Barb - posted on 10/19/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )
My daughter is 14, and I have a son who is 12. I have a superman-like husband who has love for our family like no one-- we are blessed with a fantastic relationship among the four of us. While I have a lot of neices and nephews (like over 50), this is my first shot at messing up my very own kids. I try to parent with a solid sense of humor, a lot of discipline-- in the values sense of the word (not punishment sense of the word), and lots and lots of unconditional love. Last year, my daughter showed lots of symptoms of peer-junk at school, so in a mutual discussion between her father her and me, we are now homeschooling her. It's a pretty radical move for us, especially since I am an educator in the public school system.
It was amazing to recognize our daughter again-- it had been like an evil alien had replaced her. But once she was home and we established a routine, she was her old self-- not full of attitude and sass-- but rather the wonderfully nice person that we had grown to this point. Someone who made time for other people, who enjoyed helping others. The drama and soap operas were gone, and the tears were gone. Her reading scores (which had always been a challenge to her due to dyslexia) sky-rocketed and surpassed grade level. It's been a really positive move for all of us. Mind you, I know this option is not for everyone, but it sure worked well for her. She had the personality to be able to do it-- emotionally very mature, very empathic, and easily able to do things on her own.
My son has decided to stay in public school because he really likes the kinds of interactions he knows he cannot get with us-- competitions like geography bees, quiz bowl, etc. It has taken some time, but he has blossomed to be a mature person in his own right-- not in the shadow of his sister.
We are a pretty secluded family. We don't have a lot of friends-- as a matter of fact, most of our friends are cyber relationships. We live in a very small city that is the county seat of a very rural area. We don't have a lot of options around here: like there are no private schools within a half-hour driving radius of here, there is no place within an hour where I can buy zippers, and an hour away from the closest bookstore. I drive an hour to two-and-a-half hours to take classes for my education doctorate. I have another year of this kind of commuting until I start my dissertation.
Um...anything else...oh...because we live in a rural-based city of western Wisconsin, where we live tends to get lots of trick-n-treaters-- 500 or so. (The kids come from all the rural areas into town that night.) So we like to theme our Halloween, and I take a year to plan it. I build all of our costumes throughout the year and our porch is a "set". It becomes kind of an outdoor open house event. We don't give out candy: we give out little toys instead. So we have pretty well-cemented our identity in this tiny city as "the Halloween house". But we only keep the theme up for that evening, and it remains a secret until just an hour or two before our TNT hours. I am thrilled to be able to conscript my family for the "parts". In the past we have done Pirate of the Carribean, Spongebob Squarepants and Bikini Bottom, superheroes, last year was Americana due to the election year, and yes, we have done Harry Potter (my hubby played an incredible Dumbledore). We choose themes that attract the age 3-8 year old set (nothing very scary), and it is a wonderful time.
So that's what's up in my life...how about y'all?