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How do you defend yourself against negativity?

494 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  boobear
My inlaws think that homeschooling is nuts. They feel unless you live in the middle of a desset your children should be in school. Even though Maya is only 1 I have brought up hsing to them and they repeatedly put it down. I know it isn't their business but we live nest door to them so I see them almost daily. I'm not sure I can deal with 4 more years of this and then have them ask me "When will Maya start school?" My husband and I both graduated from public schools so we are mainstream.
My husband admits that he never would have thought of hsing but I brought it up and he has agreed to it. His opinion is to tell his parents that they had their chance to raise their child (him) and they screwed up (they did not - the only thing is that they are both negative immediately about things because that is how their parents were to them).
I have never had a fight of any kind with my in-laws. In fact, if I even tried to disagree with my MIL she would sulk (she would be nice but distant is a better way of putting it).
So how do you deal (nicely) with this kind of attitude? My entire family supports me and unfortunately that's no help because they are all in Maine while I am stuck in Connecticut.
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Hi there. Oh boy do I feel your pain! My in-laws (particularly mother in law) have a very serious problem with homeschooling. It can be very trying to face that kind of negativity day after day. What it really comes down to is that you have to decide what is right for your child, and then pursue that no matter what anyone else has to say about it.

There are a variety of approaches you can take when you are confronted with the negative comments. You can take the informed approach, where you discuss all the great homeschooling stats. (These can be researched online) You can discuss the upsides to homeschooling : One on one attention as opposed to 30 kids in a classroom with one teacher, flexibility to go at the pace that is right for them to succeed, etc.

If you are feeling up to it, ask her to share her specific concerns about homeschooling with you. If socialization is her issue I recommend looking up an article online called "No Thankyou, we don't believe in socialization", written by a homeschooling mom named Lisa Russell. It is online in several places I believe. That article is priceless for answering the silly social questions! Is she concerned that you will not be able to provide her with an adequate education? Explain that anything she needs to learn, can also be learned by you and your husband if you do not already know about it. Learning together is one of things that can be very special about homeschooling. Does she worry about field trips, proms, and sports? Almost every community offers those things for kids outside of a school environment.. and if not then a group of homeschool moms can get together and make it happen! If she is worried about college, and a career then tell her that homeschoolers go on to college without issue in almost every case. They get jobs just as any other young adult would. The workforce has changed, because of the growing number of homeschooling families. Not accepting homeschool graduates would be pretty silly for employers, because it removes a huge pool of potential new workers.

Last but not least, there is the "This is what we have decided is best for our child and our family. I respect that you do not care for it, but I need for you to respect our decision. We do not have to discuss it any further if you dont want to." This is also known as the the "Butt OUT" approach LOL. I am an advocate of being polite and respectful as long as it is practical and effective.. but at some point you may have to get a little more assertive. I wish you the best of luck in your decision on how to educate your child in the years to come!

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That's tough. My parents have been that way about everything from extended breastfeeding, homebirth, homeschooling, AP, co sleeping, you name it. Lately I've just replied to their negative comments (with love) saying "I'm not asking you to like my decision but I am asking that you trust I know what I'm doing and respect my ability to make the best decision (s) for my children". That pretty much shuts them up. If it doesn't I'll add "I would never put my child(ren) in danger of (insert their fear here) and have done loads of research. If you want, we could get together and go over some of it."

Good luck!
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I have repeatedly told them of the benefits of homeschooling. I have no intention of sending my children off to school so I am hoping that they just accept it.Nothing is going to change my mind! I guess I just don't have a big enough level of courage yet to resond to them beyond what i have already brought up (the pros, how ps has changed, etc). I purposely have joined Ct Homeschoolers groups and seek out others who homeschool to prove to them and myself that I can do this. Of course these comments I hear are coming from a person who thinks playstands are the dumbest things he has ever seen! I wish myself luck!
To combat the negativity I surround myself with positive uplifiting like minded people. It got to the point with some family members I finally had to say "mind your own business".

You don't need anyone but dh's approval to homeschool. I say that because hs'ing is easier when both parents are on the same page. Otherwise I'd say do what you want and ttthhpppp to everyone else.
Print out articles about homeschooling that explain these things to people who don't understand why one would want to homeschool. Every time they say something negative about hsing, hand them a printout and say something like..let me know what you think..I'd love to discuss this further but I think there's some information here that might help..I don't mind debating hs but right now I'm just not up for it, but I just happen to have a print out..

I've found that people who don't like the thought of hs'ing just don't understand/occured to them.. that or it makes them feel bad that they don't have the "umph" to hs their kids.
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