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Showing posts with label raising kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raising kids. Show all posts

Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Modesty and Shaming

I am annoyed by reports of a Utah School doctoring yearbook photos to show less skin.

My reasons:

1. The school district admittedly applied the rule unevenly.
2. The original pictures were fine, for the most part.
3. I dare say not one boy's photo was doctored.
4. Cleavage is one thing, but shoulders?  That is taking it too far.

I realize my stance my be unpopular, but it often is, and I am ok with that. But I feel like we cross the line in asking our girls to be modest... and push the barriers into shaming girls for just being girls.  While I practiced modesty with my daughter from her pre-teen years through now, adulthood (18th birthday coming up), I don't believe in telling girls that some guy seeing a glimpse of an ankle or a (gasp) arm, is going to cause some guy to stumble in his faith. Meanwhile guys get to run around completely shirtless, and girls are expected to have no reaction?  I am sick of the double standard. 

In encouraging (not demanding) my daughter to be modest, we layered whenever an outfit revealed too much.  "Go add your lacy underskirt to outfit". "That skirt or shorts would be OK with leggings". "That top needs a cami".  "For goodness sakes, where is your belt?".  These were common sentences

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Listen to them and let them speak

 I had a rough childhood for a lot of reasons. The short of it is that being in a combined family Brady-Bunch situation seldom is the thing that children remember fondly. By biggest beef with my childhood is that people just. didn't. listen.  To anything. You were a child. You were to be seen when it was convenient. You were not to be heard. You were not to feel. You were not to complain.

Now I dare say that my upbringing was better than that of our parents, who were allowed even less freedom of thought and action. I.e. we were fed and clothed well. We had all the educational opportunities they could provide. So as far as they were concerned, they were doing a bang-up job.  But it did not feel good. At all.

My brother, after staying with my family a couple of months proceeded to analyze my parenting style. He said, "I've noticed that you set out to NOT raise your kids the way we were raised... You accomplished that".  His comments were mostly complimentary.  I know he thinks the girl child is too mouthy and needs to be sternly reprimanded, but there was a lot of admiration in his comment.

He was right. I did set out to not do what I did not like about my upbringing. I was not heard as a child, and barely heard as a young adult... well into my twenties. So even if it meant hearing my kids say things to me that were uncomfortable to hear, I let them speak their minds, always.  I gave

Thursday, April 18, 2013

You're right and I'm wrong - Respecting children

Keeping in the theme of raising kids to be confident and secure, I want to talk about my kids' favorite sentence.   It is :

You're right, and I'm wrong.  

I've always thought it was the good and proper thing to say to a kid when it turned out that they were right, and I was wrong.  ... Because, well, it is the truth and they needed to be validated that they were in fact the correct and informed person in whatever conversation we were having.

I guess I am pretty dense, because I thought everyone said these things to their kids (though I can count on two fingers the times my parents said it).  But I had a girl visiting with me, the daughter of someone very visible and quite spiritual, and she nearly fainted when she heard those words come from my mouth.  This child, about 12 at the time, turned to me and said, "what did you say?"  I repeated myself and she looked at me in wide-eyed amazement.  "Parents don't have to say that," she said.  Wow, I thought.

I replied,  "well, if you and I are on opposite sides of a disagreement, and you're right, and I'm wrong, then I will say it to you too."

It's been several years, and I am still dumbfounded by that conversation.

So that line is still my kid's favorite, and as they got older, we have found new lines, such as:

  • Agreeing to disagree
  • Let's look at it from a different viewpoint
  • You might have a point there
  • I'm going to give this one to you and save my fight for another day. 

In the end, it is about allowing a kid to have his own mind and to validate his or her thoughts and feelings.  Failure to do so will SHOOT THEM DOWN,  as my husband is fond of saying.  And a child who is constantly shot down, will be an adult who doesn't know how to speak up for themselves.  Or even worse, they will bide their time until they have people they can shoot down, and the cycle will continue.