One of my son's teachers contacted me last week... he noticed that The Small Boy isn't incredibly social like the other boys in his classes. He tends to meander about at recess and isn't terribly eager to interact with the other kids. He is very eager during class though... always raising his hand with the answers... a bit too over eager... it concerned him. On some levels it concerns me too, but just a teeny, tiny, minute bit. He isn't unhappy; he eagerly goes to school every day with a smile on his face and a spring in his step, and is doing very well academically. In addition to being a bit of a loner and nerd (that is not a derogatory word here in our house... I am a very happy and self satisfied nerd) he's always been more cautious than other's his age. It all got me wondering... have I done this to my child? Have I made him, for lack of a better word, an outcast?
I'm sitting in my kitchen looking out the window at the boys that live a few houses over... they're riding their skateboards down the middle of the street, which is a rather steep incline that feeds directly into a very busy street - the main artery of downtown. They aren't wearing helmets or elbow pads or knee pads... Even scarier - the way cars will come flying up the street. Yea... there's no way my kid will be out there, thank you very much.
I've noticed lately that a lot of my son's peers have facebook accounts. To each his own, but that just isn't for me... and I'm not implying that parents who do allow their child to have a facebook account are neglectful or guilty of bad parenting. I just don't feel it's appropriate, I've seen some of the stuff here on facebook... in my opinion it's not appropriate for my 10 year old. I just set him up with his own email account (that I monitor closely) so he can email out of town family and friends. If you want to email my child, you need to be put on "the list" or else it won't go through.
I do not allow first person shooter games... realistic military and war games aren't games at all in my opinion; war is not a game. Mario and Lego games are his favorites. But he's only allowed to play on the weekend... no video games during the school week.
We do not have any form of Television service... but that's only within the last six months (and let me tell you just how excited I was to be rid of it!). Prior to that, I had blocked just about all kids programming from our DirecTV; Nickelodon (Spongebob is not my friend), Disney (Hannah Montana... don't get me started), Cartoon Network (UGH)... the only channel I left available was Noggin (which is now Nick Jr I think). Noggin was advertisement free and educational... for my preschooler. I mainly did that because you didn't see 12 year olds kissing, telling each other they loved each other, or inappropriately dressed on Noggin. We do have a rather wide array of movies that the kids can watch... Disney animated movies, Pixar, Star Wars and the like... and we also have a Netflix account and will let the kids watch various shows streaming live from the Wii or Computer.
With the exception of his iPod Shuffle (and he only uses it on long car or plane rides), The Small Boy doesn't have any personal electronic devices. No cell phone, no Nintendo DS or other hand held gaming device, no texting... I just don't see the need for them really.
There are lots of other little things... no soda (there are one or two exceptions to this one), no wandering about town on his own unless he has a purpose (he walks to and from school), no TV in his bedroom, no internet access without direct supervision, we go over his homework every afternoon... These are all things that are routine in our house, but I've come to realize they aren't the norm. So now I wonder, have I done a huge disservice to my child with all these rules and regulations? While he's happy and thriving, it would seem that my child's obvious differences from his peers are a direct result of my apparent "rigid and strict" parenting style. I've turned him into a pariah... but he doesn't seem to care.
I don't suppose I'll loose a lot of sleep over this, like I've said repeatedly... The Small Boy is happy, healthy, and flourishing. It's just frustrating... you try to do the right thing with your kids and it ends up biting them in the ass, except they don't seem to know the difference. =)
I know I haven't blogged much... it seems every time I go to write or post something, my blog has been spammed... I hate that. I'm being chased away by Levitra Ads... *thumbs up*
It took me a good three hours to compose this (I also made dinner and tended to a child or four at the same time). The boys playing in the street I mentioned earlier... are still outside in the street... and it's dark out... *shakes head*