Cheering For Change Among the Risk-Averse

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It’s a proven fact: four out of five bees in my hive fear change. I’d even go so far as to say they abhor it. I’m holding out hope that the middle child might embrace my approach, but it’s still early, yet.

As the stay-at-home parent, my approach and attitude regarding change sets the tone around here. For better or worse. When I’m faced with the opportunity for significant life change, I prefer using my intuition … my “gut” instinct. I also pray, seek advice from others, discuss it with my husband, etc. But i often rely on that initial, almost visceral response.

You can imagine how well that flies with the ones who require cold, hard facts and solid data points.

Last week, due to circumstances beyond our control, we were faced with a decision that impacts our boys’ school calendar. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it feels pretty major when it’s your kids. This means starting the new school year in July with unfamiliar teachers, mostly unfamiliar classmates and a complete shift in the rhythm of our calendar year. It changes when we take vacation, when we see extended family, and who we hang out with when we are out of school. Since a change of this magnitude isn’t real popular, families were asked to volunteer to change calendars.

My initial response was, “why not?”

Have I mentioned most of the people I live with aren’t a fan of change?

There was a fair amount of whining, a little bit of anger and flat-out denial when I suggested trying a new calendar. I can’t say that I blame them, given their current classroom experiences felt pretty darn awesome. We tried presenting all the pros and cons, Steve drew a diagram … we emphasized the importance of prayer when faced with a tough decision …

Stalemate.

Then the doubt rolled in. Who am I to ask them to embrace my way of thinking? They’re kids. They can’t approach a big change with the attitude of an adult. At this point, they feel slighted, uncertain and confused. Shouldn’t I focus on that? Can I really push toward a major change when they are the ones that ultimately have to endure it?

Or am I on the right track and this is one of life’s GREAT TEACHABLE MOMENTS?

By yesterday afternoon, I was starting to sweat bullets. I still wanted them to try something new, they appeared firmly entrenched in the comfortable and familiar. Then with zero fanfare and limited whining, they both announced the same preference. An agreed upon change. Halleluiah.

So here we go. Volunteering to make a significant change that may or may not work out for us. I don’t know how all of this will shake out. I’m hoping that their bravery will be rewarded and this change will be for the better. But I keep leaning on this verse, because anything else robs me of my peace.

“For I know the plans I have for you … plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  -Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

How about you? Do you embrace change or run screaming in the opposite direction? If you’re a parent, how do you coach your children through a major life change?

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