She's pretty and popular. Wavy brown hair dances at her shoulders. She carries an affecting, infecting, impish grin. It's no wonder boys like her. And her parents just discovered the scars on her arms.
Whether out shock or grief or ignorance, her parents refused to believe they had been blind to her cutting. "My dad even went so far as I ask when I'd joined the occult," she told me. Her eyes filled with tears. "And I'd been doing so well recently."
Her parents know their daughter has been "on the fringe" for a while now. But they have no idea how far down the rabbit hole their girl has fallen. Her mom once called me to ask about a situation where her daughter had lied through omitting key details about her plans. So, this girl has not helped her parents trust her. But because she's in school and works late hours and has conversations long into the night on her cellphone, her parents are out of the loop.
They are now trying to fix that.
I don't know how that's going, but I'm guessing it's been bumpy. How do you reconnect with a child you've abandoned to the world? How do you catch up on where she is emotionally if you can't bring yourself to trust what she says? How do you get her to open up to you when she feels betrayed, insulted, rejected, and interrogated? I don't know. Being a parent is hard enough. I can't imagine trying to overcome all that too.
But I know this: Homeschooling gives us opportunities to hear our kids. As you discuss the literature you're reading together, as you work through areas where your children struggle, as you are involved in their daily lives, you can get a pretty clear picture of how your child is doing.
Please, take advantage of this benefit! Talk with your children. Listen to them. Lay a foundation today so that you can hear your children when they encounter difficulties tomorrow.
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester