What I've noticed, growing up as a mum, is that as their own children grow beyond each stage of childhood, many women become intolerant of younger children. Bit by bit, as toys, games and sporting equipment is put away or sold, goes their acceptance of and contentment for children to be children. As mums they toddler-proofed their homes which then became playrooms for imaginative kids, but all too soon these homes become immaculate showpieces where inquisitive minds and busy hands are not welcome. And by the time their kids are off their hands and they have a child-free life (before the grandkids arrive when it all changes again), they see teens as hostiles, people to be mistrusted.
I'm not apportioning 100% of the blame for this behaviour on mums: I also blame the media. We are bombarded with images of 'typical kids' and what childhood and the teen years are like: on TV shows, in magazine articles, books, movies. Remember the book "Toddler Taming"? Our society views the childhood/parent relationship and era as one akin to a perpetual battleground. We are trained to think like this from birth. Then school enters our life and this message is reinforced and set in concrete. Is it any wonder we encounter suspicion towards our children when we're out and about?
By home educating our children we are breaking this mold. Our children will grow up with a different set of family values: ones that value family! Which means valuing the role of children and teens in our society. They will have a better understanding of the role and importance of education in their lives too. They won't have this battleground mentality that is so pervasive in our society. I am heartened that the numbers of families opting to home educate their children continue to grow strongly.
Always Learning Books