Apr 17, 2013

Lemmings Law Revisited


During a recent email conversation I was reminded of this post that I originally wrote 3/20/11 in response to some difficult interactions with public school parents. I have added an addendum to the end of it to make it clear as to why it is such a relevant post for my feelings this week. 

I am finding it harder and harder to appease people. While I think that people should respect each other's choices, I know that is never going to happen 100% of the time. People assume that you are attacking their decisions - or really their conformity - if you make a choice other than the one that is in line with theirs. If you are making a choice that is better for YOUR family, why wouldn't you automatically assume that the decision would be better for EVERY family? It is the lemmings law - follow, follow, follow, don't get out of line - if someone else gets out of line ATTACK!!!



Those of us who tend to make choices that are off the trodden path are often far more understanding, open minded and accepting of choices. We see the great joy that options can bring. We realize the importance of individual preferences. We accept that customization is KEY! We need to stop coddling these parents. I don't think the public schools are okay for anyone, they aren't! They can't be FIXED! Charter schools and privates are just as bad in most cases. We ALL need to learn to respectfully stand our ground and disregard the falsified counterattacks that are based on the insecurities of those shouting the loudest!

As I have seen these debates getting more and more ferocious with the ease of social networking sites in cyberspace, the anonymity of yahoo groups and the ability to hit send before you reread things or without thinking about the consequences. This is just another reason I DON'T have a facebook account!
 I reread this several times and STAND behind every word!

Addendum --- I reread this again over two years later and I STILL stand 100% behind every word.
My energy this time though is directed to many of those within the home ed community. Those who feel like there way is the only way. Those who think they should be followed and asked for advice about children they have never met. And ESPECIALLY to those that blindly follow someone else's dogma, quickly jumping to plug in to another set of regulations. There is no one RIGHT answer to any parenting question. There is no one size fits all routine, scenario, or prescription that can simply solve an issue that arises in a family. Go with your gut. Do what you feel is right.
I am not saying that you shouldn't ask for people's opinions or consult those around you who may have had situations akin to yours, but advice should be taken with a grain of salt, realizing that the child in the other situation is not your child. No matter HOW similar they may seem - they are not one in the same. When someone gives you advice that doesn't feel right listen, reject it and move on to the next. I don't think that these omnipresent guides are intending to be hurtful or condescending, but they are and until people realize that jumping from one box to another is not going to solve the problem they will continue to do so.
No boxes, no crazy criteria, no coercion. Just follow the path that works for your family. 

And for the record - I STILL don't have a facebook! 
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