Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Stranger -- with good news

It has happened a handful of times over the years; someone will stop at my house, park their car, come to my front door and berate my parenting.  I'm usually so shocked that I don't reply as snarkily as I would like.  But I hold my own and tell them that they are wrong and thank you for their opinion.

So when a stranger deliberately stopped his car in front of my home on Tuesday I steeled myself against the news he would bring.  My 2 young boys (8 and 6) were riding bikes in the street with a neighbor boy and supervision.  I had 16 other children in my home working on robotics - which bring 14 parents (and their cars) to my house is a short period of time).  On Monday I had a different set of 10 kids at my house for a scout meeting.  I'm just a little concerned I will be getting a land use complaint sooner or later.   

The man said, "I have been meaning to stop and tell you something".  This could easily go two-ways; you're a good parent or you're a bad parent.  He spent a lot of time leading up to his comment; "parenting these days", "I've seen your boys bickering in the street", "learning to work together".  I was still apprehensive. 

But then he said that he was pleased to see I was allowing them to learn and work things out for themselves.  They would make mistakes and they would learn.  They would be better for it.  He told me that he knows how hard it is to parent in today's world and he thinks I am doing a great job and I am making a difference.

I didn't choose the way I parent to please other people.  I feel that raising children (mine and about 3 dozen others) in a way that they can be self-reliant and good members of society is a benefit to the children but also to all of society.  I came to scouting by accident, but we have started to live by the morals of scouting - because raising good kids benefits us all.  

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