One of my goals in life is to be a lifelong learner. I graduated high school and college, I taught middle and high school for 7 years, I earned a Master's Degree, and I now continue to teach online for the University of Phoenix. I also, challenge myself to learn about new or unfamiliar things running the gamut from child rearing, to financial investments, to marriage, to art, to politics, to cooking, etc. by reading books and other publications, trying new things, and talking with others who are knowledgeable on certain topics. I adopted this mindset for myself many years ago and hope to pass it on to my children through my interactions with them and their observations of me.
I have four beautiful children with very impressionable, brilliant minds and have the amazing opportunity every day to influence their attitude toward and perspective on life. My two older children have recently gone "back to school," Sophia to Kindergarten and Asher to preschool. They love school and I love that they love school. I also try to be a positive reinforcement for their enthusiasm. I excitedly ask about and listen to their school day agenda. I help them with their "homework." I take the time to read with them each day. I try to create a literacy-rich learning environment for them here at home by providing learning games and activities. We have family time where we go on walks and learn about nature or go to Puget Sound and explore ocean life. We go to the zoo, the aquarium, the library, the Children's Museum, etc. I have a lot to learn and I don't do everything right, but I am ever-cognizant of my role in their learning and their attitude toward learning. I want to strive to be a positive influence and an upbeat reinforcement to their educational endeavors.
This struck me today when I picked Soph up from school. I was waiting with a mother wearing a lovely combination of sweatpants, a t-shirt that was about 3 sizes too big, flip-flops with socks, and her hair pulled back in a snarly ponytail. She looked as though she had just rolled out of bed at 10:45 to retrieve her Kindergartner at 10:50. Not that I necessarily care what she was wearing or what she looked like, but her demeanor and attitude was as horrible as her appearance. In the 3-5 minutes we waited for the kids, she muddled complaints about where we had to pick up the children, how she wasn't sure she liked the teacher, and how unrealistic it was to have a Kindergartner read 100 minutes a week. As the door opened and the children were released from the teacher's care to ours, her daughter sauntered over and complained that her day was boring and that they didn't do anything fun. Sophia bounded over to me with an enthusiastic "Hey Mom!" and proceeded to regale me with a description of the worksheet they had to complete whereon they "collected their 'h's." As we got in the truck to go get Asher, she showed me the signs for the words they learned in sign language, told me that her job today was the light switcher, and sang me a new song they learned. I can't help but think that perhaps the little girl in her class would have a more positive attitude toward her school day if her mom could shift hers a bit!
C'mon parents! We have an awesome responsibility in this world when it comes to raising our children! If you don't want it; don't have them. You need a license to fish, hunt, drive, etc, but, I swear, any asshole can have a kid. Don't be one of them!