It’s still Friday here – only 7:00 p.m. – so I’m not too late. We had a good day today – most of our schoolwork was finished, so just some reading, a trip to the library and housework. Then a fun playdate with Michelle and her boys. Tomorrow we’re having a girls’ afternoon out – lattes and browsing at a local store called (what else) Books ‘n’ Coffee, and more window-shopping at the new kitchen store. All while the husbands take the kids swimming. Something about January/mid-winter brings out the emotional roller-coaster – so I’m planning to really enjoy some time for myself.
~I’ve enjoyed Melanie Hauser’s blog The Refrigerator Door ever since I read her book Confessions of Super Mom last year, but the post Memoirs of an Invisible Mom is especially worth reading – she’s hilarious!
~Michelle introduced me to The Rebelution, a blog written by Alex and Brett Harris, two homeschooled Christian teenage boys. Their series The Myth of Adolescence should be read by all parents. Be sure to follow the link at the end of the post to the next part – and then keep doing that. The whole series is extremely well-written and gives much food for thought. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:
“David Farragut, the U.S. Navy’s first admiral, became a midshipman on the warship Essex at the age of 10. At the age of 12, a mere boy by modern standards, Farragut was given command of his first ship, sailing a capture vessel, crew, and prisoners, back to the U.S. after a successful battle. Young David was given responsibility at an early age, and he rose to the occasion.
The father of our country, George Washington, though never thought to be particularly bright by his peers, began to master geometry, trigonometry, and surveying when he would have been a 5th or 6th grader in our day and ceased his formal education at 14 years of age. At the age of 16 he was named official surveyor for Culpepper County, Virginia. For the next three years, Washington earned nearly $100,000 a year (in modern purchasing power). By the age of 21, he had leveraged his knowledge of the surrounding land, along with his income, to acquire 2,300 acres of prime Virginian land.
These examples astound us in our day and age, but this is because we view life through an extra social category called ‘adolescence’, a category that would have been completely foreign to men and women just 100 years ago. Prior to the late 1800s there were only 3 categories of age: childhood, adulthood, and old age. It was only with the coming of the early labor movement with its progressive child labor laws, coupled with new compulsory schooling laws, that a new category, called adolescence, was invented. Coined by G. Stanley Hall, who is often considered the father of American psychology, ‘adolescence’ identified the artificial zone between childhood and adulthood when young people ceased to be children, but were no longer permitted by law to assume the normal responsibilities of adulthood, such as entering into a trade or finding gainful employment. Consequently, marriage and family had to be delayed as well, and so we invented ‘the teenager’, an unfortunate creature who had all the yearnings and capabilities of an adult, but none of the freedoms or responsibilities.”
I was reminded of this series again when my issue of Focus on the Family magazine came and I read this:
“For Mike, a typical Monday evening begins with “Monday Night Football.” After the game, he plays Xbox, surfs the Internet and text messages some friends. Mike’s dad worries about his eating habits and insists he come home at a decent hour when going out with friends. None of this is so bad until you realize that Mike is 39, not married, and not planning to be.
“I know that I’m not living the traditional ‘American dream,’” Mike says. “But this arrangement is working pretty well for me.”
Karen is a Christian professional, focusing on her career and hobbies. A chemical engineer, she landed an enviable job with a pharmaceutical lab shortly after finishing her bachelor’s degree. When the company offered to pay the majority of tuition toward a master’s degree, the next four years of her life were, as Karen puts it, “pretty much set.” While her career goals are admirable, she has little regard for marriage and shuns the responsibilities that come with raising a family.
Mike and Karen are part of a growing demographic. According to their age, they’re adults. But their attitudes are more typical of people 10 or 20 years younger. It used to be called arrested adolescence. Today, it is increasingly being called adultescence.”
quoted from 30 Going on 18 by Alex McFarland, Focus on the Family Magazine, February 2007
Let me know what you think on this issue – I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, about what I expect of my kids. Do I expect enough? Do I expect too much? How do we train our kids to be responsible adults who follow God’s plan for their lives in a world that completely disregards all of that? And even more, a world that expects – even encourages – adolescent rebellion and delayed adulthood?
~I saw this Snapshot Meme at Randi’s place and thought it looked like fun:
Reading: Still making my way through An Irish Christmas Feast and Education of a Wandering Man as well as all the others listed on my sidebar.
Music in my Head: Chris Rice’s song Clumsy
Drinking: Nothing right now, but I treated myself to a decaf latte today.
Wishing: That our current thaw would last, and last, and last…
Considering: Which church to visit on Sunday.
Feeling: Tired, but good.
Goals: To finish the two above-mentioned books this weekend.
To do list: Fold the laundry that I shoved in my bedroom when we had our playdate this afternoon.
Hours spent in bathtub last night: I take showers.
Things accomplished: Made it through the week!
Have a great weekend!