Homeschoolers being young for their ages or oblivious to peer pressure - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 47 Old 05-19-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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This has been a fabulous thread to read and relate too! So many of these anecdotes could relate to my son. He is very 'boyish' yet at the same time is 'softer and lighter ' than his peers and a little naive when it comes to peers trying to act older as well as the strict gender roles that seem to go on amongst his age mates within the system.


I sometimes refer to him as an old fashioned child, because he just hasn't been grown up by the world like so many kids today. A lot of the potty humor goes right over his head and he doesn't feel the pressure to be cool or go with the latest trend. He does get along with the kids he is just unique and not afraid to be himself.

What is interesting to me is his self confidence is very self oriented . He sets his own high standards and tries to live up to what he thinks he should be morally, socially academically etc. So he is always pretty happy with a smile on his face. He isn't filled with self doubt over superficial things like materialistic objects and acting a certain way to fit in. I think it's great because he measures his self worth as he sees fit and his confidence continues to astound me, even while he is aware that in some ways he is different from the mainstream.

I wish I had felt that great growing up but I learned the hard way that you can change for the world but the world doesn't change.

My son wanted these smilies here
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#32 of 47 Old 05-19-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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I'm always so sad when I overhear someone directing their little boy away from "girl" stuff. The neighbor boy (4 yo) was so conflicted when he wanted to try ds' roller skates. He wanted to use the ones that had side by side wheels rather than the roller blades, but they were pink. He kept asking me to put them on him, then not letting me actually put them on. You'd think he wouldn't care especially since he just saw ds using them (I traded ds and gave him the roller blades because the boy wanted the ones he was using).

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#33 of 47 Old 05-19-2007, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
She would definitely be considered odd were she in school, and I think it would bother her but not enough that she would do anything about it.

This was my DD in school. A little *odd* and taunted for it. She didn't care enough to change, but the teasing and shunning did bother her. When I saw her begin to change to *fit the mold* I knew I had to do something. That's when we pulled her. It wasn't the only reason we took her home, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
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#34 of 47 Old 05-19-2007, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread. I have really enjoyed it and I have really appreciated the support. Now, I think that he's not immature, but that other kids are more mature. Thanks for helping me to see it in a more positive light.

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I sometimes refer to him as an old fashioned child, because he just hasn't been grown up by the world like so many kids today.
I like this analogy and I agree.
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#35 of 47 Old 05-20-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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Sometimes I really think it's an issue of the mainstream having one definition of maturity and the not mainstream having a very different one. (For this conversation I guess home/unschoolers are the not mainstream. )

A girl we know that is just about 12 was overheard telling my Dd that "so and so has a boyfriend already." Dd ended up saying that she herself did not have a boyfriend. The girl said something to the effect of "Well she's more grown up so it makes sense." I don't know the girl she was referring to so I can't vouch for her level of maturity or lack thereof, but I can admit to being suspicious about whether or not an 11/12 year old girl has a boyfriend because she is actually ready for that kind of thing or because she thinks she's supposed to have one because it's considered cool and mature.

For me maturity involves kindness, honesty, some restraint, thoughtful decision making, and etc. From what I see in the mainstream when it comes to kids and teens, so called maturity involves getting into as much romantic relationship drama as possible, judging based on appearance or social standing, having certain clothing brands, and the like. So yea, different definitions.

I know some adults that I don't find all that mature (by my definition) either actually.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
peace.gif  Embrace the learning that is happening within the things that are actually happening!    
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#36 of 47 Old 05-20-2007, 02:32 AM
 
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How do you draw the line between letting your child be a free and creative spirit versus not letting them be a target for bullying?
My 9 year old is a creative dresser and we talk about how other people will most likely be dressed, but she still sometimes goes out dressed like a pirate or frontier girl or whatever. She is really confident, though, so if any one says anything to her she just tells them that she likes what she's wearing and doesn't care if they do or not. (My 10 year old on the other hand prefers not to draw attention to herself, so she likes to dress "normally.")

You really can just talk to your kids about this stuff without making a judgement. I see myself as providing information so that they can make their own informed choices, not deciding for them which path would be best for them.

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Sometimes I really think it's an issue of the mainstream having one definition of maturity and the not mainstream having a very different one. (For this conversation I guess home/unschoolers are the not mainstream. )
Yes, my kids still play with my little ponies, sleep with stuffed animals, and want toys rather than electronics for gifts, but they are kind, responsible, and interested in issues like the environment. They can cook without me,
take care of the pets, and behave really well in a wide variety of situations.

They seem to be growing up without feeling like they need to abondon their playful side.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#37 of 47 Old 05-20-2007, 02:38 AM
 
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Thanks for that. It really helps to hear that from someone who has btdt.

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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
My 9 year old is a creative dresser and we talk about how other people will most likely be dressed, but she still sometimes goes out dressed like a pirate or frontier girl or whatever. She is really confident, though, so if any one says anything to her she just tells them that she likes what she's wearing and doesn't care if they do or not.

You really can just talk to your kids about this stuff without making a judgement. I see myself as providing information so that they can make their own informed choices, not deciding for them which path would be best for them.

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#38 of 47 Old 05-20-2007, 03:02 AM
 
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I haven't read all of the posts, but I just wanted to say that the op's son doesn't sound immature or un-worldy to me, rather he sounds like he is acting exactly right for his age. I think the way children act once they are in a school setting is not the way children should be, and they wouldn't act that way if the gender roles weren't forced onto them. Let your children be who they are and let them know that some ppl will pick on you no matter what you do, just ignore them and do whatever makes you happy.
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#39 of 47 Old 05-20-2007, 09:30 AM
 
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I don't mean to nitpick but IME it's not only school where the peer pressure thing comes in.

My oldest ds especially was into girly things when he was 4-5. He loved to wear makeup, dress-up, pink, etc.

He hung out with a lot of older neighborhood kids who were very "mainstream" and were 100% schooled. They didn't bat an eye when he showed them his latest lipstick Maybe because he was so much younger than them?

The kids who would have absolutely shredded him for his choices were the crunchy kids from our playgroup. Not all of them were school-aged at that time but they had a lot of the behaviors that are usually associated with schooled kids. Judgemental, bullying, exclusive, gender stereotypes....yup, that was them.

When he did start school his interests changed somewhat but not 100%. Same with his brothers. My 5 yo was picking out prizes at a game arcade. He chose some gold MardiGras beads. He proudly wore them the rest of the day. All my kids love fake jewelry and still wear it.

It does help that our school is very small and nurturing. It does seem that the kids at our school are more innocent than some others but I could be wrong. The public school kids that I've known have been pretty nice FTMP.
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#40 of 47 Old 05-20-2007, 10:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by marybethorama View Post
He hung out with a lot of older neighborhood kids who were very "mainstream" and were 100% schooled. They didn't bat an eye when he showed them his latest lipstick Maybe because he was so much younger than them?
Ds had one older boy giggle at his toenail polish when he was 3, but another kindly admired his bike w/o mentioning it was a girl's bike, so it just depends, I guess. I generally assume the main source is family since some of the kids do it so young, if not from parents than older siblings telling younger ones what is for boys or girls.

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#41 of 47 Old 05-23-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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OK, my son just convinced the neighbor girl (same age) to ride her bike with a cape, swim goggles and a pair of binoculars.

It's all good I guess.... I worried for nothing.
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#42 of 47 Old 05-23-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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Pumpkinseeds! You make me laugh! You have no idea how much our boys are alike! (The outfit to a tee, except my son rolls up his shorts at the top because he is so slim, until they are wayyy too short!) Our boys are the same age too! lol
I worry about my boys " coolness " factor much more than they ever would... and it doest creep into my thoughts even very often. My almost 6 year old still has training wheels on his bike... ( he is so in his head much of the time and always has been so careful physically) When the neighbourhood boys were trying to tease him he just shrugged and said " yep... still got them. Just not interested in taking them off yet!"

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#43 of 47 Old 05-23-2007, 01:59 PM
 
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I haven't read all of the replys yet, but I am homeschooling my 4 children. My oldest son is 7 years old and I see a definate difference when he gets together with other schooled children his age. He will go to the park and just ask some of the kids if he can be their friend or if they will play with him, the other kids look at him weird because you don't do that in school apparently. He has no idea why the boys won't play with the girls at the park or why some kids won't play with other kids. I love this about him though!!!

Oh and he also loves pink, lol. When I asked him what color Crocs he wanted he said pink
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#44 of 47 Old 05-23-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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My son is only 3 1/2 and I already see he looks more immature and marches to the beat of a different drummer! He dances to classical music, loves to watch people bellydance, sings loud songs and is very clear about what he wants and doesn't want -- which doesn't have anything to do with what anyone else wants usually

He's the only kid I know who, when everyone says "you put your left foot in" and all those instructional dances, never does what they say -- since he was of walking age. He is definitely not swayed by the crowd.

Ds always tries to negotiate too, and it makes it hard for him to take lessons from anybody. We're trying swimming lessons for the first time now, and it's funny watching the young lady chase him around the pool and dealing with how strong-willed he is. But I do worry about him.
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#45 of 47 Old 05-23-2007, 11:47 PM
 
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I was homeschooled from 3rd grade through 12th and this is an issue that concerns me greatly with my kids! I'm not worried about how they are now per say with their friends but when they are young adults. I was fine and never knew how naive I was to things that other kids were so aware of until I went to work at McDonald's when I was 16 years old. That was a huge eye opener for me! I heard the word "rubber" for the first time and literally was picturing some form of rubber being on the drive through speaker until a guy told me what it actually was. I heard bad language and repeated it at home not realizing it was a bad word -- that got my mother on the band wagon to end my job there.

Let's see...I went on to college and had no issues really as it was a Christian college and my friends were in line with my upbringing basically. Then I entered the workforce at 19 after getting my associate's degree. Thank God, I made great friends there who loved me despite how clueless I was. They did laugh when I would say inappropriate things but not so much in a making fun of me way but in a -- we need to protect this poor thing kind of way. I think they secretly envied my naiveity (sp?) as it was such a rare thing for sure. I endured the endless mistakes I made but wished that I was more aware of things in the world as I would rather not open my mouth and say something so totally inappropriate in public. There were times when I was annoyed with them because I felt they had trashy minds and why couldn't they just accept that what I was saying was not a filthy statement but just me talking. There were many times when my co workers jaws would drop, they would turn bright red, and then as the shock wore off they would just start laughing endlessly at what I had said while I sat there looking dumbfounded.

I don't know if this was different for my brother or not. Maybe he learned this mature lingo earlier on somehow and was spared the mistakes I made. Maybe it's a boy / girl difference and I was just not in the right circles to pick things up.

I don't know but I do know that I don't want my kids to go through that as young adults. I don't know how to make them aware of this mature talk when they are older but I know they need to know. Maybe it's just an issue of my being aware of what is appropriate or not now and correcting them at home before they say something in public. Maybe my parents were clueless to these sayings as well and thus, weren't able to correct me at home if I happened to say the same sayings at home.

Sorry -- I know this is jumbled but just wanted to share my experiences. I haven't read all the posts yet but will do so. Again, I'm not worried about this with my kids right now but will be more so when they are teens.

Kellie
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#46 of 47 Old 05-24-2007, 12:24 AM
 
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Thank you so much for this discussion. I can relate to so much that has been 'said' here.
I am relieved that my children are maturing at their own pace and at the right time for them naturally.

We have had many issues with the neighbor children ,they bully and make fun of my children for being weird. It's a yucky situation and too much to get into on this thread. But it has given me a clear view of how my children act compared to their schooled peers (not all of course).

It can be hard, heartbreaking and frusterating to raise our children against the grain but the rewards greatly out weigh all that. And in the end I hope it gives my children the courage, peace and space to be true to themselves.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#47 of 47 Old 05-24-2007, 10:14 AM
 
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Interesting situation that reminded me of this discussion.

I am watching the girl next door, who is one day older than Ramona and who has been in preschool for three years, for a few hours this morning. When her dad brought her over, I mentioned that Efram wanted to watch Dragon Tales and Ramona wanted to watch It's a Big Big World, and was he ok with his daughter watching those.

The dad said, "Oh, she can watch whatever she wants, but she's bored with those baby shows now."

The little girl watched both shows with my kids, sang and danced, and laughed hysterically at the funny parts. She didn't look bored with those baby shows to me! Of course, the other day when I was over there talking to her mom, the little girl was watching The Goonies. (Don't get me wrong, The Goonies is one of my absolute favoritest movies, but it would scare the pants off Efram and Ramona!)

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