How to Tell the In-Laws

If you are like most home educators, you and your spouse have in-laws and most of the time it is fun to be around them.

Because of their age, experience, and wisdom, they know you could still learn something from them, if necessary, but good in-laws bite their tongues a lot. Mine do, and so do my husband’s.

Why? They realize that too much good advice will ruin something more important: their relationship with you. They prefer to allow you to make your mistakes and learn on your own. They have decided long ago to remain silent about your decisions if it does not seem too important.

Usually.

When you decide to home school, you put your in-laws in a tough place. They can no longer hold their peace if they truly balk at what you are doing.

Many people lack the vision for home schooling. Your in-laws may be among those many. Sometimes they fear their grandchildren will lose something they fought hard to obtain for you: free formal education. They cannot grasp the high level of corruption and inefficiency that you can plainly see has crept into the worldly system, tying the hands of even the most dedicated teachers.

And some of them are public educators, themselves—yikes!

With a lack of understanding comes the tendency to relate according to feelings.

What do they feel?

First, your in-laws may feel hurt.

Everything they did, likely, was to create a perfect environment for you.

Some of them had parents or grandparents who spoke broken English because they came here from elsewhere, to have better things for you.

It has always been a matter of family pride. Just as you now are pouring everything into your children’s well-being, so they, once, poured everything into your well being. They worked hard “to put shoes on your feet” so that you could have an education.

Perhaps they both worked outside the home to give you opportunities that you would not have had. They do not realize that perhaps this physical absence in your life made you unable to share with them when hard things were happening to you “out there”.

Perhaps they remember only the fun experiences in the worldly schools of their day. Perhaps they even are worldly, themselves, and cannot see what is the matter. To them, it appears that you are throwing away all they did for you and, in effect, saying it was not good, or not good enough.

Your in-laws also may feel fear.

Not too long ago, anyone with a high school diploma was a real success. Back then, anyone who accomplished a college degree was almost venerated.

Teachers, extremely educated educators, could not possibly be wrong, right? They almost unanimously say that their ways are the right ways, right? How could anyone in his right mind just throw away all that expertise? How could anyone stand in the face of such authority?

If your in-laws have noticed the reports of high school, and even college graduates, who barely can read and cipher, they feel that those must be exceptions that happen in “some other state”.

If they have read your child’s copy work with glaring grammatical errors copied from the worldly school chalkboard, they fear the child must have miscopied it.

They fear that no one could do a good job without an entire school district backing him.

They fear it is dangerous to entrust the education of children to people who, themselves, do not have education degrees.

Your in-laws may also feel embarrassed.

To the courageous, it can seem like a shameful thing to quit.

They would not lightly lay down the fight for an education. Even children who have difficult handicaps go to school, right?

We all should fight to make our entire nation well-educated, right?

They wonder what’s wrong, that their grandchildren cannot “get along” at school.

They wonder if your children have “mental problems” that you are trying to hide.

They wonder if it is a cult. The whole thing just seems too “otherworldly” to them.

How dumb can it be to pay taxes for education and then buy all those books!

______________________________

Yes, dear home educator, if your in-laws are very slow to accept your decisions, you may have a tough convincing task to attempt. You can ruin a relationship with extremely important people if you ignore the feelings of family members.

Solutions tomorrow!

The Traumatic “What-If”

Worry

Worry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The traumatic what-ifs happen. They happen to very nice people. They can ruin sleep and even ruin life for people who basically did nothing wrong.

Sometimes we think what if about the future.

What if a tornado were to strike? What if a burglar came to the door? What if I miscarry? What if the thought police read my post? And on and on and on.

We call those what-ifs “worry”. We can make great use of them if we take notes, plan for the future, and then forget it. We stock the basement with candles, drinking water, maybe helmets, and then we relax. We lock the door or place a chair under the knob and then go on to sleep. We take our maternity vitamins and trust our medical pro. Etc. We do, in other words, whatever we can to avert disaster, normally, and then we go on to the next topic.

We call that wisdom.

We are bringing the scary future worries into the present, actual, factual preparations. Dealing with them in the present is what we should do. When we acknowledge actual, possible disaster, it does not seem so scary. When we use known fact to make ourselves safer, we actually benefit. We plan to succeed, maybe update now and then, and let the plan be enough.

Or we fixate on it and go through life abnormally worried about everything. What if the tornado sucks me out of the basement, what if the burglar comes down the chimney . . .  We can drive ourselves crazy. We can have nightmares (if we’re not losing sleep.)

We suffer trauma when nothing has actually happened!

PTSD changes from POST– to  PRE-traumatic stress disorder.

What a shame. How avoidable.

We call that waste.

However, sometimes we look back.

We look back on our past traumatic experiences and think too much.

We actually worry about things in the past.

Things that only might have happened.

But did not happen.

They are “what-ifs” from the past. There is no way we could ever go back to the past and be in danger from these what-ifs, but we go back there, mentally, and worry about what-if they had happened.

Now, I will grant that once we have experienced actual trauma, our brains are shuffled a bit. That is true. We do not walk through true danger without knowing it, without adrenalin, without fight-or-flight, without some sort of harm or terror.

But we sometimes do not stop there. Sometimes we worry most irrationally: We worry about the future, but we go back to the past to do it.

Sorry, but what we call that is just a bit wacko.

How do I know? I know, because I’ve done it, and I’ve seen others do it.

When my son fell out of the rolling car, I was sleepless many nights. He was fine. He was not crushed. The car did not roll into the street causing an accident. Someone was there to help. We all lived happily ever after.

But I worried.

For days.

What if my baby had been crushed. I’d have probably had to go to court. I could have had my children taken from me. I could be in prison. My poor baby would probably have died. Or worse. My poor teenager would have felt guilty. What if the car had continued rolling into the street, and had struck another car. Or another child. Two children could be dead right now. What if my teenager had to go to court. He was old enough to drive. He could have lost his privileges to drive. What if he had become suicidal….

This is only a  fraction of what I suffered, and if you’ve ever gone down this path, you know it’s really a maze that keeps taking you back to the beginning. You never get out. The end of all this is either such weariness that insomnia is impossible, or else the end is insanity.

Oh. An added bonus is that some get to enjoy substance abuse. Why we don’t worry about that is a puzzle to me.

Okay. I did stop worrying about the past-future-what-ifs and I’d like to share with you how to do it, in case you find yourself needing to know.

More tomorrow.

An Amazing Toast to Amazing People

“This post is my raised glass to the third shift faithful, the round-the-clock warriors, the on-call, ever-ready, what’s-a-day-off few who stand in the gap while others sleep and sip eggnog around the fire.

“Here’s to the men and women around the world doing mighty, heroic, compassionate, sacrificial things that no one sees or knows.

“Spouses holding and calming disoriented husbands or wives who awake with panic because of Alzheimer’s or who wrestle with pain from chronic illnesses.

“Moms and dads praying late into the night over sleeping children, straying children, or sick children – battling for them on a celestial plane, bathed in the glow of night lights, listening to hospital monitors, or watching for headlights in the driveway.

“Caregivers and first responders in a myriad of circumstances . . .”

. . . and on it goes, line after line of beautifully poetic prose. I’m not much into all the red and green hoho of Christmas, but I have to admit, sometimes the season just brings out the best in us.

This post I found is certainly an example of that.

And always timely, no matter the season.

You have to go there and read the rest of this. You will not be sorry!

Thanks, Lori, for letting me showcase this beautiful post.

More Shots

Two people, including a security guard, were reportedly shot this morning at the headquarters of the pro-life group Family Research Council.

According to information provided to LifeNews from a Washington pro-life source, a man posing as an intern shot the guard at the FRC office located at 801 G Street, NW. FRC staffer Anna Maria Hoffman added more information on Twitter, “Our security guard Leo [Johnson] got shot in the arm. Please keep him in your prayers.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins confirmed the security officer was shot and said in a statement, “The police are investigating this incident. Our first concern is with our colleague who was shot today. Our concern is for him and his family.”

You can read lots more about this here.

For a friend . . .

This one’s free:

I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow,
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When sorrow walked with me.

-Robert Browning Hamilton