Wednesday, February 6, 2008

ready to homeschool again. but not really.

Today S announced to me that he doesn't like girls. Except for some grown up girls (which I can only hope includes me). There are other girl-hating behaviors going on, more subtle ones. In the last few months, all of his imagined meat-eaters attack and eat only girls, never boys. This gender-discrimination is clearly something that he picked up at school, and it drives us crazy. We try to gently steer him toward more egalitarian beliefs, but those discussions usually end in angry tears (his).

This afternoon S wanted to use some stencils but was having a hard time tracing the shapes. His frustration level rose quickly and he exclaimed, "I'm a stupid drawer!" This statement shocked me. Where would he hear such a thing? School, of course.

I'm not going to homeschool. Nate doesn't want it, S doesn't want it. Even I don't want it, except for when I am seized by fear. And I try not to make life-altering decisions based on my irrational maternal fears. But I'm really starting to hate these things he brings home from school. His little mind came into this world so open and pure. Then he goes to preschool, and in addition to learning the alphabet he learns to dislike girls and berate himself. My instinct is to protect him from these negative ideas, and keeping him at home seems like a good strategy. I have a feeling, though, that such notions would sneak in somehow, try as I might to shelter him from the outside world.

Kindergarten starts in 6 months. I can already tell it is going to be an exercise in letting go. I also want to see it as an opportunity to learn to trust him, and to respect his sovereignty as an individual.

6 comments:

Colin said...

Laura, I wouldn't worry yourself so much --- I myself happened to be a really, really shitty drawer, at age 5 and at age 26, and I didn't need anyone at school to tell me that, I knew it myself because I just wasn't any good at drawing!

As for girl-dissing, if your boy stays at home for school, he'll miss out on seeing for himself that there are many girls that are perfectly nice ---- it's a realization he'll come to sooner or later, and he'll come to it organically, as he realizes, "oh hey, these are girls are actually nicer than some of the boys. Hmmm. . ."

I know it's tough for you to let go and let him work through all of these things for himself. But with your guidance at home, and his ups-and-downs in school, he'll work it out just fine ---- without any challenges to his pure home life, his beliefs would never be tested, and thus they wouldn't be worth anything.
Once the things he knows from home get tested against the school atmosphere, the good stuff will shine through, and he'll be a stronger person for it.

Bonnie said...

I agree with Colin's calm words of reassurance and wisdom.

However, my first reaction was pretty much the same as yours. Including hoping that I would be one of the girls he liked.

Jay M. said...

I can't say it any better than Colin.

Plus, it's been well documented that the majority of girls between the ages of five and nine do, in fact, carry the specific strain of cooties that is likely to infect young boys of the same age.

My guess is that his natural instincts of self-preservation are just starting to kick in. It's actually a good thing.

Proper treatment for cooties is costly nowadays, and not covered under most insurance plans.

Maiasaura said...

thanks, friends, for reaffirming what i know is true, but sometimes can't convince myself is true. and for making me laugh. a lot. love you guys.

Oliver said...

i think hating girls shows he on the right path. I used to hate girls too but some of them still gave me a stiffy, as i called it back then. I didn't know what to o with the stiffy until I met angela and we had a baby.

see!

Maiasaura said...

Oli, are you drunk commenting again?