Both of my kids just got glasses. Their squints to read digital clocks were becoming more and more apparent. And we had warned them for months that an eye appointment was upcoming.
But not until just recently were our suspicions officially confirmed. New eyeglasses were ordered, picked up, and fitted.
Alexa, my daughter, picked purple glasses and kinda likes wearing them. It certainly helps that her friends refer to them as “adorable.”
But my 12-year old son? Not so much. In fact, he hates wearing them—at least, that is, when he is around his friends.
When he is home alone with us, wearing glasses is not a problem. He can see the computer screen better, he can read books easier, and he can read the clock on the oven without having to stand up and walk closer.
But around his friends, he wears them only when absolutely necessary. His glasses cause him embarrassment… some things never change.
Embarrassment. It is an interesting topic when you stop to think about it.
To be embarrassed is to experience a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness. Most often, these feelings are sparked by moments where we feel different, slightly apart from normal, or out of place.
It seems these feelings of inadequacy begin to emerge in grade school and strengthen through high school as our self-awareness grows. They arise from any number of causes: being one of the first to wear glasses, having unique physical characteristics, or being singled out in class or social circles.
As we get older, these feelings (and the fear) of embarrassment continue to surface. But the stakes get higher.
We no longer get embarrassed about just wearing glasses, we may also become embarrassed about the particular brand of glasses we wear. Or even worse, how much money our parents have to spend on them.
Interestingly, these feelings of embarrassment stem from our baseline understanding of normal, and any subsequent deviation from it. After all, nobody feels embarrassed for just being normal.
But our understanding of normal is an entirely subjective measurement most often defined by the social circles with which we surround ourselves.
This may be best illustrated by a hypothetical situation to which almost all of us can relate: outerwear.
Most of your friends probably wear similar clothing to you. Not that everyone has the same taste in fashion, but generally speaking, there are lots of similarities. You shop at many of the same stores… your closets are similarly sized… and the dollar amounts spent on any one outfit probably don’t vary too greatly.
This is true because most of us choose to spend our personal time with people who are strikingly similar. We feel comfortable and accepted among them.
But when you are pulled from your regular social circle, you may begin to notice and feel self-conscious about things you wouldn’t normally feel that way about.
Imagine attending a party or a work function surrounded by people from a higher socio-economic class. They arrive wearing their fancy dresses and tailored suits. Suddenly, the clothes you used to wear with no misgivings begin to feel and look different. You notice they are a little faded, not quite as fitted, or a specific brand not nearly as expensive as the clothes being worn around you.
And in this moment, you begin to feel a tinge of embarrassment—not because the clothes are any different from what you normally wear, but because your immediate culture’s expression of normal has changed dramatically.
As I mentioned, for most of us, these feelings of embarrassment did not end when we graduated school. They continue even into adulthood.
Here’s my point and why I think this is important. As a parent living in the suburbs, I am beginning to notice an unfortunate, dangerous trend:
We are getting embarrassed over all the wrong things. (tweet that)
Because we live in a culture that normalizes the pursuit of appearances, possessions, and selfish gain, feelings of awkwardness and shame surface when we do not measure up in these areas.
We get embarrassed that our clothes are last year’s fashion, that our vehicle costs less than the neighbor’s, or that our house is smaller than our guest’s. We apologize for the worn carpet, make excuses for the outdated kitchen, or point out specifically why we haven’t updated the countertops yet.
Because those pursuits and values have become normalized, we are prone to feel embarrassment over them—even if there is nothing wrong with the things we already have. This experience (or fear) of embarrassment fuels our urge to own more.
But what would happen if we stopped getting embarrassed over the wrong things and started pursuing the right things?
What if, instead of being embarrassed over the brand of our clothing, we became embarrassed over the size of our walk-in closet?
What if, instead of being embarrassed over the type of car we drive, we became embarrassed over how often we take that luxury for granted?
What if, instead of being embarrassed because our house is too small, we became embarrassed over the amount of unused space within it?
What if, instead of being embarrassed over the quality and quantity of our possessions, we became embarrassed over how much money we have spent on our own selfish pursuits?
What if excess became the embarrassment? And responsible living that championed generosity became the norm?
Maybe then, we could become a little more proud of normal.
Stephanie Smith says
I write from London and I am a middle school teacher and I love this post and right on spot comments. We live and learn. This goes straight to my heart.
Ju Ju says
I have always been one to dress appropriately for the occasion, funeral, wedding, out to dinner…etc. I get what most of you are saying about not trying to impress people. I think one can look nice and not have to spend a lot of money. I can be minimal and still have that one nice dress for a funeral or nice outfit for dinner and those other occasions I mentioned. It shows respect for the other people involved and respect for myself included. There is also something to be said for being well groomed and taking care of your appearance.
Interesting, and I’m sure I’ve never seen an article on this topic before, at least not with this focus. I’ve been embarrassed by the “right” things (according to the article) for most of my life. Maybe it was spending time in 3rd world countries when I was a kid — I don’t know. Anyway, just feeling embarrassed about the right things doesn’t fix anything if, like me, you choose to continue to be “normal” even though you don’t want to. I continue to choose normal and suffer the embarrassment of having too much in private. Am I just weird?
I think a mindset of generosity, or a lack thereof as it were, does warrant embarrassment. But with the undeniable evidence of the terrible damage our consumerist culture continues to have on our planet, it is positively mortifying that we continue to knowingly contribute to our own demise! This demonstrates, not only has our species lost hold of meaningful values, but we’re just plain stupid!
(Not a soap box lecture or outward accusation. Just an observation of a problem, which I recognise I also contribute to ? Always trying to learn & improve! And I find the environmental aspect of consumerism to be a meaningful motivator for changing my personal habits ?).
Ioana Balota says
Hello and thank you for sharing a positive way to overcome some shallow aspects that are morw and more common! Unfortunately, it is in the human nature to always want, to always struggle and tough it has taken humanity far- leading to breakthrougs and innovations, it stills leaves most of us terribly frustrated. Someone mentioned maturity as a way to overcome emberressment but some of us never get to such a mindset and the verocious marketing campaigns or the entourage don’t help at all?. I think it depends on how selfaware you are and how much of a value system you have and stick to it. The family is the starting point where we learn about who we are and how things are…but at a point it gets more blurry and you either become more of an individual or society molds you into whatever it wants…A certain degree of awareness and emotional intelligence help tip the scale. But in the end it is pretty random.
Peggy Behnke says
Maturity changes that….When I was very young, I use to wonder why so many older people did not keep up with the trends. Then as I got older, I realized that trends were not always better , what made me comfortable was what was best….and if it worked, it was fine….If I find something is not right for me, I change it. Trends are changed to sell stuff….In the 80s, Victorian clutter was a trend….what a pain to clean and dust all that clutter…Everyone has their own faves.
Paula Morgan says
Great article as usual. Something about it reminded me of a short story I read in university. If you get the chance, it would be worth your while to look up ‘The Snob’ by Morley Callaghan. This story sums up many things wrong with materialistic ways and why we should love people and use things, not the other way around.
I wear my dress jeans for special occasions. My regular jeans have patches on the knees so that my knees don’t stick out and are protected. When the jeans get real bad they are patch material. I am only concerned about them if the waist is too tight and are uncomfortable at the waist or they are too loose and are offensive when I bend over. My T shirts and sweatshirts (not hoodies) just get worn until they have too many holes to function as they were intended. Shoes/boots are to keep my feet dry and warm. I do have dress sweatshirts and boots for special occasions. As far as I am concerned all this other touchy-feely crap is just that.
Connie Warner says
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Society teaches us that our worth is based on compliance, obedience, appearance, performance, talents, grades, scores, degrees, salaries, titles, accomplishments, possessions, and success. Some of this is because of our education system is focused on grades, tests, and competition (even bell curve grading where it’s expected that some will fail, some will do okay, and some will excel) rather than learning (to think, analyze, design, create, discuss theories, write essays, debate, collaborate, be on a team), so it does not prepare young people to be happy, functioning, contributing, equal and valued members of society (even if they don’t go to college). (My fiance was an 8th grade shop teacher and taught using John Dewey’s education concepts which is very different from our education system.)
And our society and systems teach us to grab a slice of the (perceived) scarce pie and that life is like a competitive game of musical chairs so it’s acceptable that some will lose (i.e., be homeless, jobless, hungry, without medical care and without a living wage). Until we change our systems, and stop accepting the unacceptable (and labeling people as losers and less than), there will be the haves and the have nots and we’ll be stuck playing the never-ending game of grabbing more and having more and being more for fear of not being worthy of one of the musical chairs.
Bambi Harris says
I have been fortunate that since I was small I always felt the need to be a little different. The idea of fitting in terrified me a little. I wasn’t outspoken or rebellious, I just painted my sneakers while others fought over Reeboks. I was teased and bullied mercilessly. I didnt have a good home life, I was poor and I was awkward. I was never jealous of others, not once, I just needed for the world to catch up.
Now Im on the other side of the world and everything that made me unpopular and unfashionable is what makes people warm to me; authenticity and a lack of need to conform.
I love to minimalize but I’m also creative. I love to give and I love to watch others flourish. I feel truly lucky that I never cared about cars or sneaker brands or house sizes and I know others desire my freedom of thought more than I would ever desire their approval or be concerned about comparison.
Thanks for the great blog!
This is something I totally understand. I was the rebellious and against the norms and craftily creative. It was nice to belonging and the things changed when I married. I wanted all the opposite of the Jones because that’s what I wanted for our family. Looking back it would be what I would choose for my life if we had to do it again. Minimalist is exactly what this is. And it just feel not who we are if we kept up with the Jones. You are so right on point , our choices changes with age. Bravo !
I was just like most people in my teenage and young adult years in that I was embarrassed by what I didn’t have. I couldn’t afford a new car; I couldn’t shop at Nordstrom; and on and on. Then I became rich. And I realized that the vast majority of the rich people (and not those simply aspiring to be so) don’t give a cuss about these things. It took a lot of my keeping-up-with-the-Jones’s anxiety away. I actually never graduated college. You know who cared about that? My friends with bachelors degrees. You know who doesn’t care one iota? All those people around me with MDs, JDs, and PhDs. My husband’s car is a 9-year-old Camry that’s all beat up on the outside and we love it. None of our friends even bat an eye when we pull up in that thing. I buy most of my clothes at Target. I get complimented ALL the time on the necklace I bought for $1 on the Walmart clearance rack and nobody’s horrified when I tell them that. I’m not saying all this to brag; I’m saying it to help anyone out there who is stuck in a keeping-up-with-the-Jones’s rut. It may seem like, from watching TV, that all rich people go around wearing Gucci and driving fancy cars, but most don’t. You’re more likely to get talked about in a negative way if you’re living beyond your means. That guy standing next to you in line at the grocery store, wearing ratty khakis and a fleece, might just be a neurosurgeon who pulls down over a million dollars a year. When you free yourself from the idea that you need fancy stuff, you can truly start to live.
Susan Snook says
Your comment really resonates with me. From the book The Millionaire Next Door, I realized that a lot of wealthy folks drive simple cars, wear simple clothes, and live well below their means. My husband and I find it so amusing when friends try to subtly shame us about our used cars, my cheap flip phone, etc. But as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” We don’t feel embarrassed. We feel smart. And when my best friend’s son was sweating about how he was going to get to his college final when his car was in an accident, I immediately handed over my beat up van keys. The look on his face was utter relief. I was so happy to help out. His parents refused to loan him their BMW or Mercedes.
Thank you for sharing this! I noticed the same thing with friends that are super wealthy. They lived in a multi million dollar home but both drove older Camrys. And the husband never dressed very nice. In fact he showed up to represent us on our house closing in sweats! ?
People sound so sympathetic when, for whatever reason I have to say “I can’t, I don’t have internet on my phone.”
We have recently had this experience. It has only been in the last few months that I have realized how grateful I am for the little things. I was in a car accident on Nov 15. I had a brand new car, a smart phone, GPS. satellite radio, all of which were destroyed in seconds when a teen driver crossed the center line. I was so proud of these things because I grew up poor and thought I needed to acquire “things” to prove I had made it. I was nearly killed. Suddenly, after laying in the trauma unit for a while, I started thinking. I began thinking about what was important before and what is important now. I was so thankful to hear my husband’s voice and see my parents and my kids when I woke up. I decided not to replace my cell phone. I do not own one. I decided not to replace the new car or the GPS, or the radio. Instead, we drive a 16 year old van and listen to public radio and sing along. This is hard for my 15 year old son to digest as he goes to a private school where most kids are dropped off in a BMW or a Benz. I hope what I am teaching him is far more valuable than the embarrassment I sense, but he rarely mentions. I want my kids to understand we are not here to buy more and more and work harder to pay for it. As of now, I am unable to work as I am learning to walk normally again. Money is tight, but that’s okay because so is the love.
“What if, instead of being embarrassed because our house is too small, we became embarrassed over the amount of unused space within it?”
I am trying to create lots of unused space by decluttering and minimising; the whole point of the becoming minimalist franchise. Short of selling my house, would you recommend:
A) I have unused space in my home, or
B) I use the space by filling out with stuff?
I think he’s speaking more about people who have huge houses with unused bedrooms they don’t need, 2 living rooms that sort of thing.
How about if we started teaching our children, and reinforcing it to adults that we are all equal and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. “Embarrassment” implies not measuring up. Teaching our kids and re-learning as adults, to be comfortable in ourselves, eliminates embarrassment. It also can go along way to increasing tolerance, and reducing bigotry, hatred and bullying.
Judy Opp says
We still have our 1999 F-150 white pickup truck and love “Gracie” as if she were an old family pet. She runs well and even with a bit of rust under the driver side door and a small hole where the driver sits…. she is perfect. She holds such history and so many memories of picnics on her tailgate. We are not young…. ready to retire and I hope and pray Gracie is around to spend many retirement years with us! Also we purchased our home 34 years ago to flip and then the coal mines closed and we love our small 1000 sq. ft. home in the center of our small Midwestern town that we decided to keep for ourselves. We recovered financially years ago but the mine closure was one of the best things that ever happened to us. Our life became simpler way back then and we have never looked back even when times became good again. Life is Good and a simpler life is GREAT!
Jayadeep Purushothaman says
I know this “embarrassment” feeling since I always had a beard since my teen years! But then I used to trim my beard since that was accepted norm. But then after I quit my corporate job, I let it grow, grow very naturally and figure out how I was made :) But then the comments I get has been very amusing and I tell them we were made this way people! The unnecessary conditioning that starts from the traditional schools made us believe that we were supposed to cut our hair – complete nonsense!
How did you get that photo of my car??
I love, love, love this blog! I don’t know how many times I have apologized for my old car, small house, worn carpets, and decidedly not updated kitchen! It is only recently (and with the help of “Becoming Minimalist”) that I have really shifted my mindset. I am happy, content, and grateful for my small cozy home. I realize how lucky I am! We are so focused on all the wrong things and so very very wasteful as a culture.
What if you stop being embarrassed about anything? If you believe in your own awareness and empathy for others and with a little (not too much) self confidence you could be cool with everything you do or wear.
i read a great many of your articles and often find little nuggets of truth within…however, this one is the motherlode! i feel like you have pared away enough onion layers to get to the root of much of the discomfort we foist upon ourselves: embarrassment and shame. the WHY of it are frequent topics you cover but in this little gem you provide an answer/a solution and i feel it is very valuable. thank you for writing this article!!
Some children seem personality driven to be embarrassed easily and to have that jealousy instead of being happy for someone else.
I’m very non-conforming in my peer group. I never wear dress shoes, spend only about 15 seconds “doing” my hair each day, nearly never wear makeup, generally wear a basic shirt and jeans or cargo pants/shorts. I don’t judge myself on the criteria of others but on my own, and as far as I can tell I have nearly always been that way.
There are negatives to that, it takes a really extreme fau pas to garner my embarrassment, and when it does happen it is extreme and hard to get over.
Id love some concrete ideas for working with kids who are more prone to embarrassment.
I feel ya, Often I won’t ‘get it’ when someone is hinting. And I think some indidviduals are more sensitive by nature–not a bad thing, it just is. If these people can realize their embarrassment or awkwardness is NOT an indicator of reality, only of THEIR reality. There will always be people that judges us by our possessions, looks, intelligence, persona…the list goes on…we can’t control that. But ..for the most part..I think people recognize authenticity and compassion and respond to it positively.
I’m eager to hear to concrete ideas too!
Good post. This phrase has guided my life for many years now: “Contentment consists not in great wealth, but in few wants”. If I can keep my needs vs. desires in perspective, I find I am much happier.
Brian Tice says
Hands down, this is your best article to date. Avoiding “embarrassment” is the root of so many of our collective issues and that thing that marketers constantly focus on.
So well written. Thank you Joshua!
Cynthia Stambaugh says
My 11-year-old grand daughter came to visit for a few days. During her stay, she caught a glimpse of my clothes closet and said with look of shock on her face, “Boy, you don’t have hardly any clothes.” I’m sorry to say that I felt strangely embarrassed over her comment.
Dorothy Lauder says
I am not a great fashion follower and clothes shopping is not my first choice of leisure activity, but I have to admit while out leisure shopping with my hibby, I was slightly embarrassed when I saw myself in a mirror and realised I was wearing an ‘out of date’ cardi. Mine was one of those that trails at either side and most other women shopping were wearing waist length cardies. How silly of my I thought, I have always been comfortable in it before, but now I feel old and 50 something…. I am 50 something…. and waist length does not add to my look. However, I feel I need to look at my wardrobe and get rid of more low energy stuff… So thanks for the reassessment nudge…..
Gosh do not worry what the others are wearing. Why does it matter if you look like everyone else? Be different and be yourself, not a sheep. Xx
Personally I was a snob and a slave to money and name brands. We had the best of everything. Lots of money. Then I broke my back and found out I had Cancer. Our life changed for the better. Hubby retired, we both went on pensions. Gave everything away and purchased a motor home. Have been on the road now for three years. We have never been happier. We buy secondhand if we can and free camp. When something breaks we fix it. No just racing of to the shops to buy a new one. We make do. Stuff is just that, stuff. The less we have the better.
Julie S. says
Every time I read one of your articles it seems like you are reading my mind. Words don’t come easy to me so when I read this article it’s like you took my thoughts and wrote it for me! My family of 5 lives in a small home in the country, no cable, no internet, no video games, and lots of library visits! I am very proud of all that and when I tell people, they usually respond with, “we need internet”, “my kids love video games”, “I have to be watch my show” …
I have challenged many of my colleagues, family, and friends on wanting LESS! ????
A lesson learned: when I first started in Real Estate I was given the opportunity to show a million plus home. At the time I drove a 15 yr old car, dull paint, dents and all…went to the car wash worrying about showing up in such a nice highend area driving my car…When I arrived at the home the owners wanted to give me a quick preview before my clients arrived…only to find the same exact car I was driving in their 4 car garage.
I drive a 12 year old Durango and am not embarrassed by that fact in the least. Yes, it’s rusty and I could drive a nicer vehicle if I wanted to go into debt but it’s mechanically sound and allows me to take all my grandchildren places to spend time with them. To me that’s more important than having a shiny new vehicle. I have been inspired by your posts Joshua. Keep up the good work!
Joe S says
I’ve grown to be more aware of what excess and the things that embarrass me say about me. When I was younger I thought the more I had the greater my worth. Now I’ve gotten rid of many of those unneeded items and it feels so freeing. When I see other spending excessively, or competing, I think of what inner turmoil or feelings of shortcomings spur the behavior. I feel compassion for them for chasing something so fleeting -then I remember I was there too. It’s fulfilling to realize you’re doing things for you (not to compete or impress) and that’s not only freeing but gratifying, and it doesn’t require explanation to others. When I know the reasons for my actions are pure I don’t feel embarrassed.
I love my upcycled life! I am not working now as I lost my job so hubby said come on home. I’ve spent an entire summer refinishing my 35 yr old builder grade cabinets instead of trashing them and replacing. They look fabulous! I haven’t purchased a new outfit in over a year. This summer I will paint my home and maybe recover my couch on my own and continue to be content as i embrace what I have. Im done competing with others. Take me or leave me, this is it and it brings me a great deal of peace. I only regret taking so long to reach this contentment.
Linda M says
Many people as they age need hearing aids and canes. My dad never was fitted with hearing aids and he missed out on so much. Why? Because he was embarrassed that he needed hearing aids. My mother needs a cane for balance. Does she use one? No, because it embarrasses her to use a cane and she’s almos 90 years old! You are certainly correct that people seem to be embarrassed by the wrong things! Thank you for this article.
Thank you for pointing out that embarrassment is not just for the young!
Jayne Hellier says
So true and so sad. Society has certainty set a president putting emphasis on the wrong things. It’s no wonder why young people are insecure in their lives.
we SHOULD be embarrassed by the debt we own but then….no one gets to SEE that……
thank, m.becker , for ur insights ……….
Jessica Parsons says
Sometimes, the embarrassment you feel means you need different friends!
Seriously though, I delayed getting our son glasses because I remember how much I got teased about mine back in the day. At least in our area, lots of kids have glasses and nobody makes an issue of it for him – thank goodness!
Is living in the suburbs considering positive or negative? I live in Europe so don’t have a clue but wondered why this piece of your life was mentioned. Reading it has given me to head shaking at times because it’s difficult to rationalise why its necessary to put a label on my lifestyle. We live within our means, have everything we need and our home, a subject you made mention of in this post, is small (100m2) but perfect for our family of 3. We travel and enjoy experiencing cultural events with family and friends. Great blog, btw!
Very well written.
Tina H. says
The sad root cause of this type of social embarrassment is not natural. Rather, it’s based on the peer socialization inherent in mass schooling, a phenomenon that steals children’s individuality and results in this type of unnecessary embarrassment throughout life. People ignorantly question the “socialization” of homeschooled kids, but they really have it all over other kids where it really matters in this realm. Specifically, homeschooled kids are never peer socialized – so they never come to believe that their worth depends on how similar they are to others. As a result, homeschooled kids are generally more outgoing and self-confident as adolescents and beyond – studies show this, much to the chagrin of mass schooling proponents. So, bottom line: If one wants to promote healthy confidence and self-assurance in one’s children, homeschool.
That is very interesting and I never thought of that perspective. Thank you, Tina!
I was able to homeschool for a while and have also had children in public school. I agree 100%
I would suggest that nothing is more natural than peer socialization and feeling embarrassed when you find that you are different. Even animals experience it! Homeschooled kids ARE socialized– but they are socialized to a different group of people. They are just as dependent on fitting in as any other human, but they are fitting in to their family culture rather than their peer group. Whether this is a plus or a minus is a matter of opinion, but they certainly are striving to “fit in,” because everyone strives to belong to a group. As a parent, it’s important to be aware of the ways that your kids are conforming their behavior to win YOUR approval– perhaps by making a point of rejecting whatever it is their peers are into.
I think what’s important is that kids, as well as adults, be able to navigate situations in which they feel different or embarrassed by finding common ground and connecting with whatever group they may find themselves in, while being conscious of how they may be influenced by that group. We all have to decide what our core values are, but we do that in a social context and it’s good to be conscious of the role that plays.
Our children (13, 11, and 7) are homeschooled. They socialize with a few neighbors and friends from church and are very comfortable around them. They play sports in the Fall and are comfortable around those friends, too (they all wear the same soccer uniform). There never seems to be an issue concerning fashion trends. As a matter of fact, when a friend receives something new, like a toy, sunglasses, or a new bike, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of jealousy. On the contrary, they are always excited for each other, and cannot wait to share.
When I went to school, I was very self conscious of my clothing. My parents did not buy me the latest trendy clothes. Most of the time, my mom made my clothes. Now, this was not because we didn’t have money to buy clothes. We did, but my parents were minimalists and didn’t care about the latest trends, etc. They cared about traveling and took me with them everywhere. ????????❤️
I lived at the time in the French West Indies and even though I lived on a French island, I was not immune to the marketing fads. You were the cool kid if you wore Polo, not a homemade skirt covered in small hearts. The sad thing is I that I would be so happy about the skirt my mother made me. I would watch her make it and couldn’t wait to wear it. Then, I would get to school and the very same skirt would bring me a sense of grief and rejection.
I felt lonely and desired to fit in because I just wanted to have a friend. It’s very hard to be in middle school and not feel accepted by your peers.
The embarrassment and loneliness is very destructive. It leads to a sense of unimportance that can lead to depression.
I would never home school. Yes it has it’s positives, but for true child development, it is a poor alternative to being in an actual school.
Being in a school around children (who are not related to you) and adults (who are not related to you), is REALLY important for human development. You don’t just lean maths and english in school, you learn how to interact with others and your personality develops.
I have several degrees from university, but I also am the first in my family to go complete high school. I also know of relatives who never even finished school. It is evident to me how important traditional schools are for development. You grow with every person you meet and have to develop friendships with. You just won’t get that in a home environment.
Homeschooling is not good for children overall, compared to traditional schooling. If you don’t believe me look up the research in this area, instead of relying on mere anecdotal stories. When you’re homeschooled, your environment is limited. In an actual school, you learn to deal with a far greater number of both positive and negative situations in terms of human interactions, and this develops character.
School is where you get out of the comfort zone (or disaster zone) of living at home around people you know and who care about you. In school, you learn about the myriad ways in which you relate to others, how you can relate to others, and how you can live, learn and grow. You also meet people you can’t stand and that true has it’s value. You live and learn.
Would you rather spend years in a your own back garden learning about the world, or would you go out into a big unknown forest and discover the world? That’s the best analogy I can think of right now. I know what I would choose, but don’t believe me, look up the best research that has been done by scientists in this area, and believe them..instead of believing your own naive beliefs.
Homeschool children? No way.
Excuse the typos and grammatical errors – it is past 2 am in London!
For being so educated you sure are ignorant. Your analogy of the backyard garden is very fitting to describe children boxed into a classroom day after day. You should definitely NEVER homeschool. You would do a terrible job.
I’m curious have you ever met someone that you found out was homeschooled? I’ve never had anyone in my adult life guess that I was homeschooled.
Every opportunity that was right or necessary for my development my family said yes to. We didn’t have a lot of money but we had the freedom to take good opportunities. At thirteen years old I spoke in front of almost four hundred people. It was uncomfortable but necessary. I later starred in plays that received standing ovations. I learned every subject that my public school peers learned and then some. I had the opportunity to take classes that challenged me knowing that I wasn’t jeopardizing my GPA. Why? I had the necessary credits so my mom could say just do that class for you.
I learned I was not beneath anyone. I developed a keen sense of self. I don’t accept being treated wrongly. My first test in college the professor threw out half of the test. She threw out the section I made a hundred on just to benefit the majority that failed to learn the prescribed matieral. I didn’t accept that. I respectfully approached her after class. The next day I got the grade I worked for. I graduated with a 4.0. I started working full time 2 days later.
Unfortunately that strength and confidence is not what teenagers are receiving at public schools. For five years I worked with public school, private school and homeschooled kids. I heard numerous girls in public schools recount the sexual assaults they face daily. The most striking part is that nothing is done. If it isn’t seen by a teacher than you just have to keep dealing with it. If you say something the treatment often gets worse. You can’t fathom the amount of teenagers that I met that had attempted suicide. Most of these kids were in public school and a handful in private school. It is a nightmare.
I would much rather have strong daughters that aren’t subjected and conditioned to accept poor treatment. I would much rather have sons that stand up for others and don’t go with the flow. In the professional world I’ve faced verbal sexual assualt. I didn’t put up with. I never worked with those people again, because I can stand up for myself.
I have no back down button on right and wrong. I was always heard growing up. My parents instilled in me strength to stand up for others and myself.
If you really want to examine the issue ask teenagers in the mall what they face in school. Attend a homeschool co-op event and ask the teenagers what they face in school. The issues kids face should challenge them to growth not to contemplate suicide.
Jayadeep Purushothaman says
Traditional schooling treats every kid as a part that flows in the production line and every part has to pass through the same steps which is utter nonsense to me and completely unnatural.
Hi, could you please give links to the studies you mentioned? I would be very interested to read more about this. Thanks
So true Tina, our 8 year old is in public and we at home lead a very simple life. I am finding it more and more difficult to deal with the “I need this to be cool” attitude!!! I have a hard time listening to it. My response is always the same, people are important, being with the ones you love and doing good. She gets it but is still criticized in school. It makes me very sad to know this is happening to our youngsters.
Embarrassment is a sign, just like anger. There is nothing wrong with embarrassment, what is wrong how we react to it. Feeling embarrassment may indicate mere irritation, and can simply be felt and released. But it may be a sign of a greater problem. Personally, I’m not embarrassed about the excess I have. Even though I’m not embarrassed, I am realizing more and more I don’t need so many things and can let them go. I tend to agree with Laurie. I’d rather we all could simply accept more and chastise less. I think a byproduct of that would be giving more to others, and inspiring others to do the same.
Great article. Thank you for sharing it.
The article would have been fantastic if it ended with “…stop being embarrassed by the wrong things and start pursuing the right things.” Because sadly, I DO feel embarrassed over the size of my closet and extra space. I have friends over and immediately start in, “This house was such a great deal…short sale you know.” I feel embarrassed and apologetic about a blessing instead of feeling thankful. And why? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could ALL shrug off embarrassment and just appreciate the joy that finds its way into everyone’s life?
the gold digger says
It’s a variation of, “I found this sweater on sale! At a consignment store!” (A SNL skit ended with one woman telling the other, “They PAID me to take this dress!”)
Although for me, it’s more of a, “I am not going to pay retail” thing. But still, it is a way to show off what I value, which is thrift and the ability to find a deal. What would embarrass me is if people thought I was wasteful with my money.
Linda M says
I do that, too, Laurie! I’m embarrassed by our big house and fancy furniture (that came with the house) and feel the need to let everyone know that is really was a fantastic deal. It is a blessing that God brought about (His hand was all over it) so why should I be embarrassed? But I am.
I’m thinking about all those who have nothing or just share a small room, little or no furniture, struggle to feed their families or those who simply have less. Are they unblessed? “Untouched” by his hand. You shouldn’t bring God into the conversation or link his greatness to your big “luxurious”?stuff. It shows your unwillingness to take responsibility.
Kim Jordan says
I agree Cathy. I am amazed at the many who believe that God chose them to have the luxuries.
I really doubt that’s what they were saying. God often blesses people with homes, He also blesses them by removing homes. The presumption that claiming God has blessed you, is actually a form of superiority rather than open praise is unfair, and unkind. It is impossible to know their hearts and not for anyone but God to judge. We should praise God for His blessings in everything, and because someone is blessed with a house, or a car in no wise indicates God is not blessing those who do not have a house or a car. Not does it indicate we should not praise God for the blessings He gives for fear of offending others. That’s just not how it works. Should I not praise God that He protect my children from death in a recent car crash for fear of offending those who lost someone in accidents? I think not.
Donna Longmire says
Yes, you said what I was thinking. When someone claims that God has chosen to bless them over others, it can be just another form of superiority or pride. Why not leave it as “We got a fabulous deal and we are very grateful.”
I think God cares more about our “hearts” than our “houses”.
God has nothing to do with it. If that were true, then God has a grudge against all those who don’t have much. Why would He favor you? Something to think about.
Each one’s relationship with God is their own & no one is capable of making determinations one way or another about another’s blessings – material or otherwise as they are deeply subjective.
Interesting how the various comments are indicative of each one’s relationship with God (or lack there of due to choice) & how each personally believes God blesses or doesn’t.
How wonderful it would be to recognize all blessings, celebrate & rejoice together being happy for one another rather than to dismiss, judge & shame which only results in division.
Jojo May says
Oh you echo my own heart!! I discovered years ago that others rarely look at each other and thank the Lord for the blessings He’s bestowed… rather they try to make others feel guilty and that transforms into embarrassment. Once I saw that… I determined simply to live my life before God.. not others.. and the pangs I used to have around certain groups disappeared.. and in its place .. pure contentment for the blessings in life!
I don’t have an amazing cell phone, or phone plan. I am using a trashy, holding on by a prayer, trac phone. It’s 3 years old and I only use about 10.00 per month on it. Hardly anyone has the number, I just use it for emergencies, or VERY quick conversations and the occasional text. I committed when my kids were babies to take the money that a phone and plan would cost, and invest it for their college. The only time I felt slightly weird about it, believe it or not, was in a group of 5th graders. I was helping in a class and a girl pointed out that I was the only one in the room (OF KIDS) that didn’t have a bla bla bla. (Whichever fancy phone her parents had just bought her) Kind of cracks me up now, looking back, that it never bothered me before in the slightest, but being around a bunch of 11 year olds made me self-conscious.
Hey, Noelle…I too have a Tracfone & have had for years. I’ve upgraded twice so now I have an android Tracfone that costs me $10 a month. As I’ve gotten older, I’m about to turn 73, I find that a lot of things I used to be embarrassed about, don’t matter anymore. Life is so much easier when you’re not worried about whether or not you’ve got the best, newest, most popular things. I had painted this on my wall in my last, bigger house, “The best things in life aren’t things”. I try to live by that in my much smaller home I have today.