Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Maturity

One of my daughters has been hurt by the accusation from certain friends that she is “immature”.  Now, I realize that I’m her mother, and I’m not objective.  And I know she has her faults, as does she.  But I would defy any objective adult to look at my daughter and her accusers and tell me that she is the least mature of the group.

I love this facepalm monkey.
Hubby and I have tried to explain to her that the problem, we think, is how these kids define maturity.   Their definitions have nothing to do with character and everything to do with lifestyle and experience.  My twelve-year-old daughter doesn’t wear make-up and isn’t into fashion and how she looks.  To them, this is a sign of immaturity.  Every "mature" girl they know their age is trying desperately to make themselves as attractive as possible to boys.
My daughter isn’t "boy crazy".  She has crushes on boys, but she doesn’t act silly around them and she doesn’t avoid their presence for fear of doing something embarrassing.  She is a big fan of Max Schneider, a Nickelodeon star, (in fact, she created her own fan blog – give her a thrill and check it out here), but she doesn’t act all kooky and gaga over him.  To her friends, this is immaturity.  Every "mature" girl they know their age is obsessed with boys, because that’s what is supposed to happen when you hit the middle school years and stop being a little girl.
My daughter doesn’t watch "Degrassi" or other shows of a similar nature aimed at kids her age.  She thinks the sexual content of these shows is ridiculous.  Keep in mind, she’s had crushes on boys since she was five, so it’s not like she’s not into the opposite sex yet.  She just doesn't buy into the idea that teenage romance must inherently involve stupidity – and she thinks shows that glorify stupid teenage romances are stupid.  To her friends, this is immature.  Every "mature" girl they know their age longs for the kinds of relationships they see portrayed in such programs and will take any opportunity they get to have one.
Of course, it now occurs to me . . . every other girl that these friends know goes to school.
There's an old joke among homeschoolers: when someone asks, "Aren't you worried about your kids' socialization?" they say, "Absolutely!  That's why we homeschool!"

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