Today a friend of mine shared a post about a curriculum being introduced in public schools that she doesn’t agree with. Raising up small people is a big responsibility. Certainly one of the challenges I have always had as a parent is in discerning what I want my children to know, and the who, when and where such enlightenment would and should happen. Consequently, we have spent several years weaving through the benefits and pitfalls of home school, private, and the public school systems.
I remember being a young child and being terrified of a nuclear war. And of earthquakes. And of strangers… Information shared with me often radically shifted my perspective on life as I knew it, and challenged my ability to identify my position in that life. As parents, we are our children’s primary educators, and it is our responsibility to take what our kids learn from tv, school, friends and life as an opportunity to communicate our own value systems, our own truths, and to help them to understand that information is merely that – information.
Even in college I was confronted by professors who shared information and opinions that were directly in contradiction to my own value system. What initially felt like an assault on my beliefs, however, actually caused me to look honestly at why I believe what I do, and it strengthened not only my resolve, but also my capacity to communicate effectively with people with a different perspective than my own.
I don’t think that just because a idea or opinion may challenge us as parents, we should shrink or hide our kids (or ourselves!) from it. Today’s society does enough of that, and it is not a message that I want to communicate to my kids.
What I DO want them to grow in is the knowledge that the world they live in is a big one, with lots of different people, ideas, ideologies, opinions, beliefs, and even “facts” that are sometimes later disproven. All of these things together equals the beauty and tragedy that is this life we walk in.
Whether we agree with it or not.