I like to watch people.
Yup, I even like going to the mall and just observing people, families, singles, children, elderly, anyone. I find it very interesting. I guess I really like people and I like learning how people think and believe and how they behave. These times of observation invariably lead me to times of intense thinking. Tehee, this used to be a bad thing as my head would get into a spin and I’d drive myself nuts. Maybe it’s part of getting older or maybe it’s the effect of the Holy Spirit in my life but I find I’m more able to speak less and be more patient in processing my thoughts before trying to verbalise them.
Anyway, all this to say that I have been observing families and friends lately…some Christian and others aren’t. Some are homeschoolers and others are schoolies. But I have noticed some common trains of thought amongst them…beliefs,actions, that I have learned (and still learning) to deal with and seek a Biblical approach to.
I have a friend. This woman works very hard outside the home, in order to earn money to pay for a private Christian education for her children. She also works very hard within the home to provide a positive and loving home life for the family. Everything she does is for her children. She unpacks their school bag (and I’m talking about a Yr 10 student here!!!) and packs it again with the next days school books. She makes him lunch, washes his clothes, brings him warm milk to tuck him in at bed. She sacrifices a lot in order to provide, what she sees as best, for her child. However, she doesn’t monitor his telephone usage and he has a private line in his room at which he can talk for hours at a time. The teen child seems to rule the roost, not in word but in action.
I have another friend (Wow, 2 ‘IRL’ friends…who woulda thunk it?) who is naturally rather shy. She also enjoys being at home with her younger children. No problems there right? Except that her 2 year old son totally rules the home. This is largely due to the husband’s insistence as he works odd hours and likes his son to be available when he is. This seems to have led to the child not having any routine or any discipline or any guidelines whatsoever. This dear mother cannot even go shopping with him! She must have a sitter for him so she can get groceries as he is such a handful. Oh, they laugh about it and call him ‘cute’ and gave him little pet names but I shudder when I think of what he may become when he is 12 and 22 and not just a 2year old. This young mother desires the very best for her son…she only wants ot please him and to provide the best for him. Much like the mother I mentioned above.
I wonder how our children learn that the world is a much bigger place than their own limited personal experience. I want my children to know that they are fortunate and blessed…I want them to know that the world does not revolve around them! I want them to have a servant’s heart…to serve others…to be always looking outwards rather than inwards. I don’t want them to grow up with the attitude that this world owes them in some way! I wonder how a child can honestly believe that though if they have totally been the centre of their parent’s world…if everything the parent does revolves around the child then what is the message the child is hearing?
I wonder if homeschoolers can be at particular risk of raising selfish children? I don’t have any ‘cut n dried’ thoughts, it’s just something I have pondered. I mean, we mothers stay at home training and educating children rather than pursuing our own career…do we need to tell our children that while we love them to bits, our whole world does not revolve around them? How much of my life have I put on hold…til after the children have grown and left home? Do I have any interests or hobbies or passions that I pursue? What do my children know about me…not just my thoughts on the Bible or child rearing but do they know my likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams? Do my children know that the gospel of Christ is much more important than homeschooling?
Have you noticed a trend toward the idolatry of children? How do you guard against it?