Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Am Mom. Hear Me Rant.

Lol, I'm irritated and befuddled; so what better thing to do then blog about it? I may anger some (probably), I may crack a few up (doubt it), I may make a few think (hopefully). I'm so tired of ignorance. I'll admit that I still have lots to learn, but learn I do everyday. I'll admit that I'm not the best writer but I'm ready and willing to accept comments and help. I was raised to be judgemental. I work hard to avoid that, therefore, I will try not to name the irritants that set me off by name, race, creed nor color. Here goes:

1) Pro-choice/Pro-life. What a dumb fight! Ever hear of supply and demand? All this energy and money could be better spent on education, birth control and other means of improving the lot of those in need BEFORE they get to the place of having to choose to keep, put up for adoption or kill a future child.

2) Homeschooling/Brick & Mortar schooling. If one size fit all this stupid debate wouldn't exist. There are tons of awesome teachers out there making a 'formal' B&M education awesome. There are also many terrible teachers out there that make this a bad option. Same goes with homeschooling. Refer to #1 Some people are not prepared to be parents when they become one. Good parents will make good choices for their families and know to change plans when needed.

3) Controlled access to video games/unlimited access to video games. Another stupid discussion. So many parents feel they MUST dictate to their kids and MAKE their kids EARN privileges. I just don't get it. It didn't work for my parents. It doesn't work for anyone I know who's raising a normal, healthy, thinking child. Sure, you can make their life a living hell but what does THAT accomplish?

I have never limited my kids. We bought them their first system back in the 90's when they were five and seven and we took them across this awesome country in a slide-in camper in the bed of a Dodge pick-up with a Cummins engine. (What can I say, the truck is still awesome today.) That first system was a Nintendo 64. They started out with the seven year old reading everything to the five year old. By the time we got home, the five year old was reading.

We have never timed nor limited video games. We have many systems, many, many games for each, and always let the kids try out the demos so they can see which new games they'd like. In fact, I'm planning on buying them another one this Christmas! Maybe since I've never made the games 'forbidden fruit', my kids never developed a video game obsession. As for making them fat and lazy, well that never happened either. All my kids could easily sink into a good book just as easily into a good video game, which they do often. Note: My oldest jogs for pleasure and my youngest rode his horse often until she was recently killed by criminals. (Another story for another day.) Point being, all that video game access didn't make them less atheletic.

One final note on this issue. Last weekend, my third child celebrated his tenth birthday with a sleep over with his two cousins and a friend. One being six months younger and forty pounds heavier. The other one year younger and ten pounds lighter. One of the cousins is allowed some video games. The other none as they feel he will learn bad language. This child's step-father works at a college and has heard from his students what 'bad language' is on the games.

Let's stop here and review.

My son: Plays Halo 3 yet chooses not to curse ever.

Nephew six months younger: Not allowed to play Halo. Begs to play it, but please don't tell his parents. So he's being taught to lie. Hmmm. Not at my house. We don't lie or cover.

Nephew one year younger: Not allowed to play video games as step-dad says it will teach him to curse. Funny. This nine year old DOES curse. If you ask him, he'll tell you he gets it from his dad. (The only dad he's known is his step-dad as his bio-father was never in the picture.) When he was here I asked him to write down his 'bad' words. Here's his list in his spelling: sheet, crap, kill, frickin, dirt bag, Indint, daw. (Last one is supposed to be dam.) My only concern is that his dad freely uses these words yet punishes this child who looks up to him if the child repeats him. Not right. Either both should be punished or neither. All this father is accomplishing is to teach his son to hide his behavior from those who will punish him.

4) Judge a book by its cover/Read it. Gee, anyone who knows me, knows this one. I'm sick of the Harry Potter bashing. IT'S FICTION, FOLKS! FICTION!! I'll admit that it's so well written that one wants to believe that the wizarding world is real, and the characters are so well described that it's hard to believe that they aren't real. In the fifth book, Harry gets whiny. I know lots of people who quit reading at this point. It's hard to read through a whiny teenager's rage. Anyone who had read all the books could understand the why but it's still a tedious read, well worth the effort. Anyway, I was close on my predictions and happily pleased the books fullfilled my wishes. I would NEVER refuse a child this wonderful story.

So to summarize my thoughts here, I feel that being a 'bully' even as a parent is WRONG! I have always talked to my kids. I have always listened to my kids. (Tonight my now ten year old explained to me how an Ice Dragon's evolution would have happened. Very well thought out I might add. He also mentioned how he thought Science was a natural course for him to pursue.)
I believe that the best way to parent is the way God intended when he set up the nourishing links between mom and child. When a mom is totally in tune with her child, she knows when they need what and she creates a happy child. The mom knows when to nurse them, when to change them, when to add other stimulus...which makes homeschooling perfect.

I'll go one step further. I learn what is the being taught in each grade then inform my son what would be expected for that year. I give him the means to accomplish it. Then I leave it up to him to pursue. Oh, I can hear the shouting as I write this. So far, he has stayed at least two grade levels ahead. So you know what? It works for him.

I'll also add that my kids talk to me. One is just a few months shy of adulthood, yet she openly discusses all with me. Hmmm. My kids openly talk to me about everything. I'll take my way of parenting over a dictatorship any day.


ComfyDenim said...

Um....*shuffles toe on carpet nervously* ... remind me not to irritate you. 'kay?


You ranted well.
Do you feel better, now? I enjoyed reading it.

I love that your kids talk to you about everything.. I want that with my kids. I'll probably keep your thoughts in mind as I pursue that goal.


jugglingpaynes said...

Vicki's bullying us! whine
HeeHeeHee! Have I told you I love listening to a good rant? Especially when it makes sense.

I, too, love my teen and feel she would open up to me about anything. My son does the same with his dad. We aren't sure about Sierra yet...

Was it just relatives that set you off this time?

Peace and Laughter,

appleleaf said...

Bravo! Well said, all of it!
Re: unlimited computer/game machine access, all other family and friends we know apply some sort of limitation/control on this. The same people think we're pretty soft around here and I've often heard, "Just because Logan's allowed to play it now, you know your time is Tuesday & Friday mornings for half an hour (or whatever)" And on occasions, friends have dropped their kids off for us to babysit expecting us to keep their rigid control going for them, which I always fail to do. Come on! They're visiting their friends! Get real!
About Harry Potter, I concur with you on this too. In fact, I expect my 3 would probably fit in fairly well at your place!