Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Responsibility-part two

I got a few responses to this post on Monday and one of them really got me thinking.
Leah said-

but I honestly think they don't realise what they do automatically to support their kids at school and learning everywhere, and give themselves no credit

It's so true.

I feel that we, in western society, have our power and innate knowledge as parents taken away before our children are even born.

We are told to rely on ultrasound to know when our babies were conceived, even if we know *exactly* when it happened. Our pregnancy gets an expiry date, regardless of the health of the baby and mother. If we choose the hospital system we may be induced or sectioned to suit blanket protocol rather than on the wishes of the parents and the health of the mother/baby.

When our babies are born we are encouraged to schedule our babies eating and sleeping habits with little regard to our own parental intuition and the cues of the child. We turn to books and TV shows with their "experts" to tell us what to do because we feel like we are not qualified. Often we listen to them more than we listen to ourselves in the spirit of "doing it right". We lie and feel guilty about doing things that are easy and that suit our babies (like feeding to sleep, co-sleeping or full term breastfeeding) because it's against the "rules".

So it's little wonder when you have children at school it can feel like this

I think a difficulty with parents being "supportive" at school, it is maybe seen as being very Type A and hard on the kids' academic performance.

The school system becomes another "expert" and you are expected to check your opinions at the door.

So if your children go to school know this. Just like birth and early childhood they are YOUR children. You are able to make decisions that experts disagree with that are right your family. You are able to be responsible and involved as much as your child and you are comfortable in. All of the things you do outside of school hours is part of their education-give yourself credit! Don't be afraid to be the expert on your child.

Home education and the school system doesn't have to be an "us vs them" situation. We're all in it doing what we think is the best for our kids right? That means we are all on the same side.


Kathy said...

*claps loudly*

This is so entirely what I think! My two eldest are at school but I am heavily involved in their schooling and will not abrogate my role in their learning because I'm intimidated into thinking I'm not "expert" enough. (That said, their school, which is small and friendly, has teachers that on the whole welcome parental involvement.)

Anonymous said...

great post. we tried school - but I disagreed with too many things happening .. and felt I'd find the same thing at most other schools.

Sazz said...

Sharing far and wide. So very well said, Shae, and so desperately needed to be written and heard the world over.

Veronica said...

I think you are exactly right.

Leah said...

I think the analogies to infancy are great! Like the ABA exists despite the fact that breastfeeding comes naturally to many, has sustained life for eons. Despite that it is important enough that there is a body of knowledge and peer support, as it doesn't always happen organically, the ABA is a worthwhile enterprise because of how important breastfeeding is. If you never had a problem breastfeeding or knew anyone else who did you might scratch your head at it's existence. Similarly if you didn't know that bfing and bottle feeding are substantially different, you would wonder why they'd bother, but for very different reasons.

Many parents nurture their children's neurological development and access to education without the assistance of an outside body with handy hints, be it a book, a school or a mchn, whomever. I think it's kind of a shame in a way that as we as a society grow our knowledge about what happens in infancy and early childhood we might feel more self conscious about what parents have done culturally with their kids that works wonderfully - playing in parks, reading to them, involving them in daily life and so on. But by the same token, knowing what intervention can achieve with working with kids who are bereft of these influences in the home, what a positive impact it can have for society as a whole, it seems really important that we talk about it.


Hi Shae,
I've just found your blog tonight and have read some of your recent posts in your Unschooling, Birth and Parenting categories. I like your blog! As a fellow in all the three areas I want to encourage you to keep writing, to help others women and to continue to challenge others.
Of my seven kids I had my last three at home - life memorable experiences. I've home schooled all till 16years when each have chosen to go to school - loved the 23years so far of being a part of each one's life at home - a real privilege to see a little of how they think, process and learn.
You may like some of my recent posts on Breastfeeding.
All the best.

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