Sunday, 17 April 2011
A couple of my friends have written blog posts lately sort of asking, in a roundabout way, if bloggers look at the world through rose tinted glasses* or are economical with the truth. Got me thinking.
Personally I am economical with the truth in the sense that I would never wish to invade privacy and I expect that the average reader would be pretty bored to hear about the level of body fluids (nose bleeds, nappy changes, not quite getting to the loo in time) incidents I am responsible for clearing up everyday so I tend to leave those bits out.
But actually, that said, some bloggers have made a master craft of turning the sad, tragic and cruel way that things can turn out into a gripping and entertaining read.
In the way that my brain goes on with thoughts I then started thinking about naughtiness and if I am really honest about how naughty my children, well one of them especially, really are. The blog has been very useful for communicating with local people who are considering removing their children from the school system and, rather than re-invent the wheel each time I am contacted (which is often as I set up and sort of run a group) I simply point them to my blog when they ask what a typical day for a home edder is like. I know from there they will find links to other blogs and can do their own research especially useful if they have a specific consideration like autism for example.In addition I have been participating in the TED ED debate on the future of education and realise that this has influenced me too.
Although I have been honest and, for example, I did write about the distress caused by my son running away a few weeks ago.
I guess I lean more towards gentle discipline and always use distraction as my first tactic when I can see that things are starting to head in the wrong direction but, with three mobile children, this is getting harder and harder as sometimes not everyone wants to be distracted (and fair enough if they are not the ones at risk of causing trouble.)
My supplementary view would be that 99.9999% (I can abuse statistics I am an economist ;-)) of the time naughtiness is hunger or tiredness in disguise and thankfully incidents of malicious ,deliberate, calculated naughtiness are incredibly rare. Things I worried about like drawing on walls or cutting hair for example have never happened.
and I do wonder how naughty is naughty. For a few minutes at Fishers Farm today I asked two of the smalls to stop throwing balls without success and then, a large group of bigger boys came charging into the soft play in a scene that reminded me of steaming at Notting Hill Carnival. What could I say? In comparison my children were being positive angels and the responsible adults for the larger children were, of course, no where in sight.
I experienced the other side of this too. When my son was age two, and looked four, mothers would march him over to me in parks and demand an apology for some wrong he had committed and when I said, "He is two" they would hurriedly retreat. On the train yesterday I overheard some teenage friends talking about a friend who had been grounded for a year. A year? In the adult world surely such a prison sentence would demand a trial by jury? and she only had one month of her penance remaining even real prisons let convicts out early. Yesterday in London the smalls moaned, a lot, about their feet hurting and how they were bored of Miro mostly, and it drove the Daddy one mad. Most of the time I rise above it but of course it does get to me too but yesterday was Daddy's turn. Like when we went to the museum of London and had to leave because middle small was scared and when big small freaked out in the Darwin cocoon at the Natural History Museum and we had to leave despite having just purchased tickets. I look at the snake of uniform uniformed children, in many cases smaller than my own, and wonder what would happen if they were scared of the heights or dark or would they even say a word? My feet hurt yesterday too, actually I have a blister but I didn't moan. What would be the point.? There is not a pushchair big enough for me and I guess my expectations are low! But the smalls are eternally optimist that by complaining enough they will change things. Is this unique to home ed or is it the parent child dynamic? Of course for all the times I do let it wash over me I do have outbursts and I did raise a smile at this Shouty Mum blog. The smalls are really curious and real curiosity is exhausting! Much of their tension is also sibling based and, as an only child, I too am learning all the time on this one. Anyhow after yesterdays outburst of bad behaviour Daddy one is now questioning the lack of limits on TV & Food. This is totally understandable and I wouldn't want to be married to someone who didn't question things, especially when things were going wrong but I didn't mention it in my blog yesterday because even though I spend hours agonizing over discipline limits and the appropriate way for our family to handle naughtiness the smalls never remember it. They might remember my reaction but they rarely remember the catalyst and, despite moaning around the gallery yesterday today at Fishers Farm big smalls said:"These tables are king of Miro ish aren't they?"