Thursday, December 8, 2011

Stealing Your Kid's Childhood

"Stealing your kid's childhood" something that is very noticeable this time of year. It's most noticeable during the Christmas season when many parents send out letters to friends and family. Many of these letters include comments on the advancement and maturity of their children compared to their peers, which is wonderful and delightful. What isn't wonderful is how some parents insist on these kids giving up their childhood just to prove to outsiders that the child is more advanced. Many parents push their kids to give up age appropriate toys, push them grade levels above their peers, and push them to be in activities that interest the parent not the child.

It seems lately that kids just can't be kids anymore and that after the age of 10 years old it's time for them to give up the toys. Yes, I've noticed this with my 11 year old's peers, many of my friends, and some teachers. When it comes to this age level of the kids, toys are out and video games, computers, socializing and sports are what they should do with their free time. I was even criticized by my daughters teacher for allowing my 11 year old to play with dolls. Playing with dolls makes my child immature, because the other girls no longer play with them. I homeschooled my kids for the last three years, so I had no idea that they gave up toys at the age of 10 years old. It's a good thing my daughter has intelligent loving parents because we believe in kids having a childhood, so we have encouraged our daughter to play with toys and ignore those that are more mature and gave them up in 4th grade. I feel bad for the mature kids that can no longer play with toys, because they have parents and teachers that discourage it. These kids have given up their childhood early and will regret it at some point in their lives.

The issue of advancing their kids grade levels above other kids the same age. This has become very popular over the past 15 years, and seems to make parents feel extra special to have an advanced kid. I know some people are questioning how do you advance kids a grade level? It's difficult to do in a public school, but very simple if you homeschool or have your child in a small religious private school. It was suggested many times while I was homeschooling to advance my oldest daughter Emelie because school was simple for her. She has always been ahead of her peers, she learned her alphabet at the age of 2 years and entered 1st grade reading at a 4th grade level. It was tempting to advance her, but my husband and I knew that we would be forcing her to grow-up faster than she should. We wanted her to enjoy her childhood and teen years hanging out with kids her age, not 2 years older than her. She will continue to advance in an age appropriate grade level, because she has parents that spend time with her and challenge her. We have no need to push her through school, just so we can brag to people that she graduated from high school early. That is what I'm picking up from parents that advance their kids, it seems to be more of a self-esteem boost for a parent that has always had a poor self-esteem. It's a chance to say look everyone I'm great, because my kid is advanced. I don't believe that the parent is a better person and I feel sorry for the kid that will graduate at 15 or 16 years old and be forced to be an adult to early in life. They could use those 2 to 3 years advancing the learning processes further and enter college at 17 or 18 years old with a stronger educational background. They can enjoy being a teenager and become an adult during their senior year like most kids. If a kid is advanced they will advance in life without being pushed up a couple of grade levels, and still enjoy their childhood.

This is another area that I've seen parents living life through the child. Parents place their kids in activities that they wish they excelled or participated in. I've seen little girls forced to be in dance, gymnastics and/or ice skating due to their mothers dreams and hopes of raising a star. I've seen boys forced to play sports or participate in other activities because they are expected to be like their dad. These parents are stealing their kid's childhood by forcing activities on their child. These parents had a childhood and they can't relive what they wish they had in a childhood through their child. Emelie decided 18 months ago that after 6 years of ballet she no longer wanted to dance. I would of loved for her to continue and go on to become a wonderful ballerina, but that would be very wrong of me to force her to continue to dance. She announced to her ballet classmates that she was leaving dance and was going to try gymnastics. One of her classmates questioned her mother on why she must continue to dance when she no longer enjoys it. That mother told her daughter because I want you to dance, and you will be glad I made you do it later in life. Really??? Her daughter is going to be happy that she had no choices in life as a child? She is going to be happy that she never participated in activities that she had an interest in because she spent most of her free time at dance lessons? I've seen moms place daughters in gymnastics as toddlers in hopes of them being the next Mary Lou Retton. I had both of my daughters in gymnastic just for fun when they were 3 and 5 years old. I had no plans of them continuing after the first 2 years. They only went for one year due to me not wanting my kids around these crazy mothers. One mom even told her 5 year old daughter to tell my 5 year old daughter that she was terrible at gymnastics. Yep, that is how evil a mom can be when she is trying to relive her childhood through her kid. This mom must of had a really low self-esteem to stoop so low and is now placing that low self-esteem on her kids. Emelie is back at gymnastics by her choice and seems to be with a wonderful group of girls. I was worried about encountering more crazy moms, but their 11 year old kids have been in gymnastics for 9 years and are at competition level, so I don't have to deal with them. Emelie is with girls who's parents waited until the child picked the activity and is supporting a healthy fun childhood. My kids will discover who they are with a little help from their father and me, and we will enjoy watching them live their childhood. We lived our childhood 3 decades ago and yes we have regrets, but I won't force my regrets on my kids.

I better end this crazy rant, because I could go on for days. I just ask parents to let their kids have a full childhood and not to steal it from them. I will enjoy reading the Christmas letters and I'll feel bad for the children that are growing up faster than they should be. I'm going to make sure my girls have an enjoyable childhood.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Endorsing Hate

I have a very nice girlfriend who started an email group to send out local stores and Internet deals. I thought this would be a great source of information on saving a few dollars, turns out many of those on the group list boycott most stores because of their hate of homosexuals. My friend who started the group isn't a hateful person, but in order to keep the peace she is apologizing for posting deals about stores that support homosexuals. They also boycott any companies that donate to Planned Parenthood. These ladies believe that Planned Parenthood encourages and funds abortions, which isn't true. Some of the same ladies have sent emails around that the Girl Scouts teach girls as young as 6 years old about sex. This is how sick and hateful many of these ladies are towards groups that don't fall in line with their religious beliefs or agenda. I will call these ladies the Breeders which is a good name for them since they also believe you should have a baby every year to two years and then they teach their children to also hate. Yes, they actually breed hate.

The Breeders hate homosexuals because their sexual act is a sin. We all sin, so shouldn't we all just hate each other? I'm still trying to understand why they are so threatened by homosexuals. How are a homosexuals harming them and their families? I personally believe that homosexuals are born gay, so God made them with an attraction to the same sex. They are a child of God too, so why hate them? How would Jesus treat a homosexual? I believe he would accept them as he would all his children. Jesus would be ashamed of the breeders, and would point out to them that they have no right to judge others. Hating and endorsing the boycott of stores that hirer and give family benefits to homosexuals is endorsing the hate of a segment of God's children.

My friend loves God and doesn't agree with these ladies, but she also doesn't want to be an outcast in the community. She isn't as vocal as I am about these subjects. I'm already an outcast with most of the breeders, because I married a non-Catholic and only have two kids by choice. In defense of the loving Catholics around the world, I moved to a town that is not normal when it comes to Catholics and other Christian religions. They are extremists when it comes to religion, and extremists no matter what their belief will fuel hate. Let's stop the hate against homosexuals and shop and support the stores and businesses that don't discriminate against them. I pray in the same church as these breeders every Sunday and I always pray to God to guide these ladies away from hate and toward acceptance of others and their beliefs.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The 5 Hour Drive to Grandma's House.

Yes, we are traveling by car with the millions of other people for Thanksgiving at Grandma's. Not really Grandma's more like Mom's house, but she is Grandma to my kids. I don't get home to often during the fall and winter months due to the mountain of snow that falls on Northeastern Ohio. No matter what the occasion is traveling is stressful for my family.

The stress level during travel will be high, both my husband and I hate traffic and dealing with all the people that shouldn't have a drivers license. Here are a few things drivers should remember. The left lane which has been referred to as the fast lane or passing lane is for drivers to pass slower drivers in the right lane. If you are in the left lane and cars behind you want to travel at a faster speed than you get in the right lane and let them pass you. Yes, I realize that you are traveling a entire 2 MPH faster than those in the right lane, that you are traveling the legal speed limit and that you hate to change lanes so the left lane is best for you. Be polite and use commonsense during the holiday travel times and just stay out of the left lane if you prefer to travel the speed limit. The police and highway patrol will be out in larger numbers, so let them deal with the speeders and just let the speeders pass.

Please use your turn signal when changing lanes. There is nothing worse than hitting the brakes because someone decided to change lanes without informing others with a turn signal. My kids don't need whiplash and should be able to play their video games uninterrupted.

I'm one of those speeders and I like to travel 5 MPH over the speed limit and you'll make my travel more pleasant. If the law enforcement officials have issues with me speeding they will punish me. You don't need to keep me and thousands of others from speeding by sitting in the fast lane.

Thank-you and have a nice Thanksgiving with your family!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Return to Blogging

I'm back and hopefully I'll stay more committed to my blog. My Daughters are currently attending a nice Christian school, so I can pursue my dream of becoming a small business entrepreneur. I miss spending my days homeschooling, but the girls are enjoying their time at a small school. They both are beyond their current grade level. I'm not in a hurry for them to grow-up so they will remain with their age appropriate grade. The issue of parents advancing their children beyond their age appropriate peers is an issue I'll address soon in the blog. I'll also address many of the current political issues. I'll also update my current running plans. Hopefully I haven't lost my past followers and that I can engage with you in discussions on many of the current topics.