Name: Rochelle Fritsch
Kids: Elementary school-aged daughter
Works: Fundraiser for IMPACT, a local nonprofit
Favorite thing about being a mom: Telling my daughter stories about Grandma Gee Gee and stuff that happened when I was a little girl, teaching my daughter important life lessons (manners) and watching her apply them
Least favorite thing about being a mom: Teaching my daughter important life lessons (bad choices lead to bad consequences) by being the "Enforcer"
Famous for: Being a karaoke queen and snorting when I laugh
Look for Teachable Moments.
Parents are kids’ First Teachers.
There are many more adages about parents fulfilling the role of teacher; and it’s exciting, gratifying. We get to open a new world of experiences, sights, sounds, smells, textures, vocabularies to little minds that soak everything up like sponges.
But as kids age, the exciting and gratifying often morphs into challenging.
Challenging not because kids begin to form their own viewpoints -- although that’s certainly a part of it -- but because as they age and the world around them comes into clearer focus, they look to us for guidance and answers. And to be honest, we don’t know all the answers.
I mean it’s one thing to explain that the new kid down the street is a person who happens to have white skin or brown skin. It’s quite another to explain why none of mom and dad’s friends have white skin or brown skin. Or why a lot of white people live in one part of town and a lot of brown people live in another part of town.
This subject matter can flummox us for answers; and often in addressing our kids’ questions, we – the Parents as Teachers – have to reflect on what we personally believe. Or, in some cases, we reflect on our beliefs only to discover what we really believe isn’t the ideal value that we had pictured our kids living out. Maybe that's when we turn on the override switch and find ourselves espousing a value we know we should have, even though we aren’t really, wholly invested in it.
And that’s when it gets scary, for me at least. Because I know that my daughter – like most kids – will see right through the ideal and into what I really believe about whatever the issue is at hand.
So with ongoing coverage of the Zimmerman verdict or more locally, the Spooner trial, you’re probably responding to questions, comments and viewpoints from your kids.
What are you saying to them? Is the conversation easy, hard, natural? Leave a comment and share your experience.