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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Children Out of the Broom Closet

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Should children be out of the Broom Closet and open with their beliefs? This is a very good question with no clear and definite answer. This is because the answer depends on the area you live in and the people in it along with many other things.

Because of this I am not going to try and argue either side. Instead I wanted to address a comment left a while back on this blog. This young lady talked about her pre-teen daughter and her trials with being open with her beliefs.

Now this is something that I don't have a lot of experience with. My youngest is home-schooled and my oldest is Christian. So I hesitated on writing this article. Yet the more I thought about this topic, the more I realized that all children face this problem in some degree  about some topic or some choice that they have made. Whether they wear glasses or even like ranch dressing with their french fries at lunch. Or to larger things like being Wiccan/Pagan or even openly homosexual. This kind of problem is universal and encompassing. So I decided to approach it from this side of things. Figuring that universal answers may help to solve this problem.

Not to breach her privacy, but my oldest (she is ten) has faced some of these issues. Much like I was at her age, she is far from the most popular kid in her class. And on a recent camping trip her unpopularity came up. Speaking from experience I told her that to be patient and that these things will change once she gets into middle school and out of Elementary school. Since her antagonists will be underclassmen and will be facing their own problems.

I think that this is the key. We, as parents, cannot change the world or the prejudiced people in it, but we can help to strengthen our children. To teach them that the opinions of others matter very little in the grand scheme of things. And we can be there to console them when they cry and/or scream in hurt.

Yet if your kids feel that they cant come forward and talk to you then none of this advice will be of any help. This is why in my house I have created an open door policy. Now the open door policy works two ways. They trust us with their secrets and we make the oath not to yell at them. A good example of this is the scene from the movie, 'Bringing Down the House' with Queen Latifah and Steve Martin. Martin goes and picks up his drunk daughter from a party and brings her home. The house guest, Latifah, counsels him to do just this and not yell at her. Instead he should be there and be understanding. A few minutes later Martin leaves his daughter's room in shock because of all the secrets that he has just been made privy to. So avoid this shock and start it now while they are young.

I believe in this policy because I believe that we are not raising children, instead we are creating adults. They need the freedom to make choices and fail and subsequently learn from those mistakes. All we can do is to help them to see those mistakes and to help them find a way to fix them.

If any of your children have had this issue I would love to see your comments on how you have dealt with this.

Blessed Be!

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