Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Help for the Harried

I'm about to conquer something here, on my blog, that's been VERY heavy on my heart for awhile now. Oh no... SCARY!

This is an extremely touchy subject, because it has everything to do with these precious little creatures that live with us... our children. As a homeschooling mother, I have many responsibilities. All you other homeschooling mothers are nodding your heads right now agreeing whole heartedly. We teach our children math, how to spell, how to write, reading, history, science, etc, etc.. You get the point, right? HOWEVER.... perhaps the most important reason why I wanted to take on this responsibility myself rather than letting a trained person with credentials do the job was because I wanted to teach my boys how to be GOOD PEOPLE. I wanted to teach them skills such as being polite. I want them to be kids that adults enjoy being around. So much of the time I hear people groan about kids being in public places. They are " Disrespectful beings that are loud and not considerate of those around them. "

While my boys are NOT perfect and I have taken on this training as a long time project (basically until they are grown and out of the house),I do get many compliments. Strangers will come up to us in stores and restaurants and say what a "pleasure" it has been to experience such well behaved children. At first, I would beam from ear to ear at these comments. These days, I say thank you, but inside my heart aches. This is why...

This is not the "norm" anymore. My boys find it difficult sometimes to be in relationship with others because a lot of other kids just don't have these skills. They are not saying that they are better than these kids, but they feel stepped on. They feel like door mats instead of pals. My boys (and myself) have seen manipulation of these other kids' parents before our eyes. We have heard some of these other kids talk to their own parents with total disrespect. If they talk to their parents this way and treat THEM the way they do, then of course it isn't hard for them to treat "friends" the same.

This past Sunday I consoled my youngest as he sat crying on his bed before going to church. When I asked him what was wrong, he admitted to me that he doesn't like his class at church. I asked him what the problem was and he went on to tell me
that the kids were mean to other kids in there (he wasn't even talking about them being men to HIM... just other kids). The example that he gave me was that one of the boys in there has walking sticks. He has had them since he learned how to walk. Caleb saw a kid come up and yank the sticks out of his hands and run off with them. This kid proceeded to make fun of the boy with the walking sticks in front of the class. Caleb went up to this kid and grabbed the sticks back and said "That's not nice" while walking the sticks back to their owner. I pretty much knew the answer before I asked the question, but I asked what the teacher said/did. The teacher didn't say/do anything because that kind of behavior is the norm, and it is accepted. To further explain what I'm talking about, I can tell you that my husband and I were talking with a junior high school teacher yesterday at the park. He told us how the school that he works for no longer suspends kids from school because they were losing too much money due to kids' low attendance... due to suspension. Can you believe that? Instead, they have the kids bring their school work to the office and they sit there and do their work. So.... basically, there's nothing encouraging the parents to train their children any differently because there are no consequences for their children's bad behavior. UGGGGHHHHH... I guess I'm pretty "old school" here... and feeling alone.

As you have probably guessed, I'm feeling really passionate about this. If I were going to write a book right now, it would be about this "epidemic". That's what it is too... and it's getting pretty out of hand. The problem with me writing this book is, I wouldn't have any answers. I'm looking for help here. Anybody have anything to offer? I just wish there were a few more parents out there who wanted to be a parent instead of their kids' BFF!

I guess I can get off my platform now. I'm done for now. I can't make any guarantees that I won't be back though...

4 comments:

partyoffivetn said...

Well said, my friend! Great post!! I feel the same way...my Caleb has a few aquaintances, I shall say, at church who make fun of him for things he isn't allowed to do or see...yet at the same time, these are the kids who I would rather not have around Caleb because of what they are allowed to do/see...
I don't find my kids to be perfect either...but it is so nice to hear, when telling people at church about our pregnancy, "we are so happy for you, you are a good mom and have good kids."
Anyway, don't know if this makes much sense..soooo...
Thanks for the birthday cheer!! And yeah! Your b'day is this week too! Happy early Birthday to you!! (I won't mention your age here!;)

Sadie said...

I agree completely! I am picky about who I want my children around. My kids have never been on the recieving end....but then again they stick together and are usually quiet wall flowers :) I had a long conversation today about this subject with a woman at a store today, who is a teacher's aid for the local school system.

Bob Sweat said...

Tami,

The older you get, the more you get up on platforms. Since you're having a birthday on January 15, I knew this was coming. :>)

By the way, I agree with your post!

partyoffivetn said...

Happy, happy birthday to you my blogger friend! Hope your day is wonderful!!