Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Teach Your Children Well

Do you like my new map thingy? Down there on the right. It shows little soundwaves coming out from where I am, and then other red dots where you are. Love it. If you click on it you can see details and graphs and all that stuff.

Leading on from my thoughts yesterday, I left this little tangent out, but we'll do it today.

As a child I wasn't comforted by the quirks of relatives, I was put off by them. That probably connects to the whole association thing, or in my case lack of it. The interesting aspect (well, it is to me) is why.

I think I realised very young, probably too young, that adults were fallible. I wasn't in awe of them no matter how much taller, louder, or "more important" they were, compared to me. I wasn't a cheeky child, I didn't "talk back", not in a rude way, and I want to make that very clear. I was polite and respectful. But I wasn't scared. So when I found a way to assert myself respectfully, I always took it. I stood my ground.

I had zero hero worship. I loved my family very much but I saw all their flaws. I don't ever remember not seeing their flaws. They weren't major flaws, you understand, very decent people really. Everybody was always kind to me, supportive, encouraging, I was very fortunate. But I wasn't fooled. Somehow I knew, right from the get go, that they were just....... older, and that was the only reason they were already privy to information I was still collecting. I was also aware that quite often, I was privy to more information than they were, because I read a lot.

So when I had a tooth extracted, and vomited all over the dentist, and he told me it was because I sat up too quickly, I knew he was full of shit, because I had read that anaesthesia can cause nausea. Nobody bothered to warn me of that, because I was only a child, but it came as no surprise to me.

I asked a lot of questions, and I often wasn't satisfied with the answers. I think on the whole people are more honest with children these days, but my own experiences certainly led to me being the type of parent and grandparent that I am. When a child asks me a question, he gets an honest and complete answer.

There is the idea that children are innocent, which is lovely, but they are not ignorant. They are little intellectual sponges ready to soak up all the data they can get. They rely on the people around them to provide this, and will seek any source available. Therefore if TV is used as a surrogate parent, that will be their source.

What they need, to achieve their full potential, is good teachers. This includes, but is not limited to, the professionals in schools. We all have the potential to be teachers in the broad sense; I wasn't the only child who saw the man behind the curtain, so we have to be aware of this.


  1. Oh, excellent and right on target: "...innocent...but not ignorant." Yes, indeed!

    I think all my life I have conducted myself as a kind of teacher, even to those who may not have felt I was the right one or the right age for the job. "What does SHE know, she's just a kid."

    Yet we look to such things as mentoring and peer support, tutoring, and other such constructs as being a necessary part of life these days, everywhere from formal schooling to recovery programs. If someone knows a better way to get from point A to B, then please share, don't keep those gems of wisdom to yourself.

    I think part of it is the respect (or lack of it) that comes from whether people are willing to accept(!) when knowledge is imparted. You mention, Mel, the way you would read a lot and follow your curiosity to answer questions to your satisfaction. How many other people really do that kind of work on a constant basis? Often, we are looking for the fast answer or the quick fix instead of going through that learning process ourselves. And if it happens to be someone from the younger generation that finds the answer before we do, then aren't we likely to hold a grudge of some sort? :( "Young whippersnapper." LOL

    Maybe what we need is sharing more kudos and congratulations when "anyone" gets it right. Saying we agree with what someone says is a big start, rather than reacting negatively? I have learned to internalize negativity in a way that it prompts me to figure myself out. Why is it that "I" don't agree? What is it about "X" that doesn't sit right? etc.

    Thanks for the stroll down the old evolutionary road, my friend. :) ~ Blessings!

  2. I quite often came under fire from others when Kiddo was very young and I would give him simple, but honest answers to questions he asked. Those others would try to tell me that he was too young to be told those sorts of things and I should have done things different. Needless to say those others were told the reasons why I chose to be honest and accepted it or were encouraged out of my sphere of being.

    The result of honesty is a young man of 20 who knows what honesty means, is an honest being himself and I have earned his respect for treating him with respect enough to give him honesty as much as I was able from the beginning.

  3. So what you are saying is that I don't have to worry about youngest watching Brother Cadfael--that I haven't completely stunted him socially because I am teaching him how to recognize good tv rather than World Wide Wrestling? Is this what you're telling me? Please? ;^)

    In any case, I agree.

    When the kids were little I would tell them that "mommy is wrong," the reason why I was wrong and then I would apologize. I like to think that my kids will learn from my mistakes just as I am learning from them.