I don’t know about you, but before I had kids, I certainly knew quite a bit about raising them. As in, “when I have kids….” Letting that thought cross your mind is nearly as dastardly as making a birth plan. ‘Cause as soon as you write down one of those things, you have just guarenteed that you will NOT be having that kind of birth. Likewise with untested parenting techniques. If you think that no child of yours will ever be allowed to do something, a sure-fire way of ensuring they will do just that is to utter those ill-fated words.
I should know, I did both.
Probably the worst profession you could engage in before becoming a parent is teaching. I know this counter intuitive, but it’s true. Just like the preacher’s kids are always the naughty ones, the teacher’s kids are always the ones doing what they shouldn’t. Well, at least as far as their pesky teacher parents are concerned.
In addition to the exponentially growing list of names that have been forever tarnished by rogue children in a teacher’s class, just about every childhood ailment and angst producing possibility is introduced to teachers. Hence, the list of things our kids aren’t going to be exposed to in order to reduce the likelihood that OUR children will turn out like all those other hoodlums, well, it just grows longer with every report we read.
Take my kids, for example. The lovely world of brain-based learning was a hot commodity when I was in the classroom so I developed a laundry list of sorts meant to keep my children’s brains as ripe for learning as possible. So, even though I am married to a computer whiz who finds building computers to be a fun way to spend a weekend, I actually made the assertion that no child of mine would be using a computer before the age of 7, because studies had shown that computer usage prior to age 7 had a detrimental effect on the developing mind. Sounded like a good plan. Nearly impossible to implement in my home I came to find. In fact, there is a photo of our youngest child at about 9 months of age, moving the mouse with noticeable dexterity while playing a computer video game. And not one that had any references to Mozart, or Einstein, mind you. Oh no, this is a game with speeding cars or some such things. Just like the pesky birth plan I whipped together to bring his little self into this world, apparently my “no computer” plan flew out the window right about the time that reality reared its ugly little head.
So, I’m sitting here at the computer (working!!) when I hear the same wee but still developing brain child wail, “Lego guy shoot me ‘gin. Dang it!” Looking over I see my 2.5 year old son playing some game on the Lego website. Apparently he was a victim of some road-rage violence or some such thing. All I can say, thank goodness my birth plan ended with his actual birth, because I would hate to have his entire childhood go awry, just because I had tried to plan out all the ways to make it a good childhood.
Because if you were to ask him, he would tell you that the best part of his day was when he shot the Lego guy first.