Sunday, August 29, 2010

What if they want to go to school?

Got into a discussion with Tim tonight, and he said he thinks we should let the boys attend school, IF we move to a nice neighborhood, and IF they ask to go. I disagree, wholeheartedly.

Sure, I'd like to leave it up to them, and trust that they will make the right choice in the end. But I just can't see myself ever sending them off to school. Here's what I was trying to explain to Tim.

It's easy to follow the expected path in life. Most people find it very difficult to break out of the "norm". So difficult in fact, that they get offended when they see other people do it. But that's what I want for my boys. I want them to break away from the main path, and do the unexpected. Carve their own road, and live the lives that make them happy. By not attending school, so many other paths open up before them. They will have so much more time to follow their passions. Volunteer if they want. Go straight into the working world, or maybe even start their own businesses.

Tim is mostly concerned with the social aspects that will be lost, by not attending high school. I can agree that I spent way more time socializing in school than I ever did learning. But it's not as though they will be locked in the basement. They will have other social opportunities that will leave them with lasting memories.

Ok, so I know some might argue that by going to school they would be breaking away from the path I expect them to follow, and you'd be right. We could go round and round for hours, but in the end I just don't see how sitting in school, eight hours a day, can bring about anything except the most narrow view of the world. Unless my boys can come up with a compelling argument, I don't see myself ever consenting for them to enroll in school.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


I heard an interesting article on the radio the other morning, while driving to work. It claimed that your personality by age six, will be your same basic personality for the remainder of your life. My first thought was, "No, please don't let that be true!".

Nico is six years old, and has some pretty frustrating personality traits. He is stubborn as a mule (some people may say he gets that from me). He never accepts no as an answer. He can't seem to ever keep himself from talking (definitely gets that from his daddy). He gets angry quickly, and then has trouble calming himself down. Lastly, he tends to carry around this smug sense of superiority. Like he is always right, and can do no wrong.

He does have some very positive personality traits as well. I do love his confidence in himself, I just wish he would internalize it a bit more, and realize he is not better than all those around him. If you ask Nico, he will tell you that he is mean and vicious, although I have never, in six years, seen him be vicious towards anyone, or anything. He is occasionally mean to his little brother, but that hardly qualifies. In fact, Nico is full of love and compassion. He is also creative, funny, inquisitive, and positively brilliant. You can almost see his mind glowing behind his eyes.

Like I said, at times he can be very frustrating to deal with. When things aren't going his way he is quick to start yelling, and all of a sudden I will find myself in a screaming match with a child. I do realize that I am the adult, and as such the one who should be in more control of her emotions. I let my own frustrations color my interactions with him, and I need to put a stop to it. My goal from now on is take more time to speak to him calmly. The louder and more frustrated he gets, the calmer and quieter I will become. I've been using this technique for the last two days now, and to my surprise, it's been working. If I can keep my own frustrations buried, I can get him to calm down much faster, even while disagreeing with him, or telling him no.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, after putting a lot of thought into it, I hope Nico's personality does stay the same. The good certainly outweighs the bad, and most of the things that frustrate me can be resolved in how I react to him. He is, after all, only six and as such still struggling to control those pesky emotions.