Saturday, May 18, 2013
dealing with judgment
Someone who reads this blog asked me..
"If I say that I homeschooled my daughter, then I feel that they immediately judge her, not me. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel that it's her right to present herself to people however she likes. For that reason, I don't usually bring up homeschooling with strangers. What do you think about this?"
It's really sweet and conscientious of you to try to let your daughter have some measure of control over who judges her. Growing up with my mom being the very vocal advocate for homeschooling that she was - in some cases, I did not have that option. Over the course of my life, I've gone back and forth about when I tell people what -- sometimes it's frustrating to have that hurdle to overcome everrry sinngggle tiiime I want to talk to someone...
There were also times of my life where I felt like representing homeschooling and talking about homeschooling was kind of my - greater purpose. So I did it, a lot. I wore the homeschooler badge in flashing neon on my head. I think what I've come down to now, though - is usually waiting a while. I don't shake someone's hand and say, "hello, I'm Roya the homeschooler ask me how" anymore. It's out there - in my bio's and blogs, and things. People can find it out pretty easily.
But I do not like feeling like I am held hostage by someone else wanting to talk about homeschooling if I don't feel like it. So I've gotten better at disengaging. I've gotten better at deciding if I have the energy right now. I've gotten better at saying "I'd love to talk to you more about it, but maybe we can arrange to do that later?" [edit: I would add that if you are worried about your children being in this position, talk to them about it before it happens. Chances are, I bet it's a much bigger deal to you than it is to them. If they are concerned, practice some of the phrases they can use to disengage. Prepare for situations where you think it's likely to happen. Be their advocate - step in and tell the other person that they don't want to have to talk about that here and now, if it does happen.]
I know my mom would never walk up to - say, our swim team and say "oh guess what girls, your friend Roya is a homeschooler" -- but neither did we try very hard not to talk about it. So, with some mishaps (although not that many, considering, and nothing irreparable) I figured it out.