The Occasional Single Parent and other ruminations

I’m just going to have a bit of a mash up post. I have lots of things to say but can’t get the words out so verbal vomit it is.

I am 5-13

Well I’m alone again this week.  Wal has gone off to Turkey for the week.  I know I’ve said it before but I don’t know how single parents do it.  Or maybe if I were a single parent I would have more of a set schedule and it would be easier.  I think the most difficult thing is that I have so many things for him to do when he goes get home.  We spend most of the time trying to figure out how/when to get things done.  Sometime we get irritated with each other and then he’s off again.  No time to just hang out as a couple- this is a bad thing. All couples need time to just be with each other without expectations.  Still, this too shall pass but it kind of sucks at the moment.

I sent Squidge off to school every morning w/ a kiss and a message. Learn lots and be kind.  To which she rolls her eyes at me and tells me she knooooooows and she iiiiiiiiiiiiiis.  Still I say it to her every day.  Be Kind.  What does that mean to you? I am a little conflicted at the moment as I feel like being kind is translating into be ridden rough shod and never getting your way.  Am I teaching my daughter to be meek and to always give in?  When she has friends over I always tell her that they’re guests and that they should play what they want first.  Does this happen when she’s the guest? Or does she run and cry because they don’t want to do what she wants to do.  A understandable reaction as she’s the guest and according to what I’ve taught her they should play what she (the guest) wants first.  I’m not saying that the other kids are wrong. It’s just that what you teach your kids isn’t necessarily that others teach their own kids.  So how do you reconcile this difference?  How do you teach them to be kind without it meaning that they’re going to be taken advantage of? How do you get your kids to act when they have company? I try not to interfere w/ the playing but when there is conflict or tears then I will intervene.  I try to listen to both sides and will try to come to a fair result.  I do try to get Squidge to play what the guest wants though! Should I keep doing this?

Sexualization of children.  Squidge attends an after school dance club.  She learns ballet and modern dance.  I have had reservations about this club for a while.  My initial issues with them was the snacks they give the kids- chocolate and chocolate cookies being a staple!  Color me silly but I would think a dance organization would want to give them fruit and healthy food.  Still I brushed that aside because she only goes once a week.

My second and now more pressing issue with the club is the sexual nature of a lot of the content they’re teaching the kids.  During the Christmas show the older kids were shaking their money maker as if they really were trying to make some money.  I didn’t feel comfortable with this but the kids were a lot older so I just let it slide.   This past Friday Squidge was in another show and I was a little shocked.  All the kids were gyrating and rubbing their hands up and down their bodies, turning their bums to the audience and humping the air. Shaking their chests.  I think what I found most disturbing was the audience members whooping when the kids did those moves.  HELLO THEY’RE UNDER 8 AND YOU ARE NOT A STRIP CLUB!!  The songs some of the kids were dancing to was sooooo inappropriate! Guns, Ass, and I think I heard a bitch here and there.  Anyway I didn’t like it.  It’s not the message I want to send my daughter.  I think it’s a shame because the people that run it are really nice.  It joins the school community together to the wider village community.  I just wish someone would have a word w/ them.  As it is I’m not going to sign Squidge up for next year.  I’ll use the excuse that she will be starting Rainbows so that she doesn’t get upset.  I don’t think she is going to miss it too much, she does ballet and tap at a traditional dance school.  I think she has enough activities- ballet/tap, swimming and Rainbows.  She also takes skiing and tennis lessons, although she’s not taking lessons at the moment. I will be signing her up for music lessons soon.  A full plate I think.

 

So I need to know folks- thoughts? Opinions? Advice?

8 Comments

  1. rachel
    July 4, 2011 /

    So whats stopping you from being that someone who has a word with them?

    • Lindy
      July 4, 2011 /

      If asked I will tell them. I know I’m a coward!

  2. Kelloggsville
    July 4, 2011 /

    Hubby and I are living that life too. There is no easy answer.
    Yes I think sometimes we teach children nice at the expense of themselves but that is only because it’s not a level playing field. She will work it out for herself anyway. Watch her for a while, I bet she will assert herself. She is getting to the age where you nolonger have the same level of influence anyway. Stick with what feels right to you. A consistent mssage is good.
    If the dancing feels wrong it probably is. Gut feelings are usually a fair indicator.

    I relate to what you are saying all round.

    • Lindy
      July 4, 2011 /

      what do you mean?? Are you trying to say I’m not the center of my child’s universe?? WHAAAAT?? When did that happen? The dance feel totally wrong! Today they showed us a new dance they were just learning… Salt-n-peppa’s Push it! Now don’t get me wrong, take a 1/2 dozen 5 yr olds and get them to do a dance routine and it’s cute but the song choices are just wrong.

  3. July 4, 2011 /

    I don’t think you should use Rainbows as your excuse for taking her out of the dance class. I think you should tell them exactly why you’re doing it. It sounds like it’s totally inappropriate for kids her age.

    Just off the cuff about the guest thing, you could start qualifying it with her by saying, ‘In our house, we play what the guest wants to play first’, so she won’t expect it when she goes to someone else’s house. I like to think I’m a pretty kind and compassionate person and I don’t ever remember my parents actually telling me to be that way. I’m pretty sure I learned from example!

    • Lindy
      July 4, 2011 /

      I will use rainbows as an excuse for Squidge if she asks why she’s not going next year. Will tell them why I’m not signing her back up if asked.

      I like your idea for qualifying the guests/play thing.

      I started saying “be kind” when she would be at toddler groups. It was a concept she understood and then it just turned into a little saying when she started school. I hope and pray that I am teaching her to be kind by my actions as well as what I tell her. You never can tell though!

  4. Mancais
    July 4, 2011 /

    With you on the dancing. Reminds me of a friend who took her kids to a family day at the Irish Centre and found people singing really inappropriate songs.
    Don’t know how you go on with the guest thing. Too long ago to recall what we did. Kim’s suggestion sounds about right.

    • Lindy
      July 5, 2011 /

      I do like Kim’s suggestion!