Raising Exceptional Kids

Amy Adair

Jay Cookingham
March 17, 2010


Wow, great post. I have seven kids (yes, only one wife) and I discovered long ago that each of them have their own language and culture that I needed to learn. It may seem like a tower of Babel at times but as I dive/immerse myself in their world I can more effectivly help them grow. Studying and really knowing your kids helps us discover new methods in reaching and teaching them. Thanks for sharing!

God Bless,

Stephanie Drury
March 17, 2010

I like your observations. I think it can be so harmful, more harmful than we know, to pin our spiritual fantasies to our children.

March 17, 2010

How am I raising exceptional kids? I'm not, and I'm learning that some kids simply refuse to be exceptional, or even moderately average. My 11-year-old daughter is getting C's and D's—having ruled out a learning disability, we're finding it's because she's lazy and uninterested in pleasing anyone other than herself—and is angry all of the time... except when she acts as manic as a 4-year-old on a meth binge. Our most recent fights have been her deviously trying to sneak out of the house without a coat or in shorts when it's 44 degrees outside, despite us having told her over and over that we'll tell her when it's time for shorts (and 44 degrees ain't that time). She's not interested in anything, she's cocky and thinks her way is always better, and she's an emotional wreck. She doesn't think she needs help and refuses it when we offer; see "she thinks her way is always better" above. She's trying to grow up way too fast—we've had a TWO YEAR discussion on why she doesn't need to wear a bra yet because she just doesn't need one. She retains very little from lessons at church and only ever talks about the games they played at youth group. She went on a youth group trip and got sullen when they actually had the kids play a Bible memory verse game (because she just wanted to do something else). She's bossy and just no fun to be around most of the time.

So am I raising an exceptional kid? No, every day I feel like I'm raising a future angry teen who will be pregnant and/or addicted to something by the time she's 16 because she just doesn't give a damn about anything. No amount of turning up the music and dancing after dinner, or taking family trips to the aquarium, or even prayer seems to make any difference; some kids just don't care.

So the struggle for me, then, is to find my own identity and worth in Christ, regardless of what a train wreck my kids might be. All I can do is offer my love and experience to her, but I can't make her into anything she doesn't want to be (including a good Christlike person). I have to obey God and do my best, and let Him figure it all out in the end.

March 18, 2010

Thanks Amy, lovely post. I have 4 'kids' youngest is now 25, my wife & I became Christians when the kids we had were 7, 5 & 3yrs. It still amazes me how different each of them are, same Mum & Dad, upbringing, culture etc. We love each of them dearly but the empathy we have with the 2 who have stayed with the Lord really does make them our Brother & Sister in Christ. We still pray for the other two & take comfort that Jesus loves them even more than we do. We have raised 'exceptional' Adults, Exceptionaly different from each other !

March 18, 2010

My sympathy Anonymous, one of ours was VERY strong willed & life seemed to be a constant battle, he is now 40yrs with a good job,a wife & 2 strong willed kids of his own (serve him right)! But he is a Christian man with the strength of character to stand up for Christ in all situations, Praise the Lord ! My young 7yr old grandson displays all the symptoms of a 'strong willed child' but after 5yrs of hell on earth my daughter took him to a pedriatician & he was diagnosed as Autistic - Aspergers. Now with help( & prayer ) she is seeing a slow but sure turn around in his behaviour. Seek your doctors help,'bad' behaviour isn't always the fault of the parent OR child. The Lord Bless & guide you.

April 26, 2010

Dear Anonymous -- It is difficult when pre-teen and teenaged girls turn into something you can't even imagine being yours. I was that girl, but somewhere around 18 I became something closer to the woman I am today at 38. I started apologizing to my mom and haven't stopped yet. Dig in and just make sure that every single day no matter what terror she is wreaking that she knows how much you love her. Be sure to always emphasize that it is her behavior you are unhappy with but that she is and will always be your most precious gift. Good luck and prayers to you!

Add your comment to join the discussion!