I hear this word often, particularly as a homeschooler. What about socialization? I think to myself, “Thank goodness my kids are not socialized to the current society!” What do I see when I look at our local high schools?
I see competition over cooperation. And I want my kids to be cooperative. I also want my kids to be so strong in their self-concepts, that the only competition they will ever need is to stretch their personal limits to the best of their ability and help everyone else along the way.
I see psychological pressure to conform. I want my children to be able to stand calm in the rising tide of social confusion and reactive behaviors. I want them to be able to evaluate their path along the way and not automatically ‘be like everyone else.’ I do not intend to raise lemmings. I want my children to be able to connect with everyone. Raised in a multi-aged environment, my kids learned to deal with kids of many ages and a variety of adults under different circumstances daily. I look at them now and am delighted they can reach out and connect to anyone regardless of age or social standing.
I see a lot of angry kids in high school. Do we call that social? I see an angry culture that listens to anxiety- producing music and violent lyrics. I don’t wonder why. Kids who have no internal direction, who have never had an opportunity to find their passions and talents, who are told all day, everyday, what to do….have a tendency to be angry and defiant. I am grateful my children have been directing their own daily activities since they were little. I am happy to see they are never at a loss as to what to do. They are active, productive and creative thanks to years of self-directed activity and the ability to create in the real world. They are not angry.
So, what about socialization? I think to myself, we dodged that bullet. If conforming, angry, non-cooperative kids are part of the social norm…we’ll pass. Thank you.