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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Folly of Unguided Youth Interaction

This post is brought on by my looking through Facebook. I confess that I do have a Facebook profile. I was one of the earlier adopters, creating a profile in November 2004. It's pretty boring because I don't do much with mine. Anyways, seeing some of my old schoolmates brings back memories of how much folly was sought in my youth.

Inevitably, there will be other boys at school who come from worse families with lower standards for their lives. Boys need to be guided by their parents, especially their fathers, who will ideally provide a good role model. And by the plural "fathers," I mean respective fathers, and most certainly not "his two fathers."

Interaction between young people of different genders is an awkward obstacle, wouldn't you know. I never thought I'd be so prudish as I am now, but it is something best done under parental supervision. Not that the parents have to millimeters away and scrutinizing everything direction the eyes and point or every word that is said, but familial interaction is best. Girls and boys are already different enough as it is; going through adolescence doesn't make inter-gender interaction any more simple or less awkward.

I didn't talk to girls much in elementary school, and it really didn't change much in middle school either. Mostly the ones I sought to talk to were ones that were eye candy to my foolish adolescent eyes. Of course, a couple of factors hindered this: 1) All the pretty girls seemed to flock to the jock-types (must be a pheromone thing), and 2) I was not very bold and quite insecure. In terms of interpersonal growth, you could very well just cut out my middle school years. Actually, that would probably be helpful. There was no one there to tell me that I was wrong in my desire to somehow kiss a pretty girl. There was no one to tell me that my preference to interact with only the pretty girls was a wrong wrong thing. No one told me that we, as Christians, strive for Christ and not for desires of the flesh. Only when I hit high school and developed some self-confidence did I actually make some friends. And that only came in 11th grade, because I had just switched schools in 10th grade.

So as you might be able to tell, merely sending a child to private Christian school doesn't fix many problems. We students were not constantly being monitored for Christian attitudes and behaviors. The students didn't ever say "we shouldn't be looking at girls like we do, because it's not Christ-like." Really, it was more like regular school, except for maybe more disciplinary action and perhaps the vices were more tame than those found in a public school. Other than that, we attended chapel every morning, and we had religion class once a week (where I do not recall anything I "learned"). I can tell you that those had little effect on how the students conducted their lives. Perhaps the reason that the Christian school was more tame is not because it molded character, but probably more that the kids likely to be sent to Christian schools were on the tame side.

In 8th grade, I remember going to a party at a girl's house. I forgot what the occasion was, but pretty much everybody in the grade was invited. I don't remember much of what went on, but it probably wasn't more than flirting, for those "lucky" enough to be in the flirting circle. The rest of us losers were probably off in the corner talking about mundane things like Did-you-do-Mr.-Lovelace's-sentence-diagramming-homework-yet? At one point, it was suggested that we play musical chairs. Except it was more like musical boys, because we of the Y-chromosome were supposed to be the chairs, and the girls would be the ones trying to sit on our laps. Somehow we were diverted from this foolish activity. I do remember enjoying that party though, not in the least because I was the first boy to arrive.

This is the socializing that is so important to people? I'm of the opinion that people who bring up the socialization question either haven't grown up yet, haven't thought out their own question, or haven't got half a brain to realize that the most socializing in school is of the bad variety. Kids aren't dogs, people. Normal kids aren't going to bite people or defecate in public if they aren't "properly" socialized.

So what then, if Christian schools aren't the answer? Homeschool. Cut out the secular social scene until their character is well-developed and not likely to succumb to the follies of youth. We, of course, do not have our own children to homeschool yet. When times comes, however, you can bet that we will, for their sake. We'll teach them ourselves how they should conduct themselves, inter- and extra-gender. Hopefully they will be grateful that they had the opportunity to skip out on all the folly of youth.

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4 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • CappuccinoLife

    You are absolutely right. Of course, ours are only "infants" yet, so people say we don't know what we're talking about. But looking back on my "socialization" days, I don't see a whole lot of value in them.

    Also, check out my link here because y'all got tagged for the "thinking blogger" award. :)
    http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/cappuccinosmom/309392/

  • Javamom

    Well-said, JunkMale.

    Nice post. I found you through Birdie's web blog.

    We do have homeschooled high schoolers...Dh and I have homeschooled our four dc from the beginning of their educations, and will graduate our first son in May.

    We've been able to side-step a lot of the folly of youth, though I must credit them for their part. I think guiding them in the way of being sensitive to the Holy Spirit's moving, correction, and direction in their own lives has helped them quite a bit, in spite of our own failures and shortcomings.

    But not having the overload of distractions inherent in being immersed into the ps culture, has given them a more solid direction to head.

    This journey is very much worth it. Our kids have been involved in youth group leadership, so we have had some issues to deal with.
    As these issues arise, we know that God wants to do a work of spiritual growth in ALL of us.

    On another note, my son recommends another book for you to consider re: Free Market Economics…It is called, _The Incredible Bread Maching_: A Study of Capitalism, Freedom, and The State. I hear they made a movie about it, as well, but it is near impossible to find (supposedly banned??). I see a 16 mm copy on ebay right now.
    Anyhow, Ds’ Worldviews teacher finally found a copy and showed it to the WV class a couple of weeks ago. It has given our son a solid direction to pursue after graduation. I just began reading this last night, and I am extremely interested. It is the total opposite viewpoint of what we read in typical textbooks or history sites these days. There are multiple and inexpensive copies of the book at Addall.com. Click on used and OOP books and type in the title.

    p.s. I am a cofc PK

    Cheers!

    Javamom

  • Birdie

    Funny, but the same people who were terrified that homeschooling would ruin my children when we started out on this journey all those years ago are now telling me how much smarter, nicer, better-behaved and more polite my children are than their public school counterparts. My parents have been particularly amazed at the fact that my children tend to be able to talk intelligently to just about everyone they encounter and don't have any problem fitting in with their public school friends and neighbors.

  • JunkMale

    CapMom - We are most honored to have been tagged by you. In coming up with our list, we might be hard pressed to tag anyone who hasn't already been tagged 50 times.

    Javamom - thank goodness for the Holy Spirit to fill in the big gaps that we leave.

    Birdie - this is one of the big things I look forward to with homeschooling; the whole well-adjusted kids aspect. Sometimes I find I might actually have to interact with a public school lifer and sometimes I am met with slackjawed stares that make me think I must've accidentally kicked dirt on their mother's grave whilst interacting.