Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Few Things That Disturb Me

Hello All,
Been a heck of a week here at the Peaceable Kingdom. All four of us have come down with the second round of spring cold/flu/bubonic plague. It's not a pretty site here, folks. We're all coughed out, exhausted from not sleeping and fever wracked. But, life must go on and so it has. The boys are off raking the baseball field as opening day for our little people is next weekend and we are required to volunteer a couple of hours to get the fields ship shape. A good cause, so we'll rake a bit and let the boys feel involved as well. I'm home, enjoying the first peace and quiet I've had in a while and I'm spending that time changing beds and washing bedding. Lots of fun for you to hear, I know, but with my little-to-no personal time since starting my job, I've gotta fill it with what I can get done.

A few things have struck me as disturbing as I'm spending some time cleaning. Like gardening, I get some thinking done while I'm cleaning. Here are a few things that I just want to keep my head in the sand about our youth of today, but alas, I can't.

1. I don't want to know that the 11 year old girl that lives next to us (shares a wall actually as we're in a condex) wears see thru pink shorts with a black thong underneath. I don't want to know that a thong is considered okay for an 11 year old. Nor the amount of makeup she wears or the bra straps always showing under her little skimpy spaghetti strap tops. Don't wanna know.

2. I don't want to know that at 4 years old, my son is expected to be "self sufficient" at preschool. He's FOUR, right? The fact that he can't open his ziploc sealing containers by himself does not make him helpless. The fact that he has trouble with his zipper on his coat does not make him less of a big boy in my eyes. The zipper sticks, help him with it, is it that hard? And another thing, not all kids like water bubblers, just give him water in a cup, is that so hard either?

3. I don't want to know that the kids next door to us also have drug use in their house and we are powerless to get it OFF of our property unless the police catch the older brothers in the act. I also don't want to know that these two 10 & 11 year olds are being basically raised by these two deliquent older brothers and what chance do they have in life at all when that's their example to follow. When their 21 year old brother will smoke a joint while kicking the soccer ball around with his little sister, what chance does this girl have for a cleaner more innocent life?

4. I don't want to know that girls in school as young as 11 and 12 are giving boys oral sex in the bathroom at school. Apparently, according to Oprah, this is a very common occurence these days. When I was a kid, I didn't even think about boys in any way other then yukky until I was at least 14, and then we're talking kissing, nothing more. Where are the teachers??? Where is the school administration that this is allowed to happen? Where are the rules set and examples to follow and family foundations for these children? How is any boy taught that it's okay to victimize young girls in this way, or their peers to victimize them into these actions? I'm not saying that all boys who are doing this thought it up on their own, peer pressure is tremendous. But as an adult, I wonder how they are handling the emotional fall out from this. I don't care how mature you think you are, 11 is too young for this kind of activity. Just too young. Makes me want to homeschool my boys until they are in college, I'm telling you.

5. I don't want to know that there is such a lack of respect for adults by children anymore. Some of the things I've witnessed and been told would make you want to regress your children's lives to about 40 years ago. When I was a kid, if a neighbor was driving up the street and you were riding your bike or playing street hockey or what have you, you got the hell out of the way. You might have given them a shy wave or looked away because they were watching what you were doing and your parents would definitely hear about it if you misbehaved yourself. Now, I witnessed above said neighbor kids riding skooters and bikes in the street with a hoard of their little deliquent friends and when my neighbor drove towards them, they looked at her with defiance and did not move out of her way. When they decided they finally would after making her stop and wait for them, she told them they needed to move when a car was coming (which at 11, they most certainly already know). They just laughed at her and made some rude comments. That would have gotten me smacked 6 ways to Sunday when I was a kid, I'll tell you that. I would never have even dreamed of speaking to an adult like that. Where has the respect been allowed to go?

6. I don't want to know that another neighbor's son is considered weird because he's got some delays in his development. I don't want to know that the teachers would forceably pick this child up and carry him out of class if he's yelling (a frustration response for him, he really can't help it). If my child were ever picked up and carried from a class room, I would be so up and down the school staff. It's degrading and demoralizing for him and embarrassing him in front of his classmates just plain sucks. He's not acting violently, he's just yelling. He's actually an incredibly sweet boy who socially is about 3 years behind his chronological age due to some birth injuries. But the other kids pick on him on the bus and in school and I really hate that this wonderful family who have big hearts and kindess abounding have to have their son treated this way because he's "different" then the other children. It hurts my heart to learn this, it really does.

6. I also don't want to know that there are so few programs in place in our schools today for children who are above the "normal" in development. My son, who is 6, but reads at a 5th grade level and is academically so bored every day in school, has no real resources that we don't provide for him. And I've met with the kindergarten coordinator several times regarding this and what are they going to do and they come up with some stuff and then it falls through. Why are there all the resources in the world for children who can't keep their standardized test scores up, but when you've got a child who's exceling and thursting for more knowledge, they sweep him under the rug. Why am I paying all these taxes again? Someone, please tell me! So, it's left up to us, his parents to make sure that he's challenged outside of school enough to keep him learning and not complacent in his abilities. How else will he learn that not everything in life comes easily? Please tell me this is going to change once he hits elementary school, but I fear in my heart it will not. We will be advocates for him throughout his schooling to get what is rightfully his. If he were not able to read at all they would have him in special reading group after special reading group, but when he can basically teach reading to the other children, he's put in the holding pattern. Makes me and Music Man hopping angry.

Well, these are a few of the things I've been pondering today. Perhaps it's my fever addled brain, but it's been getting to me lately and I thought I'd share some of the things that scare the heck out of me as a mother.

Not able to keep my head in the sand, ~Peacemom

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