Thursday, September 27, 2007

Us vs. Them?

Jean2, you're also very open and honest and I respect that. I think I have a very unique perspective here because I was raised in a family with similar beliefs to most Americans (and yourself) about children. We were to be seen and not heard, we were to always have our very best manners, never to embarrass our mother, NEVER to interrupt anyone (especially adults) and do our job (school) as dutifully as we could. And I believed all that too, until I started looking into homeschooling and was led to unschooling. So I know exactly where you're coming from.

But now I'm on the other side where I find myself asking, "why is it ok for me to interrupt their playtime to make them cleanup just because I decide it's time?" I wouldn't want them to come in while I'm scrapbooking and say, "OK, time to clean up - I want to go to Walmart," and me be forced into it. Yeah, I'm the mom. OK. Sometimes I *have to* (there are those words again) - like tomorrow morning, I have to take one kid to the dr. They all *have to* go - they're simply too young to stay home by themselves. But on the way home from playing with friends today, I wanted to make a quick stop by Michaels. They were hot and thirsty from playing and didn't want to stop. I quickly calculated that I could change my plans and just go tonight after Hubby gets home. It'll probably be a much more enjoyable trip for me anyway without all of them tagging along, unless they want to, of course.

If I want their respect and consideration for me, I need to model the same for them. Yesterday I got a *super fantastic* deal on some used Gameboy's and games. The games that came along in the package were for older kids but my kids were anxious to get games they could play (who could blame them? If I had a new scrapbooking tool, I'd want to use it right away!). So, although I had 3 stops to make today before making it to our date with friends, I added a stop to the game store too. I don't want my actions to tell them that my wants and needs are more important than theirs simply because they are kids. Yes, I am in authority over them and sometimes I have to make calls they don't like. But we're a family unit. It's not us vs. the kids. Everyone gets a voice (who is old enough to give one), we vote on activities that conflict, etc. If they were roommates who shared our car, wouldn't we give them that courtesy? I try to ask more than tell. I like to give them the opportunity to choose. There are many times I tell rather than ask...I tell them to brush their teeth, I tell them to eat their veggies if they want dessert. But I let them choose when to brush and which veggie they prefer and if they want something to dip it in. I don't want to stifle my kids with control as my parents generation did. I also don't want to leave them as free as their parents generation did (which led to sex, drugs and Hubby and I strive for a somewhere in between the two.


Kez said...

I really enjoy reading your blog - I'm about to start homeschooling my 5yo, and while at this stage I'll be making up some sort of curriculum to meet to Dept outcomes, I'm quite interested in unschooling. I can see us moving towards that over time!

Jean 2 said...

I do see where you are a *family unit* in a different way than we are a *family unit*! I understand taking their feelings into consideration. Contrary to what my last comment might have sounded like, I do consider their feelings in some cases but hubby and I must step up and be the leaders on the BIG things. I can't please all three teenage girls at once, so I can't let my world get chaotic trying to do it. I don't see control as stifling-I see it as preparation for the real world and that is my job with them-as a parent and a teacher-PREPARATION. I want them to show respect to adults/elders and expect the same when they are adults. I want them to understand authority and respect their bosses someday as that-their authority. And hopefully they will be in an authoritative position if that is their calling. I certainly believe in respecting my children and modeling that for them. I am perhaps old fashioned about how I model.
I show them by how I respect guests that are in my home, my own mother and father (God rest his soul), and my other members of family and friends. RESPECT is a BIG BIG thing with me. I guess I see myself respecting my children by teaching them how to treat others in general. And to be honest, my children or any other children interupping a conversation between adults is just a personal pet peeve of mine. Makes me cringe. And my children just don't do it. It is my hope they don't allow my grandchildren to do it-lol! I do see where our actions speak loudly to our children. I want my actions to. I like my actions (for the most part-I mean we all have bad days). I have to brag-my children are adored within the school system as respectful girls (and yes they ar made to be-but that is okay-lol), my family and friends are always praising them for their respectful attitudes. And I praise them as well. ;) ALWAYS! I am a firm believer in praise! So-there is a little insight into my world. I want my chidren to be show respect and be respected.
Next question: If your children ever desired to go to public school-would you allow it?
I enjoy the relationship we have developed over the blogging-respecting of each others opinions and no judging! ;) Healthy!

Laurie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kez! I read some of your website last night too - hope you stick around :) If there's anyway I can help you with questions, please let me know.