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Old 05-21-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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Thank you 4evermom....I had heard about it, but since my subscription lapsed, I'd been waiting till they put it up here. It was very good and helpful. It is really helpful to understand that though my mind insists on creating a correlation between violent play and violent life style, one doesn't really exist.

The few things that I've told the boys are:

When I play I don't use a gun (I may have other weapons, but I don't use a gun), because they make me uncomfortable (maybe this feeds the self esteem issue the article was talking about though??)

Real looking guns are out (we've got swords, kid made guns of all kinds, kid made bow and arrows etc)

And when we are playing battle, we don't point the weapons at people or animals.



Seems like I still have a long way to go with this. Guns are my major hurdle....I have been able to see the value of the other weapons....but guns have this finality to them for me, I guess....this power....because when they are used IRL, they so often kill. But, my boys are really expressing their warrior nature, and I really feel that it is a natural piece of who they are as boys/men....and guns are todays "warrior's" weapons/tools.




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I think that modeling how to treat others, and showing them how to problem solve and communicate and basically be aware of others' feelings and value is way more important than what they play with.
I appreciate you saying it like that


More thoughts, but its bedtime
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Old 05-22-2007, 03:49 AM
 
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Subbing.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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Old 05-22-2007, 09:56 AM
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-=-You rock, Dayna! I have to give a thumbs up to everything you said about TV.-=-

Canuckgal, Thank you so much! I loved reading about your connection with your kids while they watch TV, and seeing the learning in all that they do. It was really inspiring! YOU rock!!

-=-Have I already told you how much I loooove how you say things?? If not, there you go!-=-

dillonandmarasmom, Thank you! (((hugs))) You are so sweet. I love all of your posts! You are such an inspirational, passionate Mom! I enjoyed your perspective on how your kids learn so many new topics from TV! Very cool!

I am so grateful for all of you here!

~Peace & Love, Dayna
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Old 05-22-2007, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've always had a sort of love/hate relationship with guns/weapons. I've never had them in my house, but I know people who I care about who do and they are good people. I've known men in my life who use guns or who carry them as part of their jobs and they are incredible men. But weapons scare me enough that I don't have them in my house with little kids...but if one were within my reach and I needed it, I would use it if I needed to protect myself.

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When my oldest was born, I was certain that no son of mine was EVER going to be playing with guns. I would not buy any toy weapons and I told my family not to buy any for him. Not in MY house, no way, no how. I was going to raise a gentle, kind boy.
Count me in as another mama who began raising kids thinking that too. And now I have three boys & it's like they've got some kind of radar for finding something that can be called: weapon. If it looks like it could do some damage, it's automatically categorized as fun. And these are boys raised on very limited tv in a rural environment. Just yesterday I was shocked to see them playing 'motorcycle cop' on our backyard track. The kids have made a very large dirt track in the back pasture that they can ride their electric scooters or bicycles on, and yesterday my oldest son was chasing my middle son on bicycles...then he "pulled him over", gave him a "ticket" made from a leaf, and when my son tore up the ticket, my older son took out a stick and shot him! My middle son fell over, pretended to be dead, then got up & they both laughed & ran off together.

I don't know how in the heck they even KNOW about motorcycle cops! I've certainly not said anything!

I guess I've come to feel that this is all part of their developing masculinity, and that there are components to masculinity that I cannot truly understand the core of. And it's ok. They are good, good boys....loving to each other. My oldest son will often sit down and hold a younger sibling very obviously loving them with kisses & hugs...they are compassionate, happy people.

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Old 05-22-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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We're probably more conservative than most here on MDC, but we are a gun-toting family. And we are also gentle and loving. I think one can feel more comfortable around guns when they are aware of proper gun safety etc. We will raise our two boys with that knowledge. Do guns scare me a little bit? Yeah, but only as much as a chainsaw or lawnmower, yk? These are dangerous tools that require special care to use. That's what we'll teach the boys. Can't really speak to gun play yet as my boys are too small, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. But I have a feeling that any kind of play that is "off-limits" will seem more desirable.

We have been walking a lot the last few days since the rain stopped! We discovered a new park!

Yesterday DS1 started asking about the various functions of his body (What my tummy for Mom? What my eyes for?) So we discussed anatomy and physiology.

Gonna go for another walk now.

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Old 05-22-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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Its funny, when I asked the question, I really wasn't looking at "real" guns, just the play that my boys engage in that usually invovles guns.....but I guess it all goes together. And, I have conflicting views on guns....I like the way you say that better mamma in the forest, a love/hate relationship....and my thoughts really resemble the way you put it.

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I've always had a sort of love/hate relationship with guns/weapons. I've never had them in my house, but I know people who I care about who do and they are good people. I've known men in my life who use guns or who carry them as part of their jobs and they are incredible men. But weapons scare me enough that I don't have them in my house with little kids...but if one were within my reach and I needed it, I would use it if I needed to protect myself.
I think this is also a huge piece for me

[QUOTE][I guess I've come to feel that this is all part of their developing masculinity, and that there are components to masculinity that I cannot truly understand the core of. And it's ok. They are good, good boys/QUOTE]

I'm really beginning to understand the differences and similarities between male and female....I've always believed they were there, it is just so amazing to see it all playing out before me as these boys grow.
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really beginning to understand the differences and similarities between male and female....I've always believed they were there, it is just so amazing to see it all playing out before me as these boys grow.
Oh, me too! Sometimes I look at my boys and just get goosebumps knowing that they are growing up into these beautiful, masculine, loving men...and I am so grateful to be able to witness this process.

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Old 05-22-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
Oh, me too! Sometimes I look at my boys and just get goosebumps knowing that they are growing up into these beautiful, masculine, loving men...and I am so grateful to be able to witness this process.
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:11 PM
 
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I'm enjoying reading the gun/weapon play discussion. I have always been anti-gun play, although I'm fine with medieval weaponry and also allowed ds to buy a toy tank with his own money. I explained that it wasn't something I would choose to spend my money on, it was his choice (and he just loved playing with it). Also, I see how important it is for kids to explore the death issue in their play, and I don't want to interfere with that. But like a previous poster said, there is something about guns for me . . . . However, Earth Angel, your point about the difference between violent play and a violent lifestyle really struck me. Lots to think about. You all are so eloquent and respectful; I just love it here.
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Old 05-22-2007, 01:31 PM
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Am I the only one who had a gun-toting girl, then? Swords, guns, knives... the whole shebang. Her favorite game when she was 2 or so involved us shotting each other, and she did the whole making guns out of sticks thing a little later, and she had all the Playmobil stuff with guns - the Pirate Ship, the Police Station.

I mean, she did more stereotypically "girly" play, too, with fairies and flowers, but with different kids she'd play different stuff... and she's always been very physical, with a lot of wrestling stuff... she has her own air-soft pistol, which she got for Christmas at 10 or so, and the kids would go out and shoot at each other.

I kind of thought not schooling has helped her to avoid being constrained by those sorts of gender roles...

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Old 05-22-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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I don't have any girls....just the 2 boys So, can't speak to that piece as a parent, but, when I was little, my best friend and I, played army generals, PIs, and other games like this, in addition to playing school and barbies.

My boys love to be fairies (and no, the fairies don't have guns ), and have their own fairy wings we made.....Oldest even dresses up as wonder woman, complete with little blue underwear (he doesn't do the corsset (sp?)), boots (his fireman mud boots) and lasso of turth!! And, when he was 2, he wanted to be a princess more than anything!


They have done tons of what would be described as "girl" stuff, along with the "boy" stuff.....and they think its all fun!! I think the lack of peer pressure has a lot to do with it, but if I look back, I went to public school and still played "boy" games (I'm not saying they are only for boys.....just games society would describe that way!). I think it also has to do with the openness and unconditional support of parents.....
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Old 05-22-2007, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I kind of thought not schooling has helped her to avoid being constrained by those sorts of gender roles...
I think it definitely does help!

My oldest daughter was not interested in violent play or gun/weapon play, nor is my middle daughter. (my youngest daughter is just 10 months). But, my middle daughter will play fighting games with her brothers - she just doesn't seem drawn to weapons. They all have wooden swords, but you can't really 'play' that because the swords WILL injure - so they have to keep them peace tied.

One thing I do see more of in my house, are boys who are interested in playing things from time to time, that are traditionally associated with girls - things like barbies and house and fairy play.

Whatever goes on in our houses though, I'm so glad our kids are free to be themselves and explore all aspects of gender roles!

And by the way - the gun toting fairy image cracked me up!

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Old 05-22-2007, 05:17 PM
 
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My Ds has always been into weaponry. He loves swords and knives the most, but he think guns are interesting too. Has 3 or 4 knives and he plans to get a gun later on. Dd had a brief interest in swords, but it wasn't really her thing.

My 18 year old step daughter (who Dh and I did not raise) spent most of higher school years on a competitive rifle team. She was one great shot too.

We talk about intent, use for weapons both past and present, safety, etc.

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Old 05-23-2007, 01:56 AM
 
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My ds is stereotypical boy's boy. He grew up raised by a single mom, surrounded by girl cousins and my friends daughters, but he's always been really clear on his interests. Things that move, and things that go boom
I did get him a my first barbie when he was 3 or 4, but he just did what he did with all his action figures, take her arms, legs and head off and play with the individual pieces (Mr. Arm and Mr. Torso )

After years of babysitting, and watching the "gun free" household turn into a battle royale after the mom had left for the evening, I didn't think I could keep guns or gun play out of ds's life. Besides, I loved playing fighter pilot when I was a little girl.

I do love acting out a lot of "boy" games and play that I was strongly discouraged from as a child. I was a bit of a tomboy, but still pretty girly, but I'm still pissed off that I never got a Lego set as a child, and had to beg my brothers to play with their Lego, Mechanix, Tonka trucks, and stuff. Funny, though, I always had toy guns, I guess that wasn't a "boy" thing to my Irish parents I was truly happy to finally get to play in "boy" section of the toy store, tho

The gun thing has always been a weird thing for me, though, especially as first guns and weapons, and now military history and technology has been so fascinating for ds. My family came to Canada from Belfast at the onset of The Troubles, to escape the snipers, bombs, tanks, 20 ft tall "Peace Fences", military blockades. I grew up spending some time in Belfast during some major crises, used to play with the soldiers who marched up and down our street in back to back formation with machine guns.

Ds is very interested in military technology and engineering, but he very much avoids the idea of that the guns and weapons he's so fascinated with (not hunting weapons, he's into army stuff) are made for the only purpose of killing or maiming people. We talk about it, and he tells me that he doesn't want to think about that part, and I tell him about family members who've been directly affected by the Troubles, people I've known who've died, or maimed, or hijacked, or had bombs thrown through their windows.

He really tries to divorce the technology from the intent, and that really bothers me. I know that he hasn't been exposed to the kind of stuff I was as a child, and I'm really glad for that (and I wasn't exposed to the kind of stuff my older siblings were, my sister's earliest memory is listening to snipers a few blocks away while waiting for our dad to come home from work.) I just think that now that he's a teen, he should have a little more awareness of what these things do, and the effect that these weapons have around the world.
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Old 05-23-2007, 08:23 AM
 
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I'm really beginning to understand the differences and similarities between male and female....I've always believed they were there, it is just so amazing to see it all playing out before me as these boys grow.

It is amazing. But it's also been an eye-opener for me. Having grown up denying differences between the genders, and making efforts from the beginning of parenting to raise them in a non-sexist way, seeing any gender-specific behavior coming out of my kids was surprising to me at first.

I do think that unschooling them has made them freer from the stereotypes though. I can't recall my dd ever being into weapons, but then, she was never into dolls or dress-up or playing house or any typical "girl" stuff either. She was always a pretty serious kid. Art and animal rights were two of her big things from when she was small. Both of my boys went through periods where they played with dolls, and held pink as their favorite color. We can't really take out society's influence, but I think that not being in school, with its aire of conformity, left all things more open to them.

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Old 05-23-2007, 08:34 AM
 
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He really tries to divorce the technology from the intent, and that really bothers me... I just think that now that he's a teen, he should have a little more awareness of what these things do, and the effect that these weapons have around the world.
I can understand your being bothered by that. From what you wrote, though, it sounds like he does have an understanding of the effects. Maybe he doesn't want to think/talk about it because he is aware. kwim?

I have to admit, while I have no desire to own a gun, I find the mechanics of the things pretty interesting. I wouldn't mind, given the opportunity, going to a shooting range and trying it out. But thinking about why guns are made in the first place makes me want to vomit. Maybe it's not all that unusual to hold both of those thoughts simultaneously?

Ds1 is an archer. He's been shooting target archery for several years and many of the people he shoots with are hunters. Ds has no interest at all in hunting (he's a vegetarian and finds the idea of hunting revolting) but the skill involved in target archery, and the mechanics of the weapons themselves is something he's really into.

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Old 05-24-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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The whole discussion on gender differentiation got me interested...
My DD is very very girly, we gave her title of Ambassador of Pink to the World much to my dismay (I used to be a real tomboy, trading my barbies for my affeminate brother's tonkas, and eventually grew up into a lesbian). DD's obsessed with fairies and princesses and pink sparkly stuff and make-up. She has a few "boy" toys, but she generally just plays with dolls.

So anyway, I've thought a lot about this. Historically, our culture has recently moved from the traditional roles of dominant male and subserviant female. around 100 years ago (more or less depending on what country you're from) Women started to break out of this oppression; we gained the right to vote, among other things, and slowly the womens' liberation movement gained momentum till its peak in the 70's, when we really got to a kind of peak of rabid feminism, that was, in its extreme, simply a case of sexism from the other angle.

I grew up in the '80's and 90's, in an environment so ridiculously PC it became stupid. I was really indoctrinated with being non-discriminatory in school. We had regular sessions in class where they drilled us on being non-sexist, non-racist, perfectly politically correct in every way. It seemed normal to me, and I got so that I was even prudish about it; if I heard someone making a non-PC comment, especially racist or sexist, I was shocked and offended in the same way a Victorian woman would be to see someone walking around half naked.

I even went to an all-girls high school that was rabidly feminist. We really learned that women are equal in everything, and more to the truth, better than men.

I was so violently rejecting everything feminine; I would never wear a skirt, or deign to do anything girly. I would always rush to pick up the heaviest box, drive the fastest, I left school to become an auto mechanic (!) and basically became a male chauvanist pig. Really, I hated women who showed the slightest bit of femininity, held them in such contempt as weak and stupid.

Eventually, I ended up in a hippie commune in the bush, and went to a women's circle and sweat lodge.

It was a real eye-opener; I saw women for the first time who were really strong in themselves, not girly, but still feminine, and strong and self-reliant, but not masculine.

I did a lot of rebirthing and meditation and stuff on that community, and slowly came to realise that *I* was a woman, and that didnt mean that I was weak or stupid in any way. It didnt mean that I needed to be a man to prove myself. I realised that there *are* differences between men and women, and that somehow, in the whole feminist movement, we went a bit too far in the backlash against female oppression.

Now, I feel that i've really found a balance; that is, it is normal for there to be differences between men and women. but we can have equality of the sexes. the main issue is that each individual has his own merits; I might be physically stronger than some men, but weaker than others. I can do more than twice the number of sit-ups or leg excersises than DH, while I've no chance in matching his upper-body strength. But I dont compare myself to him as man and woman, but just as two individuals, and I can do this with any two people.

I beleive that it IS important for women to embrace their feminine sides, without hiding behind it, like our grandmothers did.

So... yeah, DD is free to follow her own path, if she wants to wear pink and play with fairies and dolls, fine. maybe next week she'll want a commando set and cammoflauge jumpsuit but I am so glad she's not going to a school and getting her head messed up with all this artificial indoctrination of roles, whatever they may be - she can just BE.

(sorry for rambling on so long )

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Old 05-24-2007, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So... yeah, DD is free to follow her own path, if she wants to wear pink and play with fairies and dolls, fine. maybe next week she'll want a commando set and cammoflauge jumpsuit but I am so glad she's not going to a school and getting her head messed up with all this artificial indoctrination of roles, whatever they may be - she can just BE.
I think this is one of my favorite benefits of unschooling. That my children develop who they are not based on a preconceived notion of what they should be.

I remember when I was in school is was crystal clear what was expected of me as a female. I was sort of free to deviate from those expectations, but I would have paid a hefty price.

It wasn't even just limited to gender roles either, it's everything. I think children get locked into a path that is limited...by the teachers and students around them, but also by their own perceived limitations. My unschooled children have no such limitations. They have no reason to think they cannot do something - if they feel interested in it they go for it. I love that.

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Old 05-24-2007, 11:29 AM
 
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My boys are definitely very "boyish"-- even the 7mo-- but they also do things and are things that might not be considered traditionally masculine. My 2yo loves wearing aprons, loves pink, and went through a period of wanting to wear my purses everywhere. He is also sweet and sensitive. I am glad that he has the freedom to express every part of his personality without anyone pidgeonholing him into one stereotype. I'm sure even in a preschool he would probably be laughed at if he tried to walk around with a purse, and he would probably lose his sensitivity and thoughtfulness, too. Oh, and my baby is very gentle and easygoing and affectionate (the older one is much more assertive and loud!), and the baby loves classical music. The older boy loves classic rock. I find this funny because I never played classic rock around him-- it's just not my thing-- but if you let him control the radio that's what he picks every time! They are just their own little people from the outset and that continues to amaze me. It's so fascinating to see their personalities unfold.

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Old 05-24-2007, 01:45 PM
 
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I even went to an all-girls high school that was rabidly feminist. We really learned that women are equal in everything, and more to the truth, better than men.

I was so violently rejecting everything feminine; I would never wear a skirt, or deign to do anything girly. I would always rush to pick up the heaviest box, drive the fastest, I left school to become an auto mechanic (!) and basically became a male chauvanist pig. Really, I hated women who showed the slightest bit of femininity, held them in such contempt as weak and stupid.

Eventually, I ended up in a hippie commune in the bush, and went to a women's circle and sweat lodge.

It was a real eye-opener; I saw women for the first time who were really strong in themselves, not girly, but still feminine, and strong and self-reliant, but not masculine.

I did a lot of rebirthing and meditation and stuff on that community, and slowly came to realise that *I* was a woman, and that didnt mean that I was weak or stupid in any way. It didnt mean that I needed to be a man to prove myself. I realised that there *are* differences between men and women, and that somehow, in the whole feminist movement, we went a bit too far in the backlash against female oppression.

Now, I feel that i've really found a balance; that is, it is normal for there to be differences between men and women. but we can have equality of the sexes. the main issue is that each individual has his own merits; I might be physically stronger than some men, but weaker than others. I can do more than twice the number of sit-ups or leg excersises than DH, while I've no chance in matching his upper-body strength. But I dont compare myself to him as man and woman, but just as two individuals, and I can do this with any two people.

I beleive that it IS important for women to embrace their feminine sides, without hiding behind it, like our grandmothers did.
This is a very powerful testimony, thank you.
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:48 PM
 
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The whole gender thing is something I've been talking a lot about lately with my best friend. She was also a single mom, and is a lesbian, feminist, academic poet, who is extremely active in feminist politics, arts and writing. She's raised her daughter in a very loving relationship with a woman who is not feminine in the least, and surrounded by a fabulous community of very strong, intelligent, activist women. And her daughter, now almost 13, is as girly-girl you can get, loved fairies and dolls and barbies when she was younger, now loves boys, boys, boys, boys, makeup,boys, clothes, boys, tiaras, boys, singing show tunes, and boys, in that order.

I'm not in the least a feminine woman myself (at least, not feminine in the standard way, I've argued a lot with feminist friends that I'm extremely feminine by the standards of the culture I was raised in, Irish, where women are supposed to be practical, hardheaded and unsentimental, unlike their men.) Almost all of my male friends are gay, ds has grown up around guys who cross-dress, do drag, wear tiaras to lunch, riden on the Gay Pride float of the bar I worked at 5 years running. He's been surrounded by every possible permutation of "alternative life-style". I was a pretty crunchy mom when he was an infant, unusual around here at the time, we co-slept and I bfed him till he was 3. Let him wear girls clothes if he wanted, let him walk around naked if he wanted, walked around naked myself a lot. My sis was just horrified and kept telling me I'd make him gay, or wierd, or obsessed with breasts, or a whole lot of other things.

The funny thing is, ds is about as "guy" a boy can get, not just manly, or masculine, but a guy. He's really, really conservative in how he looks (I was a punk chick back in the day, have multiple tattoos, for a whlie we lived with a piercer friend, conservative in my circle of friends is probably radical ) He keeps his hair really short, wears jeans and old tshirts, sneakers, no lables, doesn't care about how he looks, really, and can't understand why anyone else would. Is into, mainly, video games, planes, cars (I don't even drive and we live in a very, very crunchy area with loads of smart cars and hybrids, but ds drools over muscle cars, ), girls (from a distance, at least for now), action movies. He's very, very clear that he is straight, and what he likes and what he doesn't. Very into politics and military history, bored into a coma by shopping, he even does the "It looks great, can we go?" thing when I ask him how an outfit looks (he's the only one around to ask! I just want to know if I have something stuck to my butt or otherwise am about to embarass myself! and he wouldn't notice if I did )

My friend and I talk a lot about how we, punk, so left of center we're almost right, activist, artist freak type people, could have produced two of the most stereotypical conservative gendered kids possible

Don't get me wrong, neither kid is uncomfortable or dissaproving of any alternate types of choices or ways of being. And they tweak with their gender stereotypes a lot. Friends dd idolizes drag queens, and can (and will) belt out the entire songbook of Cabaret at the slightest provocation. Ds loves to argue politics and philosophy with anyone, and loves to go after people he considers idiots, picking apart their ideas on why girls are inferior, or why gays are disgusting, with a usually superior knowledge of history, logic and the bible (don't know where that one came from, now he wants to read the Koran to find out what it really says, so he can pick apart both Muslim and Christian extremist rhetoric about Islam.)

For both my friend and I, though, the process of knowing who we are and expressing it, was a long, often painful one that required a lot of rebellion. It's just very odd to us that we have both raised kids in as alternative and unusual an environment as we have, and that they have both grown up to be as completely sure of themselves as we weren't at that age, and to be as "normal" as they are. We sometimes wonder is normal isn't a way to rebel around here, but mostly, by having as many choices and options as possible, they seem to have skipped a lot of the teenage angst and rebellion and just went straight on to well-adjusted and happy. Who knew?
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Old 05-24-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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Oooh, had to share an unschooly funny with you ladies. Ds has been spending a lot of time on Yahoo Answers lately, and he has made himself an avatar wearing, of all things, a turkey mask and big red wings.

He changes the avatars outfit, other than the mask and wings, regularily, and the other day dressed him a white tuxedo. He proudly showed off his avatar to his friends, telling them that "it looks like Tom Wolfe... if Tom Wolfe wore a turkey mask and wings." I thought that was hilarious, his friends didn't know who Tom Wolfe is, so didn't get it (I don't really expect 14 yo boys to be reading The Right Stuff or The Bonfire of the Vanities, so cut them some slack )

Ds watches a lot of The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and Wolfe was on a while back and we talked about New Journalism and Hunter S. Thompson and how political journalism changed in the 60's and how writers of the day deeply affected how the average person viewed elected officials and politics in general. But I guess he was also impressed by Wolfe's ever-present dapper white suit and spats,
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:03 AM
 
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Just have to do a quick post cuz we're SUPER busy here with the move.

I've been reading about poor Amy Winehouse for about a year. I read about her drug problems, her weight loss, her "issues." But I'd never heard her music. I have sort of a "thing" with things people push constantly and I don't like to be told what to like, music-wise, film-wise, clothing-wise...all of it. LOL

Anyway, I decided to look up some of her stuff on YouTube. DD,8, is beside me on her computer, playing a game on BarbieGirls. I played "Rehab" and DD just stood there and listened and then nodded her head. She said, "That's old school."

Cracked. Me. Up.

She liked it but even my 8yr old thinks Amy Winehouse is derivative. HA!!!! (and yeah, we'll listen to it cuz we like "old school." LOL)
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:02 AM
 
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Yesterday it was hot and humid. Dd got her swimsuit on and played with the hose for over an hour. She was so cute. We have 3 small pine trees in one corner of our yard. She said she watered the biggest, then the littlest, then the mediumest. lol.

Later last night I had a little note show up. Dd loves to slip notes to me. Usually they are "I Mom Alison" But last night's note was " !ALISON! IS! GO! " I asked where she was going and she said "Since you won't let me throw balls in the house anymore, I'm going to live under my bed and only come out for food and my birthday party." So we had a big talk about why it was ok to throw balls when she was 1 and now not when she's 5. We talked about how sad it would be to hardly ever see her. So a little while later I got a new note. It said, " ALISON! IS! NOT! " Lol. "So you're staying?" "yep, you might be too sad without me"
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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Well, yesterday we went to the zoo. There were about 73,000 school kids there. (Just to be clear, I have nothing against school kids themselves.) My youngest seems to follow in his brother's footsteps and is very sensitive to noise and crowds, so we waited for the groups to clear out before seeing some exhibits. I couldn't help but wonder what the poor kid would do if he was in school.

First thing, we stop in the rest rooms and a group of preschoolers were there. The teacher tells them they have to use the bathroom now, "Because if you have to go later, we're not coming back."

Then we saw a group by the cougars. They were also little ones. They were all "oohing" and "ahhhing" over the cats and the teacher was trying to get their attention, "Children, this is a COUGAR. He lives in TROPICAL climates and EATS...." I had to laugh because as she's droning on with the lesson, they were like, "What's his name?" "Can I pet him?"

There was some construction going on there, and in one spot, they had "caution" tape strung up. One group of kids was waiting nearby and the teacher tells them, "Stand right HERE and don't touch anything!" Then she points to the "caution" sign and says, "This says, 'Don't Touch.' (wtf?)

The longer we're away from school, the more crazier that whole scene looks.

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Old 05-25-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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... by having as many choices and options as possible, they seem to have skipped a lot of the teenage angst and rebellion and just went straight on to well-adjusted and happy. Who knew?
We haven't had any rebellion here either. I'm thinking that when kids are in control of their own lives, what is there to rebell against, yk? Of course, it could still happen, but I'm having trouble imagining it.

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I've been reading about poor Amy Winehouse for about a year. I read about her drug problems, her weight loss, her "issues." But I'd never heard her music. I have sort of a "thing" with things people push constantly and I don't like to be told what to like, music-wise, film-wise, clothing-wise...all of it. LOL
I had to Google here. Never heard of her. But yeah, it's been done.

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Old 05-26-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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We haven't had any rebellion here either. I'm thinking that when kids are in control of their own lives, what is there to rebell against, yk? Of course, it could still happen, but I'm having trouble imagining it.


I totally agree with this!

I am having the same experience with my 12.5 y/o. Funny, too, because she is very spirited and high energy, strong-feeling, etc. so I used to have a stressful story about her as an older child and would she be like I was. But then I remembered how my mother had been so traditional (i.e. authoritarian) in her ways and I think it's no wonder that I was a rebellious child!

My dd, OTOH, gets to grow up without any rules whatsoever. She gets to have lively discussions every day about all the things that she cares about - including family logistics and 'getting what she wants' while observing (passively or not) and participating in the other family members getting what they want because we all work together as a naturally-occurring social team. It is amazing! I also love noticing the look on her face when she's watching me closely for double standards when parenting my other child and she sees that I behave consistently. As a mama who requests copious and uncensored feedback and gets it ~ generously ~ when warranted, I just feel greatly pleased seeing that look on her face.

*Listening* with total presence is a top priority for me as a mother. IMO, really listening to children who have strong emotions and express them freely is the best medicine of all because what they're really shouting out is - "Hear me!"

It is awesome to be in their presence when they feel heard. In fact, in this cultural life of emotional extremes, it is nothing short of divine.
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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We went to the beach yesterday! I blogged it here and here.

We met some interesting people, explored hundreds of feet of rocky beach habitats, and got lots of fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D!

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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Old 05-26-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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Ahh love Amy Winehouse! She's frequently heard around place.

Yea, the public school field trip in general is a strange sight, IME. And I agree the longer we're away from it, the stranger it looks.

Dd was playing with a friend yesterday and there were a bunch of neighborhood kids around (all schooled kids). Dd was riding a skateboard (or trying, it's not coming naturally but she's giving it a go.) and talking, etc. The kids asked her if she was a "tom boy or a preppy girl" , if she stuffed her bra, and so on. She noticed right away that even there in the grass at an apartment complex that there were clear definitions of who these kids thought they were supposed to be and that they were so desperately trying to impress each other. It struck her that the social stuff kids learn in school can spread to every part of life for some kids. It's like mold or something....

Anyway, Dd is making headway on her crocheted blanket. She added a contrasting color and it looks awesome! Ds and I took a long walk yesterday and we are feeling it today.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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Old 05-26-2007, 04:56 PM
 
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She noticed right away that even there in the grass at an apartment complex that there were clear definitions of who these kids thought they were supposed to be and that they were so desperately trying to impress each other. It struck her that the social stuff kids learn in school can spread to every part of life for some kids. It's like mold or something...


Wow, how extremely insightful of her. And calling it "impress" is just so accurate, IMO. "Impress" rhymes with "manipulate" - it's just a more positive shade of it, yk? And those objectives make up the silent religion that is the foundation of enforced learning.
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