I hate to rant, but I am going to. Are you as sick as I am of parents telling you how to parent, and/or what your kids ‘should’ be doing? As an unschooler, the random shit I hear parents say sometimes disgusts me ( the ignorant or insulting comments) and at other times I am at a complete loss for words.
My husband had a bad day today, and sadly did not back me up when our neighbors began to comment on what we ‘should’ do with Kaya. They were polite, and I wish them well, but they also hit their kids, so I don’t think they really have a right to tell me what is best, and even if they didn’t, it’s still impolite.
Basically, they told me how kids at a VERY young age need to be with other kids, literally 24/7. This topic came up when my sensitive near 3 year old began crying when a 5 year old took her ball and refused to give it back. They were both playing well until this point. I consoled kaya, asked her if she wanted to leave and go home ( and nurse) and she said no: she really wanted that ball. One of the moms with me went on about how normal this is ( which it is) but that she hits her kids when they do it ( now, this is a very deep cultural thing here, and she even acknowledged this and that she has been told by her Western peers that this is not the way to parent). She then went on about how she had her eldest around kids 24/7 when he was an only child, so that he would get used to sharing and such, and just socialized in general. My husband made a comment that pissed me off and was not only inaccurate, but that I found insulting as it basically put Kaya and I down. She is sensitive, and and she isn’t even 3 yet. This comment was based on him having had a bad day, but it nonetheless left me feeling insulted.
We should not have to appologize for our toddlers or babies acting like babies. I am speaking to the choir to unschoolers, but I feel compelled to reiterate this over and over. Sharing is not something kids are beaten into understanding and doing. This takes time, and gets easier the older they get.
The whole ‘homeschoolers are antisocial’ is a fucking bad joke. What, they aren’t desensitized like they should be? They emote? They are more intelligent? I heard Gatto talk about how parents basically give their kids up for adoption, when they send them for schools for most of the day, then playgroups, sports, study groups, choir, church camps, and God knows how many other social things they do. HOW OFTEN TO PEOPLE ACTUAL SEE THEIR KIDS? And how much of that time is quality?
My girl has played with other children, and gradually. I never forced her, I brought her with me to the cafe in Korea and she would meet kids there, or in the park at our school. This is enough for her, and therefore enough for me. I do not need her to be raised by strangers or by other children. And if I tried to do this, my empathic little girl would become a wreck.
If you have a chance, read the book Embraced By The Light. It is a very uplifting book, and very interesting, but it goes over the child abuse of a girl she was fostering and had to give up to the adoptive parents. The little baby was devistated; the author was her mother to her, and she too was in love with the baby. When she was with the new adoptive parents, she would not stop crying, and they began to abuse her. They eventually abandoned her ( in bad condition) at a hospital, and the foster mom was contacted and told what had happened. She had not recovered from losing her foster child, her heart as well as the baby was broken. She got on the plane, determined she would find a way to adopt the girl. The doctors told the social worker involved that they did not think the girl would survive because it was obvious she wanted to only be with the foster mom; thank goodness, the author used this to convince the courts to give her her baby.
I mention this because humans try to control children, to dictate their destiny. Some kids are more sensitive then others, some are more relaxed. I personally dealt with abuse when at several babysitters’ houses, but when I complained it was written off that I was ‘over sensitive’. Again, adults feel they can determine how a child should feel, and what is ‘reality’. This leads to destroyed adults.
Let’s break that pattern. Let’s give our kids all our love, and tell society it is full of it, because it is. It’s a broken, dysfunctional insane mess. Don’t add to it.
To learn more about memetics and why society is as screwed up as it is, read the Virus of The Mind. I really can’t recc that book enough; I feel it is imperative that one reads it.