Almost every activity we do under the sun has its pros and cons – so does homeschool. Even though the positives outweigh the negatives – there ARE still those annoying issues that us homeschool parents need to pay close attention to, or they can and will spiral completely out of control.
One of those issues is ‘familiarity’……I don’t think I have ever met a homeschool family that didn’t have problems with this. I personally struggled with it the whole 20 years of my homeschooling, and I’m STILL dealing with it – it’s a tough issue. Let me tell you a true story that will pinpoint exactly what I mean by the word ‘familiarity’….
We had been homeschooling for 2 years, and were on vacation when we got a call inviting us to visit this beautiful homeschool family in the area where we were staying. This couple had 10 children, and had been homeschooling for a very long time, so my husband and I were so excited to meet and spend time with them. We were literally in awe of their family. The kids were smart…they did chores…they looked good and healthy….and you could tell that they honestly loved their parents. Then…we sat down to eat dinner. It was the most eye opening dinner I have ever had – so I will NEVER forget it. The mom started to talk about a topic that peaked the interests of the other kids at the table – and one by one, they rudely cut her off to say what they wanted to say to us. The oldest daughter was the worst…not only did she consistently jump in and complete her mom’s sentences for her, but, she was loud, well spoken, and very rude. She took over the conversation in her mom’s place, and bragged about how much she knew and even stated that her mom didn’t know much. I was shocked. Does any of this sound familiar?
Does your kids sometime respond to you as if you are below them? Does it sometimes seem like they have more respect for others in authority than they have for you? When you correct them, do they answer you back – word for word? When you are speaking, do they sometimes cut in mid sentence to finish your thought or give their opinion? When you are conversing with other adults, do they jump into the conversation as if it were their friends talking to them?
If you can relate to any of this, (and I’m positive that most of you can) then you have the familiarity bug.
But how does this happen? And why is it so common among homeschoolers?
Here is why: We parents, are with our kids constantly! We go out with them, converse with them and laugh with them, so we are their peers as well. We talk to and respond to them just like they are on our level (from the youngest to the oldest) – which in turn, causes them to mature and FEEL adult-like…. treating US like an equal – it’s actually a part of them becoming socialized (but it needs to be tempered).
We want mature but respectful kids – not arrogant, disrespectful tyrants. So what should we do to combat this issue?
Tune in tomorrow for Part II
“Familiarity breeds contempt” – Aesop