Before you read... This post is in no way put out there to offend you. This post is, in the simplest way put, my thoughts. As you read understand that I think dearly of each and everyone of you. How you choose to raise your children is not being judged by us. We are and always will be here to support the decisions you make as a parent. So before you read, if you read, read with an open mind. Don't take offense for it is not meant to offend you!! -Erica
As time creeps closer to the day when I need to register Hannah into kindergarten our anxiety also creeps up. We are a Christian family, we have strong Christian morals and values and we fear the unknown. We understand that there are many amazing teachers who love their job and work as hard as they can to make a difference in as many children as they can. But there is only so much a teacher can do. There is only so much flexibility a teacher has in his/her classroom before parents and/or the school board/media step in and say, that's too far. I've spoken with teachers who've expressed their fears in even hinting around the word, GOD! They are afraid. Afraid of offending a child who probably wouldn't be offended. But more so afraid of offending parents. Teachers teach children and have to worry about offending parents! It's preposterous!
Parents send their child to a Christian preschool and ask the teachers to not allow their child to participate in anything that explains or expresses the word of God! They asked that their child not go to chapel or be made to pray before snacks, etc. It's truly sad that parents would do this-at of all places a Christian preschool.
I've recently started reading a book by Dr. James Dobson called "Bringing Up Girls" and he says (I'm paraphrasing), if you don't teach it to your children someone most definitely will, but with their own spin on it! He also goes into explaining that girls should always remember that they are ladies. Our girls are losing this idea. Kyle and I have personally heard teenage boys speak of girls these days and its not amusing. It's down right scary! We are raising three beautiful girls and the thought of a boy, one day, speaking so carelessly about one them is just repulsive!
We are in charge of our children and should expect no one else to raise them or teach them right from wrong, we should be the ones who stay consistent in their discipline, even in a world that now looks down on physical discipline i.e. spanking. In our modern world if we don't allow our children to do what all the other children are doing we are considered "ancient" or "stuck in the past" or "weird/uncool" and the thing I've heard and at one point thought myself, "too strict and unfair". I won't lie I was feeling an increasing amount of pressure to enroll Hannah into some sort of dance/cheerleading/gymnastics or JUST SOMETHING and one night Kyle and I were discussing this pressure I was feeling, when he said, "Erica, the reason you are feeling this pressure is because you want them to fit in. You want them to be considered normal especially when they start school." This was exactly the truth. I do want them to fit in and be normal, what parent doesn't? But, I wanted them to be normal in things that didn't matter, I wanted them to be normal and accepted in things that they ultimately don't need to worry about. I would be pushing them to do the "norm". Pushing them to shift their focus from God to more socially acceptable things.
Cheer/Dance/Gymnastic etc. moms please understand that this in no way was meant to offend you! These are just my thoughts. In no way or shape would I mean my words to hurt any of you!
Do not mistake what I'm saying, I do want to give my girls the world. I want them to never have to need one single thing for the rest of their lives. But, what kind of mom would I be if I didn't say no-ever, if I didn't punish them for their wrong doings, if I didn't make them say sorry, if I didn't teach them to clean up their messes, if I didn't teach them to "shake it off" when they fall or scrape their knee? I am their mom, I do kiss boo-boo's, I cuddle when they are sick, I tell them I love them every second I can. But because I am their mom they know and will continue to learn that what I (and their dad) says, is what goes. They will pray before meals, they will sit down at the table and eat when we eat, they will ask to be excused, they will not interrupt when we are talking, they will learn that as easily as things are given they WILL be taken away, and they will get their hearts broken, by us and by others but they will learn to get over it, kids are good at that. There is no question that we love them. They know that and they refuse to go to bed without a goodnight hug and kiss.
While my mind is all over the place I take comfort in knowing that what we're doing is what's best for our family. It may not be for your family and what may be best for your family may be completely opposite of what your neighbor thinks. It doesn't matter what they think. It honestly doesn't matter what you think, and I can't worry about what you think I have enough to worry about over here! The point is and it's been an adjustment for me, is accepting that how we raise our family is strictly up to us. We mustn't rely on others to raise our girls for us and that includes teachers at any school, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, it was our decision to bring them into this world it is our RESPONSIBILITY to raise them how we see fit, not what is socially acceptable, not how other parents tell us.
We also take comfort in knowing that our steps are guided by Gods merciful and gracious touch and I can only pray that as our girls grow they will continue to seek him and keep him first in their lives.