Are we making our children wierd? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-12-2003, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gee, I hate trying to decide what to put for a topic. I am so bad at it.

But here is what i was thinking. I was heartbroken the other day because my dd came to me all depressed and said her friends wouldn't play with her. I askled her way and she said because they were playing Sponge Bob and since she has never seen it they wouldn't let her play. It was a small group and noone else for her to play with. This sort of thing happens a lot. She always feel a little wierd because she doesn't know about a popular teen band or because she is clueless about a movie or TV show or because she isn't dressed in the latest hoochie wear. . Now she is starting to leech on to anything that she quote, mimic or flash to prove that she is just as cool as everyone else. it is annoying . Have I created thi by not letting her atch TV and movies or wear cheap trashy clothes?. I know there are certain uncool (nerdy?) things about her that are caused specifically by her lack of submersion into pop culture. Am I doing her a disservice by not letting her be like her friends? What do you guys think.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 04-12-2003, 07:06 PM
 
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I have often pondered the same thing. Although DS is only 20 months, I have tried to seek out playmates who are parented similarly. I have also selected a nursery school (for when he is 3) that supports no TV and healthy food etc.

It is very difficult to raise and protect your child when the norm is what it is. It really saddens me. DH has teenage sisters and they commented on a student in their class who is a total geek because she doesn't watch any TV! YIKES!!!

Is is possible to put her in a school that has like-minded parents or to have playdates at your house so they play her games/ toys etc. or to find other parents who raise their children similarly so that these issues do not come up?

Good Luck,

Lori
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Old 04-12-2003, 07:16 PM
 
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Cecelia is way too young to be uncool yet but I can speak from *my* experiences...

My family started off very poor so we didn't even have a t.v. until I was 4 and even then all that came in was PBS and a Canadian station. And my parents didn't have money to buy trendy clothes or the latest fad toy. I was an only child so I played alone a lot and cultivated a very vivid imagination. All of these things made me "weird" when I got to school. I had a really hard time with being weird but ironically when I would try to fit in the hardest is when I would be made even more of an outcast. It took me until High School to figure out who I was (after years of trying to fit in) but once I did that not only was I infinitely happier but I also "fit in" more. I stopped trying to learn to play Basketball (which was the cool thing to do) and started taking figure skating lessons. I stopped caring what the latest trends for clothes were in our school and wore what I felt expressed me. It took me a long time to learn it, but the most valuable lesson I learned in school was that it was ok to be different. I just had to carry off that uniqueness with confidence. And now looking back, I'm actually glad I wasn't "popular" because I learned to think for myself and to be true to myself. Was being different difficult? Absolutely. But I wouldn't change it. The only thing I would change is to have gained that confidence earlier.

So I don't think you should help your daughter fit in, you should just help her realize it's okay to not fit in. Although that's easier said than done and is probably a lesson she will have to learn on her own. It's hard thing to watch though, I'm sure.
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Old 04-12-2003, 07:46 PM
 
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You know, it is all about finding a compatible group of friends. I wasn't into any of the pop-culture type things when I was growing up, and for me, being happy was about locating other people like me.

It is tough as a parent to see your child not get along with a group of children. But really, you don't want your children to be like them anyway. If you teach your child how to get along in general, and help them learn good social and friend-meeting type skills, they will eventually gravitate towards the kids that are more like them.

One of my good friends in high school did not have a TV in her house. We didn't know until senior year because our group of friends just didn't talk about TV shows. I find that interesting thinking about it now, because I do recall hearing a lot of talk about Beverly Hills 90210 and other shows on at the time, but I never once watched those things.

AnnaReilly is so right about trying too hard and not fitting in. When we need to try to fit in, that just means we aren't working with the right group of people. There is a natural group of people that are like you (in this case, that are like your daughter) and it is more a matter of finding them than of trying to fit in. While she is still young, you (as a parent) can aid this process by seeking out other families who think along the same lines as your own and introducing your children. Even if these children watch Sponge Bob, they'd probably be less likely to ostracize your child for not watching it, kwim?

I think that it is super healthy to raise our kids this way, and that we shouldn't let worries about 'fitting in' get in our way. There is an 'in' for them, they just have to find it :-). I am not going to compromise what I perceive to be my child's wellbeing so that she knows how to pretend to be the world's most annoying cartoon character, and I'm sure you weren't really thinking of doing so either.

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Old 04-12-2003, 09:43 PM
 
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I agree with a lot of what has already been said, but also feel it is ok to help your child fit in. It really hurts to be teased and ridiculed. Confidence of knowing yourself doesn't come until high school or later. Fitting in can be as simple as having a cool pair of shoes or being good at a sport.
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:33 AM
 
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Listen, it's all about short-term versus long-term goals. If you let your kid be immersed in the Culture of Five Minutes Ago just so she'll be popular, what is the long-term benefit of that? What's the benefit of her wearing hootchie wear, as you put it (I refer to it as looking like a "Kinderwhore," but that's just me...) except sexual harrassment, cheapening your daughter, and possibly rape or teen pregnancy? What's to be gained in the long run?

Anna Reilly, you and I apparently had the same childhood, only in different places. Speaking as a major reformed geek who now teaches high school, with its myriad of mini-hos and people who regard "classical literature" as anything which preceded the birth of J. Lo, I can tell you -- the ones who are going to benefit in the long run are the weirdos. Two words for you: BILL GATES.

That's my .02 on it, anyway. F*&k "Sponge Bob" and all his ilk. Stand strong. You're not the only one!
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:34 AM
 
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yk, I think about this a lot. when I was a kid, I didn't "fit in", so I know wht it feels like. But by the same token, I try to remember that the expectation that your dd has to watch sponge bob to be cool now will only grow into the expectation that she smoke or drink to be cool. It's a harsh reality to face, but I figure my kid is 5.5 now. I was offered my first cigarette at the age of 9.5 by a 15 year old who approached a group of us at the local park (yes, we were there alone) She told us that she wanted to "hang" with us, but only if we were "cool". luckily for me, one of the girls I was with was also terrified to take it, so we sat together and waited for our mothers. our other "friends" didn't speak to us at school anymore.

I've been working with my dd to say things like "you're right, I don't watch sponge bob. But if you teach me the rules of the game you are playing, I'm sure I can keep up." We've also discussed that if her people will only play with her when she's doing something they want, then they probably are not true friends.

We're lucky, mostly, that our oldest has a very firm sense of self, and will shrug and walk away in a case like this. And the fact that she's modeling that appears to be instructing my 3 year old as well. I think we would have a lot of tearful nights if she had a different personality, but I would still guide her the same way. . .
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:51 AM
 
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I agree with everything that has already been said here.
I also think that finding a group that she does fit in with is important, even if that is ajust another family who she has a play date with once a week. The ostracism that your daughter faced was due not to her not watching TV (I have seen many times a child who knew nothing about the character he was portraying playing well with a group) but about that group just deciding not to like her. My guess is that they would have founf a way to exclude her from whatever game they were playing.
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Old 04-13-2003, 05:43 AM
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I've raised my now-10 yr old as a pretty free-range child. I don't keep her away from pop culture, really, but there are so many other things in her life that she's never had the time or inclination to get into the pop stuff. She briefly did pokemon cards, listens to Avril Levigne sometimes, but the biggest thrill of her day was getting to be spotlight operator for a local community theater group, and theater and clay class and friends are more her "things". She does call herself weird sometimes, and considers it a good thing to be. When kids question her about not going to school or not knowing something they all know, she handles it well. Sometimes she asks them to teach her about whatever, and that seems to work out well, but if she's not interested she seems to have no qualms about saying so.

And yet nearly everyone likes her, and I can't remember the last time anyone exclused her. I really do think think that raising kids this way leads to kids who generally feel good about themselves however they are, and don't need to rely on others for that feeling of okay-ness...

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Old 04-13-2003, 11:50 AM
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I really feel for you in this situation, Lilyka. What I hear is that your daughter is feeling 'weird' because of your lifestyle not so much her own personality. I came from a vaguely hippy family in a very straight community and I hated that we were 'weird'. I am still friends with one of those 'straight' kids and she now says she always thought my family was so cool! She loved 'doing all that educational stuff' with my family. Maybe some of these girls would like to see your 'weird' family up close?
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Old 04-13-2003, 11:55 AM
 
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It's good to read everyones' perspectives. I too felt the pain of not fitting in because I was "deprived" of the right kind of clothes and not up on pop culture, but also experienced the benefits. The way I've decided to handle this is to mostly let my daughter decide for herself, with me offering alternatives if she chooses something I don't feel is appropriate, of course :LOL. If she's immersing herself in junky pop culture excessively I will always be there to introduce different elements into her environment. But I do think she needs to be current and able to relate to her peers.
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Old 04-13-2003, 12:38 PM
 
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I may be one of the minority moms here so this will be a post that will definitely suit my MDC Forum name.

First let me say TV is limited and that my daughter doesnt wear Hoochie clothes.

I have been the kid kids didnt play with and so was my husband. As a elementary age child I was often made fun of and picked on because we didnt have this or that, I couldnt watch the cool stuff on TV, I couldnt even watch Smurfs, and we were not allowed to listen to pop or country music. My mother dressed us in drab clothes and we werent allowed to eat certain foods.
Now yes, kids have no choice and have to be parented the way their parents see fit but it seems that some parents forget the social pressures and problems their children may have to go through. They feel their kid will learn to live with it, give them good character, and eventually share in the values of their parents and educate the masses. :
The truth is a lot of us geeky, weird kids with the off the beaten path parents at times were really resentful. I was angry at my parents a good bit of the time because I felt they were being unreasonable, and in some ways they were being unreasonable. I felt disconnected from my family at times because of this as well. If I talked about it with my mom, she would give me the song and dance about how good it was for us, how moral and right, or healthier it was. And then it made me sad that she couldnt relate to where I am coming from.
One of the saddest things I see among natural/ap/granola mommas is that they seem to lack a balance between the world they want and the one we live in. No clothes dont matter in the big scheme of things but is it all that terrible for a child to have a few new, nice things or popular fashion article of clothings. Appearance is important and if kids are looking like waifs what does that do to their self esteem. Yes that peice of quilted organic hemp dress looks good on them and its cute and it sends a ecological message, but your 8 year old really doesnt care about what the kind of message YOU want to send, she wants to wear that cool glittery shirt that says "sweetness" or "all girl". (This is only an example) So you dont let your kids eat artificial coloring or eggs and they go to a birthday party with a cake that had Red dye 386 and had 8 eggs to bake it. They really want that peice of cake but you say no, they get upset, and what point have you really proven? what message have you really sent when all the other party goers see your hurt child? O, and this has happened twice at my childrens birthday parties so I know it happens.
I've worked hard in trying to create a balance for our family. We try to eat healthy and organic but its not all that unusual for me to pull into the golden arches and get my children some french fries. Yes, my kids have hand me down, resale, and clothes from the salvation army, but they also have several new, unused outfits to call all their own in fashion along with some snazzy new shoes. We have wooden toys, we have plastic toys, we have Barneys, Elmos, Strawberry Shortcake, and Disney stuff around mixed in with their homemade dolls and waldorf dolls too. Of course there are some things we are not going to bend on, but for the most part I want my children to have a balanced, fun filled life.
Its important to me that my children carry our values into the world they live in, but I also understand that they are going to have their own values and make their own decisions. I also know that if I push to hard, force or pressure them into living and being a certain way they may be resentful, hurt, and just plain out rebel later on.

On The Fence for sure,
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Old 04-13-2003, 01:33 PM
 
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It is important to teach your children how to say no, to you and their peers. To know that they don't have to do everything that comes along to fit it. That said it is also important to strike that balance that on the fence was talking about. I grew up different but not unpopular. I just knew how to say no to the trends that came along that I didn't like or agree with myself. I wasn't the most popular kid in school, but I wasn't the social outcast either, I just forged my own path. For my own family I have standards for my own home and then for the real world. We only buy good food for our home, yet we go and play in a fast food play place here and there and eat some food. Right now I have "banned" Barney from my house because I can't stand the fakeness, and my son doesn't know what it is. Yet I cannot say that when he is older if he found out about him and desperately wanted to watch him I would say no since there is no strong conviction against it. For me I find the things that are most important and stick to those, but then bend on some others. Growing up my mom would not bring soda or sugary cereal into the house, yet we were allowed to eat them when we went out or to others houses. But we were never allowed to eat meat, so it is finding that balance. Because it is important to people to have friends, but true friends do not ask you to sell out on your values. That is why I also feel it is important to let your kids know why you have certain values and if they are valid hopefully your children will internalize them.
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:48 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, so if I'm repeating, forgive me.

All kids are weird. Just like all grown-ups are weird. Even my best friend in the entire universe does SOMETHING quirky or odd. Think about it.

I once told a friend she was a "prep" in high school. She was flabbergasted? "Me? ME? A "PREP"? I wasn't a prep. Pfft!"

Uh, yeah she was. Her and her closest friends were all Molly Ringwald in "The Breakfast Club". Her telling me she wasn't preppy is like the quarterback telling me he never played football a day in his life.

But SHE thinks she wasn't popular and that she was probably pretty weird.

Well, that makes her weird, imo.

I knew all the cool stuff and was popular (at least with those who didn't think I was going to beat them up...that's another story). But as I look back, I would have been a bit better off being categorized as "weird" rather than "cool". I mean, it's nice being cool and all, but weird has more long-term perks.

The biggest perk: you don't have to go through an awkward adjustment period after high school when new people aren't aware of your ultra-coolness and you're suddenly WEIRD.

(I have to say, though, "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"...Spongebob is cool because he's weird.)
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Old 04-13-2003, 06:53 PM
 
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I have to add...the only weird kids I can think of who didn't benefit from being weird were the weird kids who smelled bad...and that one girl with the really REALLY bad teeth.

Throw out the tv and the meat and whatever, but hang on to the soap and a toothbrush and I'm sure your kids will be just fine.
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Old 04-13-2003, 07:15 PM
 
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In a culture where materialism, teen sex, and about 1000 other bad things are mainstream, if we are "weird" because we have wooden toys, no cable, and values, then so be it.

My oldest is almost four, so he is not that old yet. But he has no problems fitting in, I think due mostly to the fact that we hang around like-minded people and their kids. Of all his little friends, most of them are no-Disney, no-cable, homeschooling familes so he fits in really well!

I myself feel weird every so often, coming from a very mainstream extended family, but I take comfort in knowing I am doing the right thing, and in my faith~ we are not of this world, etc. I hope by the time ds is old enough to realize he is different from some other people out there, that he will also be old enough to understand the reasoning behind our choices and get strength from knowing we are doing the right things, and from our faith.

All in all, I think "weirdness" is all relative. If someone came into our house all wanting to play spongebob and wearing the latest hoochiewear, my son would no doubt think *they* were pretty weird! (Rightly so, when you think about it!) Maybe you could just try to help your dd make friends with kids that share the same values?
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Old 04-13-2003, 07:38 PM
 
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I was raised vegetarian, no-vax, home-birthed, no junk food, and alfalfa sprouts in my lunch while everyone else had bolonga.

Yes, I was weird.

But I also learned to be myself and not rely on others for an identity.

I would not trade it for anything in the world.

I homebirthed my own children, did not vax them, fed them healthy with lots of vitamins, homeschooled them, and I know how to stand up for myself.

No one can tel lme what to do!

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Old 04-13-2003, 07:40 PM
 
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I also think it is important to keep in mind, that as humans we are only in that influential peer stage and under our parent's roof between the ages of say 6-18. That is only 12 years, compare that to the other 70 or so years that we may be alive, it is a really short time.

My parents always told me that their goal wasn't to raise children, it was to raise children who would grow up to be mature, responsible, holy adults.

I think it is much more important to instill in our children self-esteem and confidence to "go against the flow". We need them to have the character and knowledge so they make the right choices when they grow up. Children who are taught to follow the crowd when they are children grow up into adults who follow the crowd.

I think it is important to know why you have certain rules or ideals that you follow, and to explain them to your children. For example, when I was growing up we could wear whatever clothes we wanted as long as it was modest. We knew the rule, and we knew why the rule was in place.
My parents also didn't have a lot of money to spend on clothes for for us, so if we wanted something expensive we had to pay for it with our own money. Sometimes, I did that, most of the time I didn't. However, the important value my parents did instill in me is that clothes don't matter, and we were taught not to judge others on their appearance.

We also didn't watch a lot of TV and weren't allowed to listen to popular music. When other kids talked about it, I couldn't join in. Did I feel like an outcast, sometimes, but I also learned not to follow the crowd.

At home, we only had healthy foods, and in my lunch I never had the chips, and cookies the other kids had. But, if I was at a party of something, we certainly ate chips and cookies, That taught us that those foods are okay for special occasions, but not good to eat all the time.

I also think it is soooo important to teach your children to think for themselves and not be influenced by what everyone else was doing. It may be allright when they are six, and everyone else is watching SpongeBob, but what about then they are 16 and everyone else is drinking, smoking, having sex? It may be alright to wear a glittery, pink shirt when they are six, but what about when they are 16 and want to wear tight, skimpy, slutty clothing around homronal teenage boys If they don't learn to think for themselves and follow the crowd when they are six, they certainly won't be able to when they are 16.

Because my parents instilled these values in me and my brother we were both able to go to college and not do the drinking, sex, smoking pot which everyone else was doing. We had the tools to find friends with similiar values. While everyone else was getting drunk at frat parties and having sex with people they didn't even know the last name of, we were able to pursue other interests and have a great time.

Disclaimer: I am not trying to judge anyone for the above behaviors. If you don't find anything wrong with aforementioned behaviors, fine. Those are just behaviors which in my moral code are wrong and I want to instill that in my children.

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Old 04-13-2003, 08:24 PM
 
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Interesting thread

I suffered much in jr. high with parents who, with rightful disdain for 80s youth culture and whithout much money, refused to buy me what I needed to "fit in"

Not sure what I feel about it now. I now understand my parents' perspective, but my suffering at teh time was real.

Now, perhaps I wouldn't have fit in now matter what - but with twistabeads and guess jeans, at least I wouldn't have "fit out" . . .

Don't know the answer.

OT - Undercurrent in a couple posts that girls dressing provocativly puts them at risk of sexual assualt. That seems way 1) inaccurate - sexual assault etc has nothing to do with short skirts 2) part of a "blame the victim mantality" that we still see in reference to rape etc. Thought I'd mention this since I think it is something ingrained in us by our culture that we have to constantly fight against.
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Old 04-13-2003, 09:04 PM
 
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Quote:
OT - Undercurrent in a couple posts that girls dressing provocativly puts them at risk of sexual assualt. That seems way 1) inaccurate - sexual assault etc has nothing to do with short skirts 2) part of a "blame the victim mantality" that we still see in reference to rape etc. Thought I'd mention this since I think it is something ingrained in us by our culture that we have to constantly fight against.
I don't think that dressing provacatively puts girls at risk of physical assault. The victim is never to blame for any rape or assualt and I agree that assualt has nothing to do with the way someone dresses.

However, I do feel it puts them at the risk of emotional assualt. By this I mean, boys and men who leer at them, look at them sexually, only see their bodies and neglect to see them as a person. I have talked to guys about this. They have told me what runs through their mind when they see girls dressed sexily, and they aren't thinking how intelligent or creative they are.

This isn't the way things should be, but it is the way things are. The body is a beautiful thing and we should be able to show it off however we want, but we have to live in the society we are in.

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Old 04-13-2003, 09:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by chellemarie
I have to add...the only weird kids I can think of who didn't benefit from being weird were the weird kids who smelled bad...and that one girl with the really REALLY bad teeth.

Throw out the tv and the meat and whatever, but hang on to the soap and a toothbrush and I'm sure your kids will be just fine.
LOL You crack me up to day!!!

And I have to agree, keep the soap and toothbrush.
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:42 PM
 
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I agree with OnTheFence. It's all about finding the right balance. I do think people take this stuff to extremes a la the hand quilted organic hemp dress. and it seems to me that sometimes it's more about making ourselves feel some moral superiority over the average family than it has to do with helping our kids grow up healthy and happy.
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:56 PM
 
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I think it depends on whether or not you are acting as if you are controlling the child. In our house, certain things that other kids take for granted are quite restricted (TV, junk food, skin-baring clothing, toy weaponry) but they are not quite forbidden. When they come up as issues, we discuss them and try to come to a middle ground that satisfies everyone. Our kids are easy-going, though, so I might just be lucky.

Go to a birthday party and not eat the cake? That's just plain rude unless you're allergic to one of the ingredients.
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Old 04-13-2003, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the imput. this is something I have been thinking about for quite a while but bubbled over with the whole sponmge bob incedent/. the thing is the girls didn't know they were excluding Madeline. In thier mind "Who doesn't know about sponge bob?" they just figured she musyt not want to play.


thanks again

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 04-13-2003, 11:50 PM
 
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This is definitely a tough subject! My children are still small, but my *plan* ( ) is to use these hurdles as teaching opportunities. How else will she learn what's important to me and our family if she doesn't ever question it? I hope to have balance too... we limit TV, but do allow some (like Blue's Clues). I am vegetarian, and although I raised dd veg*n as well, she likes tuna so I allow that. She participates in Easter Egg hunts with lots of crappy snacks, but in her basket she'll have a few natural lollipops and that's it candy-wise. etc.

Anyway, I was curious if most of your comments are coming from children (you or yours) who went to public school. Does it even matter? I was wondering if it's worse there than if you homeschool. I plan on homeschooling, but I we have close contact to all our mainstream neighbors.
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Old 04-14-2003, 02:10 AM
 
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because I know one of the writers for SpongeBob and I can tell you he is one of the geekiest losers that ever got picked last for dodge ball, :LOL !!

For whatever that's worth.
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Old 04-14-2003, 02:11 AM
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I applaud you for your obvious consistency in your parenting stance on this. That in itself is something amazing.

I also eschew TV and all that junk. I don't think I will isolate her completely from it though. If she wants to be into fashion (does it have to be trashy clothes? I don't think so) or if she likes popular music I will let her indulge in those things.

I will be stringent in teaching her to NOT be one of the crowd. I believe that raising our children to stay out of the group mentality is extremely important. In terms of the kids rejecting your daughter, there's not much you can do about that as you have already started down the road you have chosen, Does it feel natural to throw in the towel and get her on a diet of Nickelodeon at this point? Are there other ways you can help bridge the gap without destroying what you've built so far.

Good luck, None of it's easy. I can't imagine what it will be like when mine is old enough to be rejected by kids for being odd. It must husrt.
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Old 04-14-2003, 02:18 AM
 
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I wasn't allowed to watch any tv except what little my parents might have on, my mother didn't let me pick out my clothes, and my father would scream if the dial on the stereo had been moved off his classical station, so I never got to listen to anything else.

I And I felt weird. I felt like an outcast. I was the one who shouted out "McNeil-Lehrer Report" during tv tag.

And this contributed strongly to my self-esteem that was so low, I half-heartedly tried to kill myself (luckily it didn't work very well), and then later led me into doing drugs and all sorts of other things in order to feel like I "fit in" with a group.

I strongly believe that if one's child is forced (as they are in school) to be with children who are immersed in mainstream culture, and one's child expresses more than a passing interest in that culture, it is important for the parents to make sure they have that exposure, in a safe way. We don't watch these things, but if at any point it seems really important to either of my daughters, we will find a way. We wouldn't do it in a vacuum though; we would probably watch the shows or listen to the songs or whatever, with them. I already do make an effort to allow them to pick their own clothes, within reason. There are plenty of clothes out there which will feel trendy enough to a child concerned with that without beeing hoochy-koochie or whatever it was called.

My assumption is that if my children, who have been raised in a pretty crunchy atmosphere, want to try on popular culture and we allow them to and are right there with them, then they will eventually realize how unimportant it all is after all.

After safety, my children's sense of self-esteem is most important to me, and I will do whatever it takes to ensure that.

[edited to finish sentence that never got finished, somehow]
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Old 04-14-2003, 03:10 AM
 
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I'm all for the balance too.

I want my daughter to question mainstream values and culture, but I don't want to force my beliefs on her - beliefs I formed *after* I was old enough to have the ego strength to deal with being not-mainstream.

I seriously doubt she'll have that strength at age 5; I'm fully prepared for her to go through a period of wanting to fit in with her peers. I don't want to forbid left and right.

I'm going to live by example and hope that when she's older and strong enough, she'll make good choices. But in the meantime, I'll try to maintain age-appropriate expectations and not freak if she wants to play Barbie like some of her other 7-year-old friends.

I have the utmost confidence that she'll figure things out and find her own way.
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Old 04-14-2003, 04:06 AM
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I agree with balance. I strive for balance.

I think, though, that it's important to remember how important it for many kids to be part of a crowd. Rain is incredibly social, and she truly comes alive when surrounded by a crowd of kids she fits with. Right now she's doing a show with a lot of theater kid she really likes, and it's been so much fun with her. They started a note-writing thing a couple of weeks ago, where they write nice notes to each other and sneak them into bags, or get somone else to give the note to that person, or whatever.

This is a crowd of kids where one can start singing a song from Les Miz and half a dozen more chime in, so it's not a real mainstream group. Still, the being in a group thing can be important.

Dar

 
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