Monday, October 7, 2013

A Thought Concerning Parenting

Some of my thoughts about parenting have creeped into this blog from time to time. It is hard to leave it out when I try to write about things our culture is doing wrong and how we go about changing it. I fortunately have a well-equipped spouse that shares many of these thoughts, and (so far) we are raising three children with success. That isn't to say that there aren't other successful ways (not a fan of the mommy wars) but it helps that I have someone else in my corner that not only loves my kids, has mostly the same parenting style, but he knows what Harrison Bergeron* means. Be still, my beating heart.

In the last 24 hours, I came across two very different Facebook shares. Here is the first:

Please due not sue. This was circulating on Facebook. I have no idea where it came from, though I certainly have some guesses.
I get that our generation has some new ideas about parenting. I get that some of these ideas are constructive, positive, and there might even be studies to back these ideas up. My own experiences as a child that had some different needs in the classroom make me bristle when I see something telling me there are words I should not be using with my children. I take no issue with the left or right side of this table. I do understand the thought process behind the middle column, but 'quick' is a 'judging word'?  Clever? Right? Great? I think we need to back up the train a minute. What happened to all of us being differently abled? What happened to humans being unique? What happened to different people being able to excel at different things? Many of the words in the middle column do not judge, but are mere descriptors. If you are quick, that can be helpful in some cases, but in others, being slow would be more helpful.  Why is it wrong to tell your child they performed a task quickly? 

Intelligent is another fine example. There are many kinds of intelligence. There are many ways for a child to be intelligent. I am not supposed to describe my child as intelligent for fear of what? I ask this question honestly. 

Then, tonight I saw this.  

St. Thérèse so eloquently puts into words what I want to say. We need all kinds of intelligence, beauty, quickness, slowness, cleverness, and amazing in this world. I don't want to avoid words with my children. I want them to have a deeper understanding of what they mean.

*"Harrison Bergeron" are the first two words that came to mind when I looked at the center column in the first photo. Maybe that is extreme, but I truly fear our culture will continue down the road of equating equality with sameness. I don't want that for my children, and I think a well-intentioned idea got away from the 'parenting experts' here.

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