Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Parenting Philosophy

I want to preface this post with the understanding that none of us has all the answers - I know I don't. I just know what works for us, and where we plan to head with our parenting of James & Tyler.

Recently, my sister sent an email to a group of women talking about Harry Potter being against the Bible and being something evil. She has a right to her opinion, to be sure - and she had an article that was attached to the email - I wish I still had it to be fair to her... but it's not exactly what I want to talk about here anyway.

I want to really go broader than that - because it's not about 1 book series to me - it's more of a philosophy. John and I have had this discussion several times - on may levels. Schooling options and all sorts of other issues. I know that people struggle with their choices over homeschooling, private schooling, or public schooling. I can't say one is better than the other - you have to make that choice for your family and children.

For us, I can tell you that for us - we plan to public school our children. At least right now, that could change in the 4-5 years between where we are now and the boys actually starting school. Our philosophy about school gets that the route of our overall parenting style. We feel like it's our responsibility to expose our kids to different things - that are reasonable and age appropriate - even things that we wouldn't want to teach our children... things they might pick up at school... and use them as teachable moments.

For instance, they are exposed to political views we don't agree with, religious views, or even racial views that we don't agree with... and we use those moments to teach our children based on God's teaching that we might not agree with the other person's view or actions... but we are called to love them anyway. Love the sinner - hate the sin. I feel like that gets to the route of most issues - we are ALL sinners. We ALL have flaws and make mistakes... but our calling is to love people.

I fail miserably at that most days, but I do try.

For us, we feel like it is better for our kids to be exposed while they are in our home - under our watchful eye - because we can teach them to assess the situation and get through it. The alternative might be that they get out there on their own in college for instance, and they are completely unable to navigate the cruel ugly world that we live in... and they could falter. I'd rather arm them with the knowledge and spirituality they need to get through it on their own - to rise above and get through it even when I can't be there to help.

I guess for me, while I know we are not OF this world... but have to live in it until Christ returns... I want my kids to be able to deal with all the different things that would come at them.

There are certainly going to be rules and things we don't let them do... I'm not saying I'm going to let my 7 year old watch R rated movies or anything... BUT I do feel like age appropriate things are alright. I mean I want them to be readers - and there are fiction books out there, make believe - I want them to have healthy imaginations, and it's up to me to guide them to know what is real and what isn't. So, I don't see them reading Harry Potter when they are old enough as a horrible thing... as long as they know it's just a silly book.

I hope this makes sense, and I'd be happy to delve into it further... if there are other facets of this that you guys want to ask me about. (Just keep it respectful)
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