Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Conformity by dictionary standards means to act in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices, etc.

Many things have come up the last several months that make me question our(my) standard approach with our kids, and how my innate reaction with them is altered because of social "norm".

In pretty much every situation I am in with lots of small children around-playgroup, playground, the mall, birthday parties, daycare, etc. children are behaving very similarly. Some of those qualities or behaviors include- talking very loudly, talking non-stop, touching everything, laughing, jumping and running around, climbing things, being silly, interrupting people, the list goes on and on. 99.9% of kids do these things...and 99.9% of parents correct them. Pigeon-hole them into what is acceptable in public. But I wonder, how much of that is stifling their behavior, robbing them of some of their innocence and taking some of the joy away?

These thoughts are me questioning myself, asking myself how are these things effecting my kids? I want them to be able to express themselves and still act respectfully and appropriate. But where do you draw the line? It seems like looking back from this point in my life, there is an apparent "flow" to our lives. The ups and downs between learning and finding ourselves, and those things should never stop. As children we are learning constantly, being exposed to things, then "told" how to behave, what is right and wrong. From that we try to understand ourselves and who we are, only to be a part of a society where standards are already established, and if you are not part of certain ones, it's not acceptable. Then we reach a point where we are strong enough to express ourselves at a new level, only to be judged again-beliefs and expectations set at a new and higher standard. This is when we start to try and find those childlike qualities again. Where did they go? When did they stop? We try so hard to get back the things that were there to begin with, they were there all along... and repressed.

If we are lucky, we can recreate some of the things that make us who we are. The childlike beings we were born as. The behaviors that were once there...talking to everyone, touching everything, laughing, jumping and running around, being silly....

Those are the joys I see in my boys, and am lucky enough to experience some of those things through them, and quite possibly regain a few of my own.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

I completely understand how you feel. I want Garrick to be a kid without being a pest, especially in public. He's so good natured that taking him out isn't a problem so far. But he is also very stubborn and with a strong will. Finding that balancing act will be a challenge.