Monday, November 23, 2009

If only you were all like me...

On the Sonlighter Club Forums last week there was a thread started where the original poster basically said that she was tired of people who said that their kids wouldn't do their school work, or that the family didn't have time to do their school work, or that the kids wouldn't help with chores and on an on. This person said that people just need to do it! Make their kids mind, quit whining, take control, get on with it! No excuses!

If they would just do things her way, all would be well.

It made me think of an old episode of "Doug." I can't even remember how many years ago it was on TV, but Kari and Scotty used to watch it and they are 20 and 23 now and I don't think they have watched Saturday morning cartoons for years! Doug had this dog named Porkchop and they had lots of adventures, but the one I remember best is when Doug wonders why everyone can't be just like him. He knows what is best, what works--in short how to live the perfect life.

Just be like him.

Well, he has a dream and guess what? Everyone is just like Doug. They dress the same, think the same, go to the same places. I can't really remember all of the ramifications, but I do remember the thing that makes Doug realize that diversity is good. He goes to get an ice-cream cone. His favorite flavor is Buttery Brickle [I think I am remembering right] but there isn't any of his favorite flavor anywhere. Not one bit! Why? Because it is everyone's favorite flavor; and right then and there Doug realizes that everyone being just like him is NOT a good idea.

I couldn't help thinking of this episode when I read the very long thread that insued after the original poster basically told everyone if they were more like her, their kids/schools/families would be wonderful.

Would they?

I don't' think so. I think we need to appreciate our differences and certainly if someone asks for advice in an area where they struggle it is only right to pass along how you do things; but to assume that the way I do something will work in your home is unrealistic and a bit condescending. Many of the forum ladies pointed out that she had not walked in their shoes, did not have the children they have, the spouse they have, the responsibilities and the challenges that they have. Everyone is not the same and one size does not fit all.

I think the biggest shame in today's parenting philosophies is that there are so many choices and so many who think they have all the answers--whether anyone wants to hear them or not.
  • There is attachment parenting and the opposite--is that detachment parenting? Perhaps not, I think it is more of a scheduled approach.
  • There is the public school, private school, charter school, homeschool issue. Which is better?
  • Then, if you decide to homeschool, there is homeschool on line with minimal parent involvement, literature based homeschool and unit studies with high parent involvement, distance school, traditional textbook approach, video classes, etc.
And what is right? I think each thing is right for certain people at certain times. And for anyone to presume to know what is right for another is insulting. Just because Sonlight is THE perfect curriculum in my mind, does not mean it is perfect for you and your situation.

Can't we still be friends? Can we still respect each other? Can we extend grace and love to each other, especially when one of us is down and feeling whiney?

And if not? If everyone needs to be like me in order for the world to go on it will be pretty sad, because in no time at all there will not be any Coconut Almond Fudge Ice Cream left anywhere.

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