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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

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There's also the growing opinion that staying home with your child is itself a needless sacrifice. That foregoing or pausing your career for the sake of your children is...barbaric? Or, at least, something to be avoided.

Screw my career. If I could be home with my son, I would.

I totally agree with you Jared. Careers come and go, but kids are a one-shot proposition.

Congratulations this post has been nominated for a Hot Stuff Award at GNMParents.com.

Voting closes on Thursday. Good Luck

Thanks!

I don't know that teachers "don't care in any way" how parents want their child taught. I've met many good ones who cared passionately, but the ridiculous requirements of No Child Left Behind often ties their hands. They hate to teach to the test but that's what they're forced to do.

You're writing about a critical topic: even those of us who do our best to be around for our kids have difficulty being in two places at once. It's a frustraing concondrum, that of provider/caregiver. We just have to hope that those lessons we can impart to our children during the time we DO spend with them will carry them through the times we just can't.

"Modern" society is trying to make adults out of kids, both sexually and in attitude/worldliness. Newsweek's recent http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16961761/site/newsweek/ is a pretty clear summary of the problem.

Totally agree. We homeschool and my husband works from home. So we spend much more time together than the average family. It's a different lifestyle, and an incredible blessing. I will be forever grateful to my husband's boss for allowing him to work from home during these years when the kids were young.

The No Child act (pun unintended...really, I promise) is certainly a trainwreck, but it seems to me there have been major problems with education for awhile now. It was intended to solve some of those problems, but the good ol law of unintended consequences rules all. I don't know that even if the law was repealed tomorrow, we'd be able to fix our schools without a massive reinvention of the whole system.

Anne: Yeah, I was a bit concerned about my wording on that point.

TheBusyDad: That's the best most of us can do for now. But as a society, we should be pushing for changes that will help the next round of parents.

KC: Thanks for the link. I read part of it; I wish I had more time to post on it but alas, I have to work and parent. ;--) But I agree that the "role models" need to be replaced in the media by people with substance. How about covering a math professor on the road to uncovering a complex new equation?

Julie: Sounds awesome. Can we join you?

Mark: Agreed. NCLB was a patch onto a systemically flawed system. The only way to fix it is with a innovative, comprehensive, well-thought out, well-funded plan. Education needs the concentrated approach of a Manhattan Project.

Yes. There are a TON of things that separate us from our children. Even though it was difficult, the Hubs and I made a conscious decision that when we had kids that I'd stay at home with them for the first several years. My daughter was 5 and my son 3 when I went back to work. And I was fortunate that I was able to find a job where I am able to work from home. Zero commute. The Hubs is working on starting up a side-job that might grow into full-time that will allow HIM to work from home as well. So we're working so that we're able to spend time WITH our kids. But I'm glad that after dinner each night we all end up piled on the couch cuddling. Time to connect after a hectic day for us all.

I think it's great that some families have found such great solutions. I'm still struggling to get there.

You bring up some great points here about children in an intact marriage. I lived for many years in this exact experience. Noone prepared me for what I would experience in divorce, where one parent almost always loses the ability to have a meaningful parent-child relationship.

It's difficult for a parent to understand the pain that through divorce, you will be punished and unable to read that book each night, or tuck them in, or enjoy breakfast with them in the morning.

What is truly misunderstood is the pain that the children endure, and the changes in their life as they now grow up in either 1 or 2 single parent families.

I encourage all parents to support new Presumptive Shared Parenting Laws, that will ensure if there is a divorce in your family, the rights of the children will be protected - allowng for equal access to the parents and normal, healthy parent-child bonds.

Joel Johnston
www.WashingtonSharedParenting.com

I agree that Shared Parenting is essential.

I totally agree with the general premise (although the historian in me would poke at the idea of closer adult-child bonds in early modern 9 and 10-child families: not necessarily to discard the thesis, but to complicate the picture) but have to disagree with the statement "complete strangers known as teachers, who do not care in any way how a parent wants their kids educated."

None of the teachers our kids have had could be called a stranger for more than a few days, and all of them have been deeply concerned about how we as parents want our kids educated. They have been our partners in the truest sense of the word -- and considering some of the other families they're dealing with, families where the parents' choices involve midnight bedtimes and non-stop junkfood, such that the children arrive at school only borderline capable of being there, I look on our children's teachers not only as partners but as potential saints.

I should qualify my statements on this. I know that there are a lot of wonderful teachers out there. Seth has some great ones, too.

I've also run into teachers, and more so my friends, who mean well but use methods that harm parental efforts. These are the teachers that use food or candy as a teaching tool; push social agendas instead of learning and so forth.

But I wasn't really talking about that. I was more talking about my kids spending more time at school than with me because I have to work.

In that sense, teachers are random elements in a child's life rather than carefully chosen by parents. Sure, those who are in the middle to upper classes have more freedom to choose their teachers by picking a great district or sending kids to private school, but in the end, I was just pointing out -- or bemoaning -- how much children learn their values from those other than the parents.

I recently came across your blog and have been reading about Child Custody. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

I have just left a good job so I, too, can stay home with my children. I could no longer live the lifestyle of working full time and trying to be a good parent in the evenings and weekends when I was worn out and need to do housework. Yes, financially it will be a big transition, but I believe if you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it work. I have always considered myself a forward thinking female, but I'm really struggling with the notion that WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL!

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