So far, I have tried to avoid blogging lists or gripes or pet peeves. I have a reputation for being less than patient with small things, like Wal-Mart carts with bad wheels or people doused in perfume. These are pet peeves, but they only make me look petty and they are not related to the Raising His Child message. So, here are a few of the things I would love for others to stop doing that do relate to my child-rearing opinions. See if any of these are on your list.
1. Do not tell my kids they can come over “anytime”. They absolutely believe you.
2. Please do not tell them you could eat them up, take them home, or keep them with you. Again, they absolutely believe you and this is understandably creepy.
3. Please do not tell them to “ask your mom if you can play with a pocketknife, drive a lawnmower , or go for a ride on _______.” Ask me first so I can reject the idea quietly and privately.
4. Do not let your kids sit up front in your car if they are not of legal age. I keep having to judge you in the presence and hearing of my kids. This puts me in a tough spot, to say the least.
5. Here’s one that goes back to the baby days. If a baby is crying in the store, please know that the mom is probably doing her best to handle it. I try to remember what it feels like to be stared at while trying to get to a place to nurse or change a baby. I force myself to mind my business now when I desperately want to seek out the area where a newborn is crying in distress.
6. Do not quiz my homeschooler. I have observed that only homeschoolers get quizzed on school questions. Not only is this unfair in respect to public school children, but if you are not a teacher, you have no frame of reference from which to pull out a question for my kid. We make no claims to be math wizards or spelling bee champs. We are just doing our best.
7. In a related request, do not freak out if my children have to stop and think when you ask them what grade they are in. That is something they don’t really have to think about too much as homeschoolers.
8. If you see one of my 5 daughters in public and recognize her because of her uncanny resemblance to me, please tell her your name so we don’t have to do that thing where she tries to describe you and I try to place you. We are so bad at that. This happens a lot in this small town and I would really like to know you said hello.
9. Please do not single out one child in a group as pretty. It shocks me how often this is said. This is not good for the “pretty” child or for the other, unmentioned pretty children in earshot of such a compliment.
10. Please refrain from disclosing any details of upcoming birthday parties, sleepovers or church events. I go to great lengths to keep this information from my kids until the last possible moment. This prevents tedious countdowns, updates and today’s-date-vs-day-of-party explanations. I will do the same for you, of course.
11. Don’t ask them what they are gonna do with their life. (I polled the room for that one.)
12. Take great pains to ensure that children are out of hearing range for any discussion of the following:
- the black widow you found in your house
- anyone’s impending divorce
- anything you heard on Nancy Grace
- the Mayan calendar
As always, I hope I speak for other parents as well as myself when I voice my opinions. I read somewhere that for every person that speaks up, ten people agree without saying so. If even one of these complaints rang true for you, click the “like” button below so I know your voice has been heard as well.