Friday, August 26, 2005

Peter Pan Syndrome

At supper the other night, we were discussing driving. My 13 year old is itching to drive, talks about when she can drive, etc. We found out a friend of ours is about to turn 18 and has not learned how to drive yet, and the reason is that he is a little scared about growing up, and driving adds responsibilities. My husband said, "Well, he doesn't sound like our kids, they seem to want to grow up faster, not slower!"

But my 10 year old suprised us by saying, "Oh, I don't want to grow up either."
"Really?" I asked, "why not?"
"Because you have to pay taxes," she started, "and buy all your own stuff, and buy a house, and pay for college."

I guess we adults have complained about taxes a little too verbally in this house, and the seeming free flow of money for "stuff"--well, she's mature enough to know that that comes to an end, too. And the "paying for college" is because whenever they have the least little bit of extra, we're always saying, "better save that for college!"

I'm not worried though. I know that most kids have this "fight for independence" gene that kicks in around 13-14, the gene that says, "I'll get my own job, move out, and make my own rules" right after you've told them they can't attend some function they've been invited to but that you find not worthy of them. The ten year old isn't there yet, the eighteen year old is daunted by the fact that he's the oldest of seven and has been told for a few years now how helpful it would be for him to help with car pooling. I'm sure that somewhere in that mind, he's driving a corvette instead of a 15 passenger van.


Love2Learn Mom said...

Interesting post Nancy. I've always thought it can be harder for homeschool parents to "let go" of their children because they haven't made so many "baby steps" along the way as other parents. Naturally, I think that close bond, greater amount of conversation, etc. that can be a part of homeschooling is good - it's just that we have to be aware of the child's need to develop independence over time.

2nd grade mom said...

My six-year-old very sweetly told me the other day that when she grew up she was still going to live with me. She was going to get a job as a teacher and teach the students things such as: hold up a card and ask what sound this letter makes, or hold up a leaf and ask what kind of tree it belongs to.

Love2Learn Mom said...

Nice! My oldest, when she was three, used to cry because she didn't want to go off to college and leave Mommy. :)

Nancy C. Brown said...

My ten year old, too, tells me she wants to live with me forever (part of the reason is because she doesn't want to own a home, so she won't have to pay taxes...there's that tax thing again!!) which is just so sweet. I tell her that's fine, she can, because I know that when the time is right, she, too, will find her wings.
I agree, Alicia, and think that it is an extra task for we homeschoolers to help our children become independent. I think we have to teach them the skills they need, that they don't naturally have to have because they aren't on their own for much of the day.
Kids who go to school have to handle money more, make more independent decisions, handle difficult people situations, etc. Although one thing I like about homeschooling is that our kids get to handle this kind of thing more gradually.