I don’t care if my kids ever ‘fit in’

unschooling
I grew up with an obsession with being normal, and by normal, I mean American. Apparently the kids in my school deemed me to be unusual, and let me know about this on a daily basis. I didn’t understand what was abnormal about myself and constantly wondered what I had done for them to be so mean to me, and to treat me as an outcast, when my friends in the playground in France treated me kindly, despite my French not being the best.I hid the fact we traveled as best as I could, and lied about it when I got older. In the small farming town we lived in, many people didn’t leave the state, so to go overseas often and be half British didn’t rub the right way.
I have had this odd feeling of being inadequate that lingered with me since then, second guessing if I was doing things ‘correctly’. I would go out of my way to make sure not to upset anyone and hopeful not make anyone mad or angry with me. Until, that is, I became a parent and realized that I wanted to do things differently.
Very differently.
I realized that with this choice I would get judgement, regular criticism, and maybe even get excluded from certain things because we chose to homeschool and do attachment parenting, as well as travel internationally. This realization made me feel uneasy at first, as it goes against my anxiety prone, worry wort side that is trying to please everyone and not cause a fuss.
But I don’t want my kids to lower their standards or shatter their dreams because an unhealthy society tells them that their dreams and goals and way of living in ‘wrong’. I want my children to have lots of friends, but good ones, not the fairweather kind. I want my children to feel confident in themselves and their decisions and not go through what I did, with a lack of self esteem due to peer pressure.
So, I have had to face my inner demons and just ask myself
‘ Can you do this? Can you make decisions that will cause people to be judgmental of you, or even dislike you for your choices?’
And after careful thought about it, I stated hell yes I can!
Because the reality, the truth, is that we are judged no matter what we do, who we talk to, what kind of schooling we get, or what we wear. In never really ends. Even if people don’t vocalize their criticism, it’s there in their minds, despite a smile of their face. And their judgement has actually little to do with us, but more to do with them.
I don’t want to associate with people who have a big issue with us being unschoolers and holistic.  I want Kaya to seek out people who are kind and considerate. We don’t care if people are similar to us or different, just as long as they are kind and compassionate.
That is our rule.
It’s important for Kaya and our future kids to know that Mom believes in them, and I do. And in order for me to show that I can’t doubt my actions and choices, nor theirs. I must believe in them, and myself. And it has been a process for me, as I am learning this parenting thing as I go. But it is worth it and I feel ecstatic about our future and where it could lead us. And I know that what society really needs is not children who fit in, but who stand out and are game changers, who challenge the status quo and dare to state their opinions or beliefs. Lead by their hearts and not by their minds, they will be the ones who make changes to the world in which we live.
It’s up to us parents to deschool what we have been taught is normal and open ourselves up to new possibilities for our children and for ourselves.

7 thoughts on “I don’t care if my kids ever ‘fit in’

  1. A King's Life - Digital Nomad Family

    Very well stated!
    As we ourselves have chosen an alternative lifestyle of traveling (which is only alternative because it’s not the norm), we have found the level of judgement to rise to a very interesting level back ‘home’. A level so ‘high’ that some very creative assumptions and stories have come of it.
    We laugh it off, but it really does sting a bit to think that the people we care about and supposedly care about us are the ones that are being so judgmental.

    Like you, we are also very fortunate to have created a strong foundation in our immediate family life, spiritual life and ideals that we don’t let it stop us. We know to the core this is WHO is are and we know the WHY we do as we do.

    Everyone is judged, but the judgement says more about the judge-r than the person being judged.

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      I am so sorry that you too Sabina are going through this, but as you say everyone is judged and it has more to do with the judge-r and not the judged. It has taken me about 29 years to begin to grasp that!! I always thought I had done something….my lesson was that no, you don’t have to do anything to have people acting mean towards you. People who are say racist judge by colour and not by another’s actions. It’s just sad that it exists, but it’s an issue of the judge-r. I am seriously going to meditate on this for a while!!!

      Reply
  2. Lee

    I relate to your experience in so many ways. I know how it goes to temper who you are in order to fit in. It never worked and I couldn’t maintain that for very long, but still had much to work through over the years aligning my inner self with my public self. And, like you, parenting has forced me to resolve this issue. I have one child who is a checklist of “odd”, but charms and fascinates others so easily with his personality. At first I wanted to help him and had to learn that was my insecurity trying to socially ‘fix’ him and how wrong and impossible that is. He has taught me much about myself and pushed me to grow up and into mysef. I’ve learned to stop assuming about or questioning what others think about what I’m doing or how they view me, and allowing that to negatively impact me. I now try to only see myself through the lens of my own choice and why I made it. Part of my ‘unencumbering’ process. And yes, the world will pass judgement no matter what, so you may as well just do as your going to do. For every person who will like you there will be another who won’t for no reason worth knowing. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      You are right it doesn’t work lee! I am glad that as part of your becoming unencumbered you try to see yourself through your own lens, and that is my goal. I am still failing at times but in general I have come a long way! I too wanted to ‘fix’ Kaya, esp when she was a baby and was SOOOO difficult and I felt judged, but now I just say screw it! 🙂 She makes me proud.

      Reply
  3. Satu VW

    It makes me sad to hear what you went through in school and that you had to hide the fact that you and your family were traveling so much. Here in Europe USA is often referred to as “the melting pot” of different cultures, but clearly this does not apply especially when it comes to small towns.

    I’m a 100% Finn and grew up in Finland so I did not have to go through anything similar, but now it is very interesting for me to see how my baby, who was born in Norway but has a British father, will deal with the multicultural element of her background. At least in her group in the creche only one out of the nine kids is 100% norwegian, so she should fit right in!

    And I do agree completely, it is up to us to teach our kids to have an open mind, and also have that same open mind ourselves.

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      Hello Satu! I am sure your little one will do fine! I have asked several of my friends from Norway and denmark how school was, and none of them reported any bullying or whatnot. And in France, I never had any form of bullying. I think the US and UK both are the worst for it, as well as Korea and Japan ( as some of my husband’s students have reported). It’s very sad that it exists and the root cause of WHY needs to be addressed.

      Reply
  4. Jackie

    Bullying is bad in the US. I am sorry you experienced that as a young girl. It is so sad to me that kids are so cruel.

    Sounds like Kaya will have a wonderful time unschooling because Mom is determined to what is best for her. Kuddos to you for being strong when it comes to your child’s education.

    The last paragraph of your post really spoke to me. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Joyfully,
    Jackie, who is semi unschooling her daughter all the way to college.
    My Attempt at Blogging
    Quaint Scribbles

    Reply

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