I’ve been struggling lately with the concept of struggle. Specifically when it comes to the mini-ions and how much struggle they should have in life.
I think my generation is bombarded with all the bad news surrounding us that it can be scary to contemplate giving our children the life that we may have had. Although actual kidnapping or murder statistics are down, when it happens, news about it is EVERYWHERE. And it is easy to put yourself in the spot of, oh no, how do I make sure it never, ever happens to me? How can I prevent that threat?
But on the flip side, our children really benefit from the independence. They need to really experience the world around them. It’s tough finding the middle ground.
Last night I was catching up on the TV Show, Parenthood and one of the story lines revolves around 5/6 grade boy with Asperger’s Disorder, an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by difficulty in nonverbal communication and social interactions. This boy was on a class trip and was picked on his classmates so much that one peed in his canteen. This story line has the parents trying to receive justice from the school, and likely creating a new school for their child.
I have a friend who has a daughter in kindergarten, and as recently as last month, was still having to corral her daughter, crying and fighting, onto the bus and buckled in. As the mom posts about the ordeal on facebook, she receives many comments like, “she’ll get over it”.
In no way am I comparing your average kindergartner with a child with Asperger’s. But I think here are two extremes (granted, one is fictional, but I’m sure that story could be found). There is more to my friend’s story that makes this her current option, but, never fear, it is going to change.
As I am contemplating what the immediate future looks like for my mini-ions, I wonder, in relation to school specifically, where is struggle right and where am I intervening too much?
I’m concerned. I’m concerned about our public school system. I’m concerned that the people making the decisions are too concerned about keeping their jobs that they aren’t considering their “clients”. I’m concerned that teachers aren’t given the opportunity to adapt their teaching styles for the different styles of learning needs that they have looking back at them. I’m concerned the school system is preparing our children to be the next generation of factory workers, expecting college to really hone them to a career, and that system is just not working anymore.
So I wonder, where do I fall in the struggle? Do I let the mini-ions struggle with situations that feel unnecessary and totally unrealistic to the way life is after school? I’d love to put them in the local private school, but until we win the lottery, that just isn’t a possibility. Unless I go back to a life of advertising, and my mini-ions have the best of education, but the worst of their mother.
Do I start a school? That is within our budget and falls within the way I hope the mini-ions are educated? Is that intervening too much?
(Because I’ll totally do it!)