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If You Bungle Raising Your Children

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If You Bungle Raising Your Children

By Linda Dobson

“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do well matters very much.”

~ Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

your childrenThe rather soft-spoken, former First Lady makes a giant statement in very few words, and yet, it’s a statement likely to be shrugged off by many. After all, right now our nation is in a manufactured tizzy regarding the value of mothers, being used as fodder for political gamesmanship.

If you’re reading this, though, I know you’re aware that such games do not possess any value for you or your children. You know not to expect any support or encouragement from such quarters. The responsibility for not bungling raising your children rests squarely on your parent shoulders.

There Are Forces Keeping You from Raising Your Children

Once you accept this parental responsibility, it’s important to take a look around and assess what, in your environment, might prove detrimental to reaching your goal. The way our society functions creates forces that both overtly and covertly keep you from raising your children in the manner that best serves them.

Compulsory School Attendance – By virtue of force and punishment, the vast majority of families send their children off to school for a large and, arguably, best portion of each day. Those days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years…twelve or thirteen years, to be exact. During that time and by default, a lot of “someone elses” act in loco parentis, or in the place of a parent. Good luck trying to change who fills this role if, in fact, you know enough about the situation and desire to change it.

The Economy – Your own schooling gave you long and lasting conditioning regarding the measuring stick by which we should all measure “success.” I call it the “Life Merry-Go-Round.” Get good grades, go to a good college, get a good job, make a good salary, but all the things that reveal your success to the world. In far too many cases today, spending is on par with two incomes, requiring both parents to continue working regardless of what else may be going on in life. One of those other things going on in life is your children growing up, supervised in large part by those acting in loco parentis.

See also 4 Lousy Reasons for Not Homeschooling

Reliance on Experts – Those acting in loco parentis are trained professionals. They have studied how to teach your children. Surely under their wings your children are receiving an education much better than you, a non-expert, can provide. There’s just one problem: If any of these surrogates bungles raising your children, it’s not the end of their world, as there are many other children to worry about. This is why so many children fall through the fissures in the school system.

Lack of Self-Confidence – All these experts out there, coupled with your own training to believe that an institution is required to teach your children, weaken self-confidence when it comes to providing the same for your children.

Peer Pressure – Yes, your children suffer peer pressure, but so do you. Even if it’s not in person, it permeates our culture via the media, with messages both subtle and severe. Mitt Romney isn’t the first person to say there is dignity in work for women, and he won’t be the last.

A Lifestyle That Provides Opportunity to Raise Your Children

Fortunately, there exists a lifestyle that provides opportunity to not bungle raising your children. It’s called homeschooling, but it is so very much more than that. Look back at the list above (an abbreviated list, at that). Homeschooling erases all of those barriers to successfully raising your children. It takes time and space together with your children to raise your children. They are too precious, their childhood too fleeting, to do otherwise.

If you are a homeschooler, advocate on its behalf. If you are not a homeschooler, try it. You have nothing to lose and much to gain. Nothing matters more than not bungling raising your children. Nothing.

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