Thanks to my "new" buddy Lauren, I'm reading a fantastic column by family psychologist, John Rosemond. She cautioned me that some of his ideas are a little...wacky...but his latest piece really struck a chord with me. He referenced an essay by Flannery O'Connor in which she states that the likes and dislikes of children should always be balanced by the wisdom and experience of their parents.
You see, lately I've begun to see a difference, a VAST difference, between "teacher" Alisha and "mama" Alisha. This bothers me.
I consider myself to be a pretty "progressive" person, except when it comes to education. I like the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." And, in my opinion, traditional education isn't "broke." All we've done in recent years is lower the bar. We've adapted teaching methods to fit kids instead of teaching kids to adapt to our teaching methods. We've begun to accept an average standard instead of realizing that some children are more capable than others. I'm sorry that this leaves some children "behind." It doesn't make them any less valuable; it simply means they may not be bound for high levels of academia. It takes all types of people to make the world go 'round. We can't all be "doctors and lawyers and such." (Thanks, Waylon.) Somebody has to be the "cowboy."
At any rate, I've started to realize that I'm adopting the "No Child Left Behind" attitude in my parenting, bending and conforming to my kids' need instead of teaching them to adhere to my way. I realize I may not always be right, but I do think that my 27 years of life experience has better prepared me to parent than my son's two years of experience. I do realize each child is different and that their individuality should be taken into account to some degree, but not when it comes to right and wrong. What's right is right for everyone. What's wrong is wrong for everyone. Children are not born knowning what's good for them although anyone who's spent any time with a toddler knows that they are indeed opinionated. These opinions are just that, however. They are not based on any knowledge of what is truly good or bad.
I became a mother 28 months ago, and I still have no idea what I'm doing most days. But, as I often find myself in a battle of wills with my toddler, I know this much is true...Mama knows best. (Ok, I'll let Daddy have some credit, too...)