What Should Our Kids Learn

Animal Science lesson, how to hold and pet a chicken.

Of course they need to learn to read, be able to do math and have a basic understanding of history and how things work (aka science). The latter two really do occur naturally through a child’s natural curiosity. Reading and math give them skills to follow their passions no matter where they lead.

But they should learn so much more than that. This post stems from a few things that have happened over the last week to ten days. And really is just a ramble to clear them from my mind.

First, someone explain to me when churches started having marketing and advertising departments. Then explain to me how mailing post cards to the general public with a the photo of a dead rabbit (some seem to think it was a hare) will encourage people to show up for sunrise services at a church? Bad enough the photo had been going around the internet for a while but for the marketing people of a local church to purchase a copy of the photo and then put it on a postcard is obscene. Kids do check the mail and I am sure plenty of them were horrified by the photo.

I was offended when our local news station, WPDE, ran a story about it and the photo went out over Facebook yet again. It became personal when my daughter by proxy, Squirrel, went out to the get mail at her house. This is a child who I envision as a wildlife conservationist or some other green activist when she gets older. The photo alone was enough to scare her from the though of going to church. Because to a 10 yr old, not understanding marketing, the church killed the Easter bunny in the name of Jesus Christ. So yeah that was done in good taste not!

Ashley Judd, one of my favorite actresses, spoke out against our culture of objectifying women. It stemmed from recently unfounded comments made by the media about her puffy face. But she used it as an example of how we as a society in the United States primarily have an unrealistic view of how women should look. There is some about men as well but not quite to the extent as women. Why should we consider a size 0 the norm?

Borrowed from Twiggy’s Website

What we need to show and teach our kids that to be healthy and happy with their bodies is most important. It isn’t about the outward appearance as much as about what is inside. Our sons need to know that women come in all different shapes and sizes and they should appreciate them for who they are. Our daughters need to know that popular culture is not correct in their desire for Twiggy style models. Even Twiggy has filled out a bit these days. We need to give our daughters the confidence to be happy in their own bodies. We need to take our focus off of dieting and place it more on healthy eating and physical activity.

Another thing our kids should learn is to be respectful. This is something that we can really own teach by setting the example. They need to respect themselves. They need to the adults in their lives respect each other. Adults also need to respect children.

To hear a teen a girl say that it’s OK if he has made me mad and cry. That is OK if he is mean to me sometimes. That it is OK if we tell each other little lies, is disheartening at best. The scary part is, this has become an acceptable behavior pattern in our culture. So called reality shows such as Jersey Shore, 16 and Pregnant and others make it seem glamorous. Am I blaming the shows, not really, because we can control what comes into our own homes. The kids are going to find a way to watch them no matter what. We cannot be with them 24/7 to control every aspect of their lives.

What we can do as parents is sit them down and talk to them and let them know that what a lot of those shows depict isn’t reality. It isn’t the way people should live their lives. We need to teach our kids, boys and girls, that they should respect themselves so much more than what mainstream media is telling them to. If they have that respect for themselves then and only then, will they know that treating someone like crap isn’t right. Girls need to know that they have control over their lives and that their boyfriends aren’t the ones calling the shots. Boys need to know that to have that dream relationship they need to listen, communicate and that it isn’t OK to be the one in control. Relationships are made up of compromises and 50/50 split between both partners.

Instill in our children the desire to be informed. Instill our children the desire to make the world a better place by following their own passion and desires. The rest will fall into place. I really don’t want my children to take 30+ years to figure this out. I hope that I can demonstrate to them that mutual respect, respect for themselves and a desire to learn something everyday is where they will find their place in the world and most importantly they will find their happiness.

2 thoughts on “What Should Our Kids Learn

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