Thursday, January 26, 2012

Soapbox Moment...

Children... the future of every generation, the fuel for many fires, the chuckle of many conversations and the tender in many moments. I have four... I should know. I love them all equally, yet differently. I am there when they need me but not when they don't. I am a career mom, and have been beat up and frowned upon for that in the past and even get a sneer or two even now. My not being a "soccer mom" has not scarred them, damaged them, nor has it decreased their self esteem or made them feel unloved. In fact, it has been good for them, made them more independent, and teaches them that you have to fend for yourself at times, not such a bad thing in my opinion, and certainly will help them in the real world.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I ADORE my children. And most of all THEY know. I am an advocate for all of them and would throw myself in front of a train for them (despite my fear of being hit by a train). They mean the world to me, I am their protector...their mentor... their Mom. I don't coddle them simply because I feel that would ruin them, but I love them and do all I can to make them happy healthy and feeling like they can accomplish ANYTHING. When I was a youngster, we got paddled in school when we did not behave, we had to write 100 times I will be good... I will do my homework... granted, I am sure there were sick control-happy freak-a-zoids who abused this ability to hand down punishment, and parents who overreacted to it's endorsement which eventually prevented it from happening, leading us to where we are today. (WHEW out of breath on that one)  BUT... I can honestly say that the level of disrespect kids and teens have towards peers at home, in school and the workplace today was prevented by a Wiffle ball-style paddling, a nose to the chalkboard, or a big fat YOU'RE FIRED back in my day!

I feel that things are getting a little ridiculous with the "don't hurt their self esteem" topic. (and that is coming from a person who loves to BUILD self-esteem.) Self esteem is not damaged by rules, nor is it damaged by proper spankings, losing a game, getting a bad grade, being told that something they are doing is not necessarily their strength, and especially not by being told no. Of course... this whole bloggy-rant was stemmed by an incident... which I will now share.

Out in the open, no shame to my game... my daughter got lice twice in December and after a week back in school after winter break, she got it again. When I called the school (furious to the point of big clouds of cartoon smoke shooting out of my ears) to ask why this was such a problem, I was told that a child in her class had been sent home a few days before with lice and another was reported back in December. When I asked WHY I did not get a note saying that there was a lice issue in her classroom, I was told that they are not "allowed" to send notes home notifying parents. WHAT???? Not "allowed?" by whom? I asked, to which I was swiftly told "the Health Department will not let us send notes home due to the privacy and protection of the children." I was BAFFLED and honestly lost my cool on that note... no need to give the details... let's just say I was stern yet respectful and left them no question as to how I felt.

Protection of my child would be to notify me that there is an issue in her classroom, so I would know to check her and treat her before itching begins. I am not asking for the name, address and phone number of the child who had it so I can go beat them up or paint them with a scarlet "L"... I am simply asking to be notified so that I can PROTECT my child. For 21 years as a stylist, I have always been the one everyone came to to ask what to do when this happened to their children, and of course I told them what to do because I was trained on what to do. I never had to do it myself until now... and I must say I wish it on nobody. What is damaging to the self esteem of my child is having to be mortified that she has lice and thinking that SHE did something wrong. Having nightmares and being FREAKED out every time the poor child has an itch.

I experienced head checks, rode my bike without a helmet, played outside without worrying, bounced around in a car without a seat belt on long road trips, ate dirt, was told I was no good at things, lost games, did not get the trophy or the ribbon every time, and my self esteem is fine. I did not need counseling, I was not suicidal, nor did I ever need medication or feel worthless. I grew up knowing that things happen and you deal with them... it's part of life.

Moral of this story? 
Don't think for a minute that society is doing our kids a favor and help fight for what is right... not what is "politically correct". 
PS> I apologize if you are itching now... it's only psychological, no worries!