Are We Failing As Parents?

There is some fail going on regarding my kids and school, and I'm not sure what the problem is. I keep coming back to the fact that it's probably our parenting style that's to blame.

Becky pulled out of public school a few years back. She was the one who begged to go to school and leave home schooling behind forever because she's social that way. What none of us realized was that she was more mature than her peers from interacting with adults all day instead of other elementary aged kids. This isn't a bad thing. Neither is it bad to act like an elementary aged kid when you are an elementary aged kid. While Becky made wonderful friends, they sometimes annoyed her. She described it as hanging out in the toddler room at a preschool when you should be in high school. (A bit of an exaggeration, I think, but she made her point.) She learned to laugh at immature things and be a kid, but you can't un-age once you've matured. When other things started compounding, she asked to come back home. Her and I have been home for several years now, keeping each other from rattling around inside the house and having deep conversations about life in general.

Luke has been in school since kindergarten. He started there the year we enrolled the kids in public school, so he knows nothing different. He grew up with peers his own age and has been good friends with most everyone in his class for the past 7 years. He is in high school now that's in 7th grade. He's struggling a bit with the ever-changing schedule and additional homework, but he's a perfectionist and lives to please teachers. (Yes, he's the resident nerd. He makes his nerdy mom proud.) He has asked if home schooling would be something I'd consider with him as well. Wisely, he said he'd give it a month before making a final decision. I have no doubt that he'll do just fine and adapt well. But I have suspicions that something else is really the cause of concern.

Today he came home from school saying that his classmates are sometimes so immature, and they annoy him. (I've heard this before...) He cited an example, and it sounded like a truly legit scenario for a 7th grade class. So now I wonder if we're setting our kids up for failure based on our parenting style.

Around here, we talk to our kids like we'd talk to adults. We allow them to be involved in every conversation that we have, and expect them to add meaningful dialogue if they want to participate. We discuss big and small things with equal importance, and when we ask a question we expect an answer with details. In short, we kind of treat our kids like they're our peers. So have we set our kids up for failure? Have we expected too much of our kids, maturing them beyond their years? But is it a bad thing that we are equipping them to live in a world of grown ups? I would far rather my children be able to hold a conversation with a guest in our home than to be so bored at the dinner table that their eyes glaze over. My heart swells with pride when others compliment our kids' manners and social skills. I can't think that we're doing a bad thing. And yet, our kids just aren't thriving in a school setting.

Is there a right answer for this?


My Two Army Brats said...

We're raising children to be adults, we aren't raising children to grow up and be children. Maturity is a good thing. Being bothered by normal middle school non-sense is something you can be proud of for sure! I say bring them all home, but you know how I think. lol

Cindy said...

I think this is common in families that home school. And I agree with you, we are supposed to raise our kids to live in a world of adults. I think they'll be better for it.