As a young child I was bullied nearly everywhere I went, even as a young tween in youth group I was the one people snickered at even when I said nothing at all. For a long time I thought I would be hated my entire life and I had no idea why. It would take me years to realize the reason why was because I had a protruding upper & lower jaw, and that made my smile a bit weird thanks to my large gum line. Now that makes it sound a lot worse than it was, it actually wasn’t that bad, but kids are mean sometimes.
In high school the issues with my jaw began to effect my health and at that point I had jaw surgery, my jaw was reconstructed but it took years for this reconstruction to effect my heart. Because of the bullies I encountered it caused me to develop a more shy personality, my value as a person had been deeply hurt at a very young age.
It would have been easy for people to blame my shy personality on the fact that I was homeschooled. If they ever did my parents were loving enough to keep those harmful words away from my pretty damaged heart. Instead my Mom would hold me in her arms and pray that Jesus would bring me friends someday. The blessed, wonderful thing is that He did bring me friends later in life. Ones that would make up for an entire lifetime of loneliness.
Now here I am with my own kids, with their own unique God-given personalities.
Dreaming Daughter is very shy, is never rushed for anything, cries easily and is afraid of pretty much everything. Most days she is busy inside her own mind dreaming up something beautiful to give someone or for the family to enjoy. A loyal friend once you get to know her with one of the most thoughtful hearts. A prayer warrior unlike anything I’ve seen in a child. When she does something wrong she cries a lot because she is REALLY sorry, like a lot sorry.
Tenderhearted Guy is pretty sensitive to himself and sometimes sensitive to others. If he is having a bad day it’s because of some injustice, usually an injustice to himself. I know someday the injustices of others will impact his heart in huge way if we can only steer his heart the right direction. I know this because he is just like his Mama. He also has the tendency to get irritated with others disorganization and messiness. That is only because he has an extraordinary gift of keeping things meticulously clean and organized.
Wild Little Girl does not like to be steered any direction but her own. She reminds me of a wild Horse that sometimes just needs to be looked directly in the eye and given some love instead of that stern talking to I want to give. Love is what will break her wild spirit in the end, that is, if I even want to. Maybe I don’t want to, some days I’m not sure. She has added so much joy to our family and has the wildest imagination. It’s the crazy things she comes up with that keep us all laughing through the hard times.
Little Brave’s personality I have yet to fully uncover. At barely two he hasn’t said much but has the strength of a tiny Goliath. I can already see in him a boy ready to tackle the world one problem at a time. He is constantly figuring things out around the house and has an obsession with dangerous things, as long as that dangerous thing is a mystery in his mind meant to be uncovered.
Each child is completely unique, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. This is a given to most people, that is, unless you are the parent of a child who is homeschooled. That is when the comments start flying around.
I wonder if your daughter is so shy because she is homeschooled?
Perhaps your son wouldn’t be so sensitive if he were in school?
If my daughter were in school maybe she would be more calm if she were required to follow directions, stand in lines and stop talking? (Because sometimes the comments are running through my own mind.)
We’ve all heard people comment on the faults of kids personalities before, there is nothing new about this. I myself am guilty of thinking that if only my littles were in school, all their personality flaws would be smoothed out. Then I come back to my senses and so should we all.
Nobody blames School for their kids personality flaws when they are in school, why should this way of thinking be applied primarily to homeschoolers?
My children have their personality positives and negatives as a result of who they are. My child is different than your child not as a result of homeschooling but just because they are different. The success of a family will have less to do with where their kids went to school but far more to do with whether that parent has nurtured their child according to their individual personality. I have seen parents do this in public, private and homeschool!
I will no sooner give credit to homeschooling for my child’s strengths than I will blame homeschooling on their weaknesses. This is the tendency of both homeschoolers and those outside the world of homeschooling, but I will do my best not to take part in it. I won’t blame public school for your child’s weaknesses either, but will instead see your child as they are, an individual learning to navigate this world, just like mine.
Maybe our kids aren’t perfect, but how much do we want to change their personality?
I am all for character training and teaching our kids to strive for God’s best plan for their lives! But how far do we want to take this? There are parts of my kids personalities that many days I could honestly do without. It’s so much easier when they just do exactly what we say, but would we really be happier with the overall outcome?
The older my kids get the more I can see that even when their personalities can feel like a drag, God has a purpose for every strength and weakness. My only job is to point them towards the One who created them and teach them to obey God. Only God knows what their lifetime will be spent on, I truly have no idea what they are going to spend their lives doing!
So maybe God will need that wild spirit someday.
Who better to follow God without anything holding her back?
Or that day dreamer late for everything and shy as can be.
Who better to slowly take her time in the presence of God?
The boy who gets angry when things aren’t fair.
Who better to bring justice in this broken world?
Or a boy determined to figure out with his hands what a book cannot teach.
Who better to determine to solve a problem without everything being handed to him?
Embrace all that they are and all they are becoming.
God will determine who they will become.
26 thoughts on “Please Stop Blaming My Child’s Personality On Homeschooling”
“Nobody blames School for their kids personality flaws when they are in school”.
My mother kept me out of kindergarten and homeschooled me. We lived in the middle of nowhere so I was very much isolated until I was almost 8. When I entered first grade I was amazed by the behavior of the kids. I didn’t understand how they could be so mean. Why is the phrase “kids can be mean” something people say like it is nothing? I didn’t find this kind of cruelty in the faith based school I transferred to, I don’t find this in the homeschool community. So yea, I do, I do blame school for the cruelties I see children perpetrate.
This was a perfect roller coaster post, you got me crying in the beginning and cheering by the end. Nice start to my day.
I am so glad you enjoyed it! And I do wish public schools would enforce a zero tolerance policy for bullies. But ultimately the responsibility falls on the parents to teach our kids to treat people with kindness and respect. The obvious problem is that not all parents are engaged with their kids which is where a lot of these problems come up. Bullying should never be tolerated! Like you, as a young child I never understood why kids were so mean. Even as an adult, I still don’t understand why some grown ups are bullies!
Here’s something to consider, with as many hours as children spend in school, is it not possible that the influences there can be positive and impactful? In some cases, children are in school more than they are with their parents. Bullies can easily be dissolved with a strong sense of self. What about self respect and honor? There doesn’t seem to be much of that taught in schools. I remember from my school days learning about Martin Luther King and Ghandi and their path of non violence. I read a school text book recently that didn’t even discuss MLK’s pacifism, which to me is essential information.
I’ve got a super shy kiddo — can’t talk to strangers or make eye contact — I was the exact same way at her age, only I went to public school 😉
Your comment made me laugh out loud! My daughter has come a long way last year but is still very soft spoken. She will at least answer peoples questions now but before she wouldn’t talk to people either. One day at a time we work on it, baby steps!
Excellent post MJ! I to was teased a lot as a kid, kids really can be mean.
What a great post! I went to public school and I was teased all my life about my weight. It’s taken years for me to overcome the self-hate that caused.
I also get the comments from friends and family about my kids’ personalities and how public school will help them “come out of their shell”.
Looks like my toddler responded at some point today and I’m going to leave it because it’s real! LOL. Sorry Jen you were probably super confused! Yes I have heard the same comments about my kids for years. I am working on them being more friendly but most of the time I am pretty thankful for their reserved and polite behavior!
And I am so sorry you were bullied as well. I’ve really come out of it over the last 15 years, now most people are shocked that I was ever a shy person! God can heal any broken heart!
Great post! People have blamed homeschooling for years because of my solitary personality – it’s just the way I am, I was born to be a hermit 🙂 Public schools focus attention on your child’s weaknesses, and are too busy to play police to those who learn bullying and obnoxious behaviours. We’re aiming for vertical socialization for our kids – socializing at all age ranges, not just their peers.
“Embrace all that they are and all they are becoming.
God will determine who they will become.”
Perfect ending to this great blog post! It’s our job as parents to love them and to point them towards their creator. He knows them better than anyone ever will. You are a great mom Melissa!! Love that you know your kids so well!
Also, I was teased as a child in school when I first came to the US b/c I didn’t know English. Bilingual education was no around then. I can remember one day standing outside on the playground crying my eyes out, feeling lost and alone and kids laughing and teasing me. Although that didn’t last long b/c I quickly became fluent in English, the memories of that first year have never left my mind!
Thank you for sharing your heart!! 💕
Aww Ingrid it breaks my heart when I hear that people got so made fun of as kids and even now I hate hearing about it when it’s my kids friends. So sad! Thank you so much for your kind words and for checking out the blog!
Thank you so much for sharing this post today in RYHS, I knew would love it when I read the title! My two are not your common kids. My son is not the rough and tumble teen people expect and my daughter is not the princess they want her to be. I find it so hard to handle sometimes, and yet…I loved when you said the comments are running through your own head. We do wonder don’t we if we are making the right choices. No worries I am certain your little ones, who sound awesome by the way, are doing great. One of my favourite parts was when you said, they need love-not the stern talking to I want to give. Again thank you for sharing, sharing it out for my readers!
I just adore how you put that about your own kids! It’s funny because my oldest son is not rough and tumble either, he is much more likely to be found playing house with his sister or enjoying a good story. Neither of my daughters are the princess type either! They are both fantastic at catching butterfies and insects! I have learned to just enjoy them right where they are at
Thank you for being honest about your kids! Being shy or sensitive isn’t a bad thing, but some people think it is. And like you said, they then blame that on whatever school system the child is in. We have 5 kids – all different! Being unique in a “same” world can be tough! Loved your post and pinned/tweeted it for others to see!
Our culture puts a high priority on kids being outgoing but boy do shy kids have a lot to offer as well! Thank you so much for sharing my post!
My cousin home schools and she struggles with the same thing. She has a wild child and a tenderhearted, but it’s who God made them to be. Being homeschooled has nothing to do with it. She put them in home school activity groups, etc. If you are scared or concerned that they aren’t getting proper socialization and don’t already know of groups, you may be able to google and find information on groups in your area.
That is an excellent point about finding groups! I live somewhere where Homeschool groups are absolutely everywhere. But yes, either way that is the way God made those kids! We need to love and accept them just as they are 🙂
My sister and I were both homeschooled, k-12 for me, K-11 for her. Our personalities couldn’t be more different if someone tried to imagine us in fiction! I grew up nerdy and awkward–way too interested in volcanoes, trees, tornadoes, and animals to care about what was cool 😉 My sister grew up edgy and then trendy–hardly to be bothered with the pesky bright sun of the outdoors when there are craft beers and cheese-making classes to attend. We were both highly socialized at church, at co-ops, at dance classes, and through volunteering. We are just our own people, homeschool or not!
I just love that! My sister and I are both pretty different as well! I hope my kids just feel accepted exactly the way they are!
I love this! What a celebration of individuality and life. My children are all different as can be and they sound a lot like yours. This encourages me to not try to change their wild free hearts. Thank you! And I wanted to add your story of having finally made a friend who made up for all the friendless lonely years touched my heart. I am praying that over myself even now, at 36. Still waiting…
I love this post! I was homeschooled myself, and I can’t count how many times, when people learned I was homeschooled, they would say, “Oh I could tell; you just have that personality.” I always wondered…what did that even mean? I could never quite tell if it was a good thing or a bad thing, but I did know that my personality wasn’t because of being homeschooled. It’s so true that people never say kids have a certain personality because of going to school!