Road Scholars on an Eduvacation!
Yes, we're moving on again, but this time like we mean it. In an RV.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

make love not war!

I went to my book club last night, an outing which will inevitable lead to a lot of posts here, since something always gets me riled up at these things. Aside from the fact that most of the people there thought that "Pillars of the Earth" was a good book (someone even called it "literary" which made me want to poke my eyes out), the main thing that upset me was being reminded of how most families interact.

Fortunately, we've isolated ourselves from most of this crazy culture, but every once in a while we venture out and are astounded at how most people live their daily lives! What is it with the warring between parents and children? Rarely do I hear such unpleasant talk as I do when a parent is talking about their child, and most of the listeners seem content to play along. "Oh, she just turned 13, so the next 5 years are sure to terrible!" with lots of eye rolling and snickers and good-luck-you'll-need-it wishes. More eye-rolling when describing how said 13-year-old has posted rules for how her parents should behave in public, so as not to embarrass her, but cheering when mom fights back with a list of chores that she'd better finish or else! - that'll get 'er! God, what a way to live.

This is not normal behavior. It's not natural behavior. It's common in our culture, certainly, but it's not normal or natural. Family units are designed to work harmoniously together toward common goals, and the dynamic most prevalent today is enemies grudgingly sharing space while working towards completely separate goals. This dynamic has grown up due to the institutionalization of children (schooling) which broke up the family unit. Among other things, the inherent age segregation in the school setting sets up this Us vs. Them mentality which I find absolutely abhorrent. I especially resent being in a group who assumes I am complicit in this war, including me in the snickering, eye-rolling, and back-stabbing just because I happen to be a parent.

Here are some basic revelations (i.e. what I would love to say to people who diss their kids in public). If your child doesn't treat you respectfully and lovingly, it's simply because you did not treat him or her with respect or with love during the years when they were learning how to be their best self. Children are hard-wired to love and respect their parents, so if you have modeled for them a different dynamic (by parenting with fear, manipulation, coersion, or neglect, and/or by abdicating your responsibilities as a parent to parent-substitutes) and are now reaping what you have sown, then it's your own damn fault and you should shut up and quit complaining about it.

Ahh, okay, now I feel better.


Toadkiller said...

Yeah but Ken Follet is a literary master! One of the best of our generation or something.

I know the board game Pillars of earth is an ok game.

Love ya!

Nydia said...

I sign under your words! Seems like this is the same everywhere. Here i Rio we see a lot of this,m even with young children like my son, who's only five! Lucas is not perfect=not a robot, so sometimes his "genius of the lamp" side wakes up and the turn of button can't be found. But he does respects us as parents and loves us as part of his heart, just like we do. He goes to school here - by law, unschooling is forbidden, but I was blessed with a husband who agreed staying home to take care of him (and the house!) while I was working - long story why it's the other way around in our little family: summoning up, Rodrigo went into surgery on his hernia, can't work at regular jobs, not being able to stand up or sitting up too long, and as I speak English I had a better chance to get a better job in the city than he would. So he's well adapted in kindergarten, a veteran going to his third year, but at home we try to fill his heart and mind with positive teachings respecting him as a person. he's a very funny little guy.
I think that I watched once Oprah mentioning this book on her tv show while I was changing channels, is it the same one?

Nydia said...

My keyboard is stucking some keys, sorry for the spelling!

Kelli said...

It's not too surprising that Brazil has outlawed homeschooling - compulsory education is the best way to indoctrinate younger generations to all believe the same things. I would imagine that having no free-thinking citizens is probably best for a socialist government. I've read a few articles about Brazil and homeschooling, and the underground homeschoolers there are starting to rise up. (Like here in the US, most of them are probably crazy fundamentalist Christians, but they are working for a basic human right to keep the family together, so in this case I guess I am on their side - imagine!) I bet you will be hearing more about it in the coming year. There's a new bill, even, introduced to your congress last month ( so maybe there is hope!

Nydia said...

There is one serious problem here in Brazil (but the country is not socialist, Kelli! hehehe There's a misunderstanding here) that makes things harder for those who want to teach their kids at home: many poor parents take their children from schools so they can work for them in the streets selling stuff like beer cans, candies, you name it. We had a couple in recent news who were being sued by the local authorities when they foud out they took their two kids form school for homeschooling. It was huge! They had to pas through a battery of exams to prove they were equal other students. Seems like now they will have to be enrolled somewhere. One thing I did was to put Lucas in a private school near our home. Public school, specially in Rio sucks! It's really bad and unfortunately the students are not the best example of behaviour. It's too complex of an issue to explain in a few words, though. We do our best to keep his mind open and sharp - as you can see we're very talkative! So the damage will not be done, I hope.