important, but be prepared and willing to make changes and adjustments to them. 

Perhaps most importantly, strive to better yourself. Seeing you seek to be a better person will make your children better people. And don’t be afraid to apologize to your children or admit when you fail or make a mistake. Just pick yourself up and try to do better the next time. 

The most important thing we can do for our children is to live each day a life worth mimicking because they will live what they see you living. 

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