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Re: I'm starting to regret my hate messages sigismund

Posted by Dinah on September 27, 2011, at 8:08:28

In reply to Re: I'm starting to regret my hate messages, posted by sigismund on September 26, 2011, at 14:32:22

I hadn't thought to hear you embrace such Western values, Sigi.

I think in many areas of New Orleans, we may not embrace that Western ideal of up and out early so much as many areas of the country might. Of emphasis on independence vs. interdependence. Even when kids leave home, they may live down the block or around the corner so that grandkids can visit Maw Maw and Paw Paw easily. There's less expectation that kids will be outa' there once they finish high school. I stayed at home until I married, and I don't regret it. Yes, there were times when that was difficult in the extreme. But it would have been even more difficult for me to be alone or live with strangers. All of life is difficult in one way or another. Adults can choose which difficulty to accept. That's what being an adult is. It's not leaving home, it's choosing whether or not to leave home. It's recognizing and following through on what needs to be done to live at home, or to live outside home.

Living at home might mean contributing to the household monetarily or by sharing in the tasks that need to be done to maintain that household. It might mean recognizing that there may be house rules that might not apply if one maintained one's own roof. Living separately means the responsibility of seeking means to support oneself, and the ability to live alone or with strangers. The challenges of growing up are there either way.

Western mothers have also been encouraged to stop breast feeding early, to leave a baby to cry itself to sleep, to not carry them around so much. In some cultures, kids are sent away to boarding school at an early age. From the time a baby arrives, Western culture puts a premium on separation from parents at an early age than many other cultures.

I think I reject that. While I stopped breast feeding at six months (in part because I was being pressured to start taking antidepressants for my post partum depression), I am not positive that was a good decision. As agreeable as my son was in following rules, he strongly resisted any efforts to get him to do something before he was ready. So he slept alone when he was ready. He stayed in his snugli when he seemed to need to do so and was on his own when he wanted to be. He potty trained when he felt motivated (and not one second before).

He's free to leave home when he's ready. Whether that means across town or across the world. We'll be sorry to see him go and will always be glad to have him visit, but that's what being a parent means. We know that going into the deal. On the other hand, we're not going to peck him out of the nest until he feels ready to fly away himself. As in most other steps in his life, he will make it when he's ready and we'll support him when he makes that decision.




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