Friday, August 01, 2008

How Would You Feel?

Although this post  is geared towards people with kids, I would totally appreciate opinions from anyone who had something to say on the subject.

How would you feel if someone took it upon themselves to teach your children values that weren’t your own? For instance, what if someone told your daughter that women should stay at home with their kids and be dutiful wives but you believe that woman can and should do whatever they want whether that’s being a stay at home mom or a career mom? Or if someone told your children that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny aren’t real even though you want your kids to believe in them for as long as you can get away with it? What if someone told your children that it’s okay to drop out of school as long as they get their GED even though it’s your dearest wish for your children to graduate from high school with a diploma?

What if the person telling your kids these things was their aunt, uncle, or grandparent?

What if the person were just a friend?

What if you had never made your stance on these matters clear or if you had specifically said that you want your kids believing one thing or another?

Would these factors matter or would you be just as upset either way? Or not upset at all because you don’t care who teaches your kids their values as long as people aren’t telling them that it’s okay to rape or murder?

Values are learned from all different sources:  parents, family, friends, teachers, clergy, even the media. But when it comes to core values, is it alright for people other than parents to teach their own children what they want them to know and how they want them to behave? Should parents have the ultimate say?

7 comments:

  1. Ahhh, the people who think they know best for your kids, I've met a few of them. Honestly though, I try not to get angry unless the view is totally off track. My youngest is 17 now, and I have tried to explain to her that there is more than one point of view on everything. You can hear all opinions and then use the good mind God gave you to decide for yourself what is true and right for you. One also has to consider the surroundings and the situation of the person who can't help but spew their opinions to our children. Their life experiences have led them to their beliefs.

    As for Santa and such, I said that "Mrs. SoAndSo must be having a bad day and is very selfish to try and make you sad today too. Let's say a prayer for her."

    I sometimes had to get very creative because I did not want to lie to my children. When I was a new Mom, I decided that I would never allow my children to believe in myths, but that all changed. Life is hard enough, why not enjoy the legends that bring such joy?

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  2. I would be furious! I don't care who it is coming from (relatives or friends)- those kind of things are private family values and no one should be intruding especially when they are young children - once their teenagers ok with me if you tell them your opinion.

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  3. I'm sick sore and tired of these type of people. No matter where I go I seem to meet someone who knows what is best for my daughter - family members are worst of all.
    I believe that all I can do is do my best to let her grow up and share my experiences, strengths and beliefs with her. Later in life it will be up to her to choose whatever path she decides herself.

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  4. Yes, I would be mad if others were forcing their ideas on my son. I think debating can be a good thing, but until my son is old enough to express his own opinion about these things, I'd prefer if people let me do the parenting and teaching of values.

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  5. I would not appreciate that although I know that most of the times they mean well or thought that is best for kids. It will be confusing for the kids to learn conflicting values. And yet this would be a good chance for kids to learn to 'choose' the appropriate choices; appropriate meaning choices that will reflect practicality in our times. Like the example you quoted about someone telling your daughter that women should stay at home with their kids and be dutiful wives. Is it practical in a stressful society like today? As parent, you do not necessary have to put down all these differing values but rather to explain to your kids from the person points of view and why it might not be practical in today's sense etc. In a way, it'll help them to analyse and to make better decision.

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  6. I, personally, would be upset. I work hard at teaching my children good values and it bothers me when someone tries to tell them different (especially if it is family). I explain to my kids that not everyone believes the same things. If it was a family member trying to push their beliefs then I don't think I would leave my children with that person without supervision. Being a parent is hard enough.....it's a shame when people make it harder.

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  7. I've been trying to figure out how best to respond to all my comments for this post. I could start a whole new post just to address the comments, lol. Everyone had very thoughtful things to say and I agreed with most everything said.

    I get tired of the know-it-alls too when it comes to my kids. Whether or not people think that we're right or wrong, it's our (my husband and I) responsibility to teach our kids what we think is right. It's putting your nose where it doesn't belong otherwise.

    Bottom line, I'm not the only one that thinks outsiders need to butt out, lol.

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