You guys, I’m pretty pumped to have Renée, from Lessons From Teachers and Twits, as today’s Friday Favorite, despite her schedule being cuh-razy. Even cuh-razier than mine. (Mine’s actually not that cuh-razy.)
I also had the super fun privilege of talking to her on the phone about this post, and she is as sweet and funny and easy-to-chat-with as her blog makes her out to be. SHE’S THE FULL PACKAGE, Y’ALL! And she says “pecan” like a true southerner.
Enjoy, friends! (Honestly, that’s not a difficult directive.)
In politics, there is a middle place between authoritarian dictator and namby-pamby pushover.
So too in the classroom.
So too at home.
How do I know that I am not a dictator in the classroom?
Because I’m not.
You’ll have to trust me on that.
But seriously, a few things come to mind. I always know my students’ names: their individuality matters to me.
How do I know I’m not a pushover?
I don’t accept any kind of bullying. Or technology in the classroom (unless it is being used for classwork). And I don’t accept late homework assignments.
At home, I have to think about my role with my progeny. I mean, I didn’t teach my son to swim by throwing him off the diving board into the deep end — the douche-bag I paid $14 dollars per hour for lessons did that. But I don’t follow him around the house carrying a pair of crutches just in case he feels like leaning against something.
Here are a few other things that help me reassure myself that I’ve got some sense of balance in my house:
I let my son eat raw batter with a big ole spoon. Yes, there were uncooked eggs in the recipe. And yes, he double and triple dipped in the bowl. To people who are all horrified by this, I say I am building a better world by creating a child with a stronger immune system.
But I also make sure that my son eats at least two fruits and one vegetable every day. He also drinks a lot of milk.
I do not feel the need to use hand sanitizer. Ever. Unless something is totally gross, like we’ve been handling lizards or he’s come in contact with something that might have come in contact with spit or feces, I’m pretty sure whatever it is can wait until we find real water.
But I try to get to water pretty fast.
I let my son sing The Beatles’ “Why don’t we do it in the road?” at the top of his lungs because he thought it was funny. And it was because at the time he had no idea what the “it” was.
But I do not let him download any songs with explicit lyrics, nor do I let him play mature video games. Or any video games at all.
I helped my son and his buddy create suits made of cardboard and bubble-wrap and duct tape. And then I encouraged them to walk around the neighborhood to show off their
dorky cool outfits.
But I was horrified when I had to cram him into a suit that was clearly two sizes too small for him before an important religious gathering, so I rushed out to the store to do some last minute shopping before we had to be at the event. I’ll not have my son look like a doofus when it counts.
I don’t rush in with the tissues when my boy sneezes.
But I don’t send him to school when he has a fever.
Unless he has a project the size of a baleen whale that is covered in glitter which would melt as a result of exposure to the elements, my son walks to school each day no matter the weather.
But I remind him to wear his boots in the winter because no matter how dumb he thinks he might look, cold, wet feet suck.
I don’t hover over my son when he is instant messaging a girl.
But I really want to.
Despite the fact that he landed on accidental porn while Googling “big sea cucumbers,” I still have not turned on parental controls to limit his searches.
But I do limit his screen time to 90 minutes each day. I figure he should be able to complete his homework and have a little time leftover for happy happy joy joy. But if he forgets to sign off accidentally? Oh well, sorry… there’s always tomorrow.
Since he was 9-years old, I have helped my son pack a huge trunk and duffel bag to bring to overnight camp where he has disappeared for three weeks each summer because I truly believe the time away is good for him.
But this year, he has decided he’d like to go for four weeks. And my heart is kind of breaking at the thought of it.
Do you consider yourself more of an authoritarian or a namby-pamby? If you have found your place of harmony as a parent, can you give directions as to where you found it so others might find it as well?