Today, the predominant reason is friendship and/or socialization.
I have friends that I have known since high school, and even before. These are people that I have shared good and bad times with, that I have watched grow (as they have watched me) from immature teens who shot off their mouths to mothers and fathers who are trying their best to get their kids beyond those same years we passed through.
But here’s what I notice: not all of them seem to be successful at it. And the ones who aren’t succeeding are failing miserably. I hate to be judgemental of anyone, but this is a perfect example.
Two women I knew in high school: one has a daughter in middle school, the other a slightly older son. The daughter apparently called the son’s girlfriend a slut. This is…not appropriate, but hey, we all said something similar at one point, right?
But this incident exploded last night on Facebook (of course, because if it’s not on Facebook, it didn’t happen right? lol). The girl posted about feeling hurt, and the boy made a snide comment. When the girl’s mother told him he needed to leave her daughter alone, the boy told her (the mother!) to “get off my cock.” He did not tell her this once, but repeatedly. Then he, his girlfriend, and several other teens all made comments that even I, as a grown woman (who has been known to use four letter words myself), would never of saying to anyone else to the girl’s mother.
Kids like that are one of the biggest reasons I don’t want my kids in public school. Because those are the kids my kids would be forced to befriend simply because of proximity. We live near each other, which means they go to school together, which means they have classes together, which results in friendship. I don’t want my son to be friends with a boy who thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to tell a grown woman to “get off his cock.” MY son will never speak to someone that way.
One of the great advantages of homeschooling is that we have a better choice of friends. I know that when my friends choose kids from another homeschooling family as friends, those parents are involved. They are actively taking full responsibility for their child’s education, which means they are also taking responsibility for how they raise their child. No, their children are not perfect, any more than mine are – but at least our kids don’t think it’s fine to disrespect an adult, to speak so rudely to other kids, or to act in such a ridiculous way.
When I was in school, situations like I described above occurred, but with one major difference. We never, ever dreamed of speaking to another kid’s parents like that – we were much too terrified of them, because our parents had taught us that it was inappropriate and we’d get our asses kicked – usually phrased exactly like that, too.
I’m not a perfect parent, and I don’t claim to be. I make mistakes, and so do my children. I’m sure at some point my children will end up involved in some incident somewhat similar to the one I’ve described here today. But my hope is that, because I allow them to choose their friends based on true enjoyment and common interests, rather than proximity, it won’t happen, and that if it does, I’ve taught my children about respect, for themselves and for others, that it will never play out the way this one did. I hope my kids will never be so rude and disrespectful as to speak to an adult the way this boy spoke to one.
It’s not just the situations that take place now that concern me. I think to myself: what will this boy be like in a few years when he’s an adult, looking for a job. When he gets in an argument with a co-worker and his boss tells him to knock it off, is he going to tell his boss to “get off his cock”? I think probably so. Which leads me to think that this boy likely has a future in fast food and/or convenience stores, and not much else.
Many employers check Facebook now. I would be very interested in hearing the explanation this boy would give a future employer about the things he said. But what I love is that my kids will never have to give that explanation.