Gentle discipline. That sounds pretty progressive, right?
Not spanking or hitting children IS still a pretty progressive concept in our society (unfortunately). In my opinion, it’s disheartening that we’re still not collectively as a culture at the place where hitting kids is just accepted as absurd, archaic, and wrong for any reason…
But I digress. This article isn’t about discipline. It’s about the ways in which we are moving forward…slowly.
I’m obviously not the perfect parent (as if there is such a thing)–but I am willing to admit there’s still plenty of room for positive change.
Earlier today, I was watching Disney channel with my kids, and we got to talking about childism in action on that channel.
In particular, the show Good Luck Charlie. It’s about a “big” family (four kids), but the parents are self-absorbed, hapless idiots and they are constantly making comments that indicate that they would rather not have had kids.
I am all for jokes and sarcasm, but IMO there’s a line that these shows cross, and I think it’s hurtful. Why do we want to perpetuate a cultural opinion of kids as a hassle or an inconvenience? How is that helping the relationships between parents and children?
Yes, I said “beyond” religion. I am not a fan of the concept that there is only one right way, which is central to so many major religions.
I’m very much a freethinker in that regard, and I raise my kids to be freethinkers as well.
As a parent and as a homeschooler, I don’t want to shield them from the world–or religion. We approach religions of all sorts from a place of finding the commonalities, instead of focusing on the differences.
I also want to offer my kids the opportunity to be culturally literate in terms of religion–to think critically about the information they get from the world.
Most importantly, I want them to be in touch with what they feel in their hearts, and whether any form of organized religion speaks to them. I don’t view beliefs as something external that one should try to conform to, but rather, something that is already inside oneself, waiting to be discovered and given words to.
When I wrote this, back in 2011, I had a major aversion to capitalizing things. Forgive me.
I think many parents tend to view their kids as an extension of themselves, as an embodiment of their values, or evidence that they believe/do/feel the right things.. but that’s not really healthy or fair to think of kids that way. Our children are unique beings from day one–or as Khalil Gibran puts it, our children are not ours.
If other people think that your child not knowing how to do fractions yet, or disliking their hair to be combed, MEANS SOMETHING NEGATIVE about you as a parent, well…let them think.
Their opinions of you as a parent or of your children do not matter.
>> “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” –Gandhi
>> If your choices are not in line with your values, then you don’t really value yourself.
What provocative statements these are for me! A good word to sum it up is “congruency”.
We won’t feel happiness or fulfillment in our lives if we are constantly in an internal conflict over what we do and say versus what we feel and think.
As I watch my sweet oldest boy turn more and more into what some might call an angsty teenager – I recall mySelf at his age.
Not so long ago, I was his age….and not long after that, I was pregnant and giving birth to him.
I was 18 the year he was born. The only child of only children, I’d never been around kids, never babysat.
I only ever held a baby once, briefly and awkwardly, before I held my own precious child.