Most people think you’ve got 18 years before your kids are out on their own — but it’s really much, much earlier than that.
It’s more like within the first 3 years.
I know, because school changed my little girl.
As soon as Avery started Pre-School, she became a distinctly, different person and has never turned back since.
After time spent with other kids — being influenced by the things she saw, heard, experienced, she just became… different. In both good and bad ways.
For instance, I don’t really dig her hearing words like, “Fart”, observing bratty behavior from other kids or pretending to walk down an imaginary catwalk like a supermodel (where the heck did that come from?)
On the other hand, I’m amazed that she can fully read and do a decent amount of math (something I didn’t know how to do at her age… and still not very well at my current age for that matter).
And I know she wouldn’t be as friendly as she is, if she stayed at home with her introverted Dad all the time.
She used to cry when she first started school but now she barely turns her head after being dropped off for a play date.
And now with Kori starting Pre-School, I know it’s only a matter of time before she starts developing her own personality gained from experiences and time away from her ‘rents.
I guess that’s really the most troubling realization — that at a certain point in life, your kid is spending more hours of the day with teachers & friends than with you and therefore have pretty big influences on coaxing their personalities to emerge.
It’s not like they’re responsible for literally changing them into a different person, but YOU just have much less involvement in the whole process than you were previously used to.
There’s a solution, I suppose — and that’s home schooling. Where they will most likely ‘stay the same’ longer having not socialized with other kids — but that’s a little too much time with the kids and there’s a reason teachers can always pinpoint the home schooled kids.
So… to keep them the same OR allow them to grow and learn under societal norms and have the best chances at being a well-integrated, functioning individual within society?
Yeah. A no brainer, I suppose.
Still, Avery has grown into a sweet, considerate and caring person despite occasional, undesirable, outside influences; as I hope her sister will.
However, there’s a part of me that wishes she still did stuff like this: