Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Right To Privacy


My tween daughter regularly reads my blog.  I hate to say that a 10 1/3 year-old child is a “tween” but that is how she is acting....like a child caught in the tricky age between little girl and teenager.  She made a comment yesterday that has made me think.  She asked me why I blogged about being called the meanest Mom ever.  She did not like it.  Not that I was/am mean because she is not a fan of the changes I have made and am continuing to make.  She would like to see her life go back to the way it was when sugar had unlimited access to my children and with a few whines and pleades the tv might just stay on a half hour longer. No, her complaint was not that I shared with the world that my children think I am mean, but it was that I shared something that she found embarrassing.  “Family stuff is family stuff”, she said.
I think she makes an excellent point.  I began this blog to share my homeschooling experience. I did not see many blogs to read about families who chose to homeschool after their children were well established in public school.  Most of my posts are about homeschooling; our curriculum, our choices, our struggles, our successes.  Part of the process of homeschooling for us has been to closely examine the choices we make.  Homeschooling for us is not just about schooling but about learning to live together with kindness and respect, improving our health and finding joy in our learning.   To keep it real, I blog about the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I try very hard to write about the issues that face our family but approach them in a way that would not cause embarrassment, hurt feelings or concerns that private family issues were discussed in a public forum.  
But I am not a tween.  I am not looking at my blog through the eyes of a ten year old who sees herself and her family’s experiences in print for all to read, judge and comment on.  So tonight I am left questioning the course of my blog.  I enjoy blogging.  I enjoy connecting with other families across the country who are homeschooling as well.   I have made new friends.  My blog is also a way for my husband, who works crazy hours, to feel like he is a part of what we are doing.  He reads it daily and “sees” what we are up to, what the girls are learning, what is going well, and what is a challenge for his family.  I don’t want to close my blog or keep my writing just in my journal.
However, I am going to refrain from some of the “family stuff”... pull back a bit on some of the issues that my girls and I are experiencing as we continue to transition to a healthier lifestyle.  I am going to keep the focus on our homeschool, our activities, and our curriculum.  I will share our trips out and about, our favorite activities, classes and learning moments.  I may add some reviews about what books and curriculum we like and dislike.  For now I am going to read and re-read every post I write through the eyes of a ten year old child.  I don’t ever want the girls to feel like I am compromising their privacy or am insensitive to their feelings.  
Winnie - I know you are reading this.  I hear you and I respect your wishes.  I am glad you told me how you feel and you gave me something to think about.  I love you.

10 comments:

  1. Your a good Mom. Many would say, this is my space to... or if you don't like it, don't read it... But the best part of your listening is that you are hearing, and respecting.
    And Winnie, I kind of like you a bunch too! How is your arm today?

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  2. You are a good Momma. :) Kei has never said anything about my blog. She has occasionally asked me to not blog or FB something silly/goofy she has done or said and I respect her wishes.

    I ALWAYS read my post to her before I post it. I understand what "Winnie" is saying though. Please tell her that I love these glimpses into your life with your daughters. As a mom with a daughter the same age it helps me see how you interact with your girls. I get this mental picture of both of your girls and I feel like I know them better because of it. I love knowing that Grace loves weather and loves to read and plays the piano, loves ice skating and doesn't absolutely love Math. I read bits and pieces to Kei and she seems the similarities between her and each of your girls. :)

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  3. To the best of my knowledge, neither of my girls has read my blog, though I shared it with them on their blogs. I struggled with posting my "Pre Teen girls" post because I worried that it would be too much, too invasive, and embarrassing for them. But I wanted to keep the blog real as well. Showing other moms what we were going through and getting support was helpful.

    I like to write and share things, I think some sharing is what keeps a blog authentic. One of the things I like most about blogs is their voyueristic look into lives. I view my blog as sort of a chronology of this journey, but I think this is a good lesson in keeping the embarrassing moments out. Thanks for posting.

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  4. You bring up a good point. My Granny is the one who told me that some things are just meant to be kept private. I share glimpses of our life, but someone would have to visit for a week to get a bigger picture. When my Mom gave me my first journal (I was ~10 or 11), she told me not to write anything bad about her in it. Looking back over old blog posts isn't quite the same as reading through old journals for me, because I don't share all of our struggles, my regrets, sensitive issues. I don't want to come across as always happy-go-lucky, but I don't want to dwell on the difficulties.

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  5. I am caught between Karen's suggestion to let her read everything but I don't necessarily want her to edit my thoughts. But to your point, how do you know what is embarrassing to a 10 year old? I never thought this post would bother her..... I think for now I am just going to stick to what I enjoy blogging about and when it comes to the girls, leave out some of the family stuff that we go through. That is more the family side of our story and while it fits into my philosophy of homeschooling, it really is not vital to the homeschooling discussion.

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  6. We never stop learning, and the source of it can come from the unexpected. It is refreshing when the roles of teacher and student are reversed.When it happens, the teacher can only smile in her success. Winnie's concept of family is beyond her years and her desire to preserve some family moments for just family is laudable. Plato had it right!

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  7. Thanks Paul.....as always... I love your feedback!

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  8. the older my girls get, the more i think on this.
    the girls read my blog as well. they've not said anything up to this point but i'm hoping if they ever feel that i have posted something they feel is too personal that they will tell me like your daughter told you. you're a great mom. and this post is a great reminder :D

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  9. It is wonderful that you and your daughter have such a close relationship that you can talk about thiese things. I pray you are able to find balance and see things from her perspective too!

    My mom spoke at homeschool events all of the time and as we got older, she made an effort to give us advance warning before telling stories she wanted to share about us. It was helpful for both of us as we worked through how she could share and encourage others without uncovering us.

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