Weirdos. Unsocialized. Homeschoolers.
Just a few labels given to families like mine. Keeping my kids at home means they aren’t raised in a peer group. Sure they miss out on the culture of a brick and mortar school, but the gains far out way the losses.
As I focus my attention on their character in these early years, I see just how much they learn by example. Their lazer focus on my actions can sometimes feel like scrutiny, but I remind myself often that my behavior is their best teacher. And that’s why I let them see me cry.
I’m a highly-sensitive-person (HSP) which means I feel things extremely. My children see this in me on a daily basis. My daughter sometimes smiles at me knowingly, when my favorite song plays. She’s just waiting for me to cry. I can tell that she understands these tears don’t cause me pain, but rather these tears release a deeper joy. A joy that speaks of deeper roots grown through trials and pains. She tries to mimic me, trying to create the same depth of emotion.
But without the experience, one can never cry another’s tears.
When I’ve been hurt and felt alone, even with my babies all around me, I have let them see me cry these tears too. I’ve watched them grow in compassion, trying to comfort and encourage me. Sometimes saying things wise beyond their years.
We’ve talked about hard times that have brought us all to tears, looking back on days or weeks gone by realizing that time does help things change.
I was reminded of this today while watching Little House on the Prairie with my kids. Tears make things come alive again. Laura said. She and Jonathan had been talking about the river. He called it “Heaven’s tears” saying that when the people in heaven see the people on earth doing hurtful things they all cry – and it rains. To which Laura said, then I hope it never rains again!
Now hold on! Jonathan said. When it rains, the earth is watered and new things can grow.
So I talk to my kids about my tears, and we look together for what things have grown. What good things are new? Are we being conscious of growing in grace and compassion?
We are socializing each other.
I love this quote from the Clarksons:
Your influence on your children’s lives is not derived from how smart you are, but rather from how committed you are to becoming all that you need to be in order to help them become all that God wants them to be. It is not your responsibility only to give them an education; it is your vision and privilege to guide them into learning, growing, and becoming…with you. *
At the core of socialization is identity. Learning how to answer these questions: Who are they? Why do they matter? What behaviors benefit them as a part of the whole? And what skills do they need to accomplish their goals? These are the questions that I want to answer with them, not for them.
As I answer these questions in my own life – I let them in on the process, tears and all.
So call me weird, I don’t mind. But unsocialized? Never.
*This quote is from Education the Whole Hearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson, page 29. Here are my affiliate links to the products mentioned in this post: Educating the WholeHearted Child -- Third Edition Little House on the Prairie Season 1 (Deluxe Remastered Edition DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy) Thank you for your support of this site! Click here to sign up to receive a free PDF guide to writing your own Parenting Purpose Statement and posts via email.