You cannot force a cocoon or a flower petal to open. You can force them, but both will be destroyed and the extent of their beauty will be destroyed. This is also true of children, you cannot force them to be ready for something. As much as we would like to force our hand in situations, it cannot be done.
However, in the midst of waiting for the flower pedal to open, it does require soil, sunlight, and water. It does require care. This is also true with kiddos. One example of this is my Madeline. Last year she began kindergarten and we began putting together letter sounds to form words. Learning C-A-T, spells cat and D-O-T, spells dot. We worked on memorizing words you simply cannot sound out. We have also read to Maddie since she was in my womb. We read semi hard books, easy books, just about anything she shows interest in. Blending words, especially big words can be quite overwhelming for the new reader. But, we pushed through. We continued working on letter sounds, putting the letter sounds together and reading words together. We learned how to find word families and to blend them together to figure out the word. There were light bulb moments going on all through the year at different times. I was giving her the information she needed and letting her grasp the concepts as her brain and emotions were ready. Sure enough she has exploded as a reader.
Another example is Madeline learning to swim. She has been afraid of putting her face in the water, afraid to go in even shallow water without her life jacket. We have had her take swimming lessons to get use to the water and learn swimming strokes. We have swam with her, we have let her jump to us in the water, we have helped her feel safe in the water. Then today I took her in deeper water with her life jacket on and showed her that she would float with her life jacket on. Once she realized she could float, she then realized she could swim for real, then she went in shallow water were she could touch and taught herself how to swim.
Patience and the willingness to continue to teach tools that will aid in their success of grasping a concept is priceless and very well worth it! Sometimes a tool looks like teaching letter sounds, sometimes it looks like teaching them they can float in water, sometimes it is teaching them that I am trust worthy. Sometimes the tool is working on a character trait that needs to be strengthened.
I have been encouraged over and over again as I have anxiously waited and prayed for my kids to grasp what I am teaching. Sure enough, they do!