Sunday, 23 October 2011


Sometimes I am plagued with questions. Not the "Did you know that in Australia people have to walk on their heads?" type of questions or the "Why is poo brown?" questions. Not even the "Will I manage to get 2 loads of washing dry in one day?" questions. No, these are questions of a far more serious nature.

On occasion I am overcome with questions such as these:

How do we know we are doing the right thing with our boys?
Why do I think so differently to other parents?
Do I actually think differently to other parents, or am I just verbalising what other people are thinking?
Will our boys, one day, be well rounded citizens of society or are we going horribly wrong somewhere?

We do our best, but what if our best is not good enough? In a horrendously disconcerting way, we will never know whether we are doing the right thing or not, until we have finished the job. What if we are getting it all wrong?

Sometimes I look around me and wish that I could think the same as other people. Why can't I just be happy to fit in, put my head down and get on with things? Why, for example, do I have to be so incredibly opinionated about homework and schools in general? This morning, as Max was making a tomb for Tutenkhamun out of a frubes box, including separate compartments for his brain, lungs and other organs, I contemplated telling his teacher that we would not be making a board game about the Ancient Egyptians for homework because Max has already made this tomb. 'Child-led learning' is it's official title and I am big fan of it. Why do I have to even contemplate this when other people seem to just get on with the task they have been given without question. When I take my boys to a park, making myself comfortable on a bench with my book, I look at other parents hovering over their children on the climbing frames and even telling their children not to attempt certain equipment and I wonder if I am being an empowering parent or a neglectful, lazy parent. Should I, also, be ensuring their absolute safety or is it ok for them to fall and learn not to attempt that silly climb again?

This is not a pity party, and I am not looking for "Oh but you are a wonderful mother" responses. I am being honest. I don't like thinking differently. I wish I wasn't so opinionated. Or am I so different? I do not enjoy looking at other people parenting their children in a different way and wondering if we are doing the right thing. This isn't a scientific study in which we are testing the outcomes of different parenting techniques, this is the lives and futures of our boys and I desperately want to do the right thing. But we won't know the outcomes until it is too late, and that is one very scary thought.

1 comment:

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