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Uncle CHiN

Dear Uncle CHiN,

The other day while driving with my children, we were joking and laughing, really whooping it up. I realized that I truly love their company. In fact, I prefer their company to anyone elseís. I donít know many other parents like this. Most other parents I know say they are happy that their children go to school so they can get them out of the house. Is there something wrong with me for preferring the company of my children?

Signed, Abby Normal

Dear Abby,

I thought I might someday write a letter that began, "Dear Abby," but I never imagined I would be the one giving the advice.

You wonder why you are content in the company of your own children. Uncle CHiN is sad that anyone feels the need to question her enjoyment of people of any age or status. The estrangement of mothers from their own children is especially sad.

In our lifetimes, mothers numbering in the millions have left home to join the workforce. Economic pressure drove many of them out. Have they prospered? When you look at measures like real income over recent decades, you find that American families are barely staying in place economically, despite two parents working. Somehow, more is less.

Somebody at the top of the food chain has profited from pulling millions of women into the workforce. Overall, most families have not gained enough monetarily to justify the sacrifice, and all families are poorer for the lack of time: to breathe, to listen, to be heard, to know each other, to cuddle, to be cuddled. Serenity is the most precious commodity of our times.

In the long run, society may be the loser, too. The costs of housing children in day care and schools are staggering. Weíre not just talking dollars hereóweíre talking about the costs of dealing with generations of children who are fragmented and lost. For some, homelessness is a state of mind that begins in infancy.

Whoever profits from tapping the womenís labor force got a great assist from the misguided radicals of the womenís movement. Feminists set up the most self-defeating conundrum of all time. They said, "Women are too intelligent and too creative to waste their time raising their own children so they should hand the children over to . . . uh . . . the care of unintelligent and uncreative people . . . ? Oh . . . no, no . . . Uhm . . . Hand them over to . . . uh . . ." Iím still waiting for feminists to tell us just who is fit to raise our children if we, as parents, are too almighty important for the job.

Uncle CHiN regrets that society saturates us with the message that we donít like our children. The message serves economic and political purposes at the expense of our families. Once we buy into the message even a little, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because of the estrangement it causes. The less time we spend with our children, the less we know them and the less we have influence over them. Not surprisingly, we find the child who spent ten hours in daycare (eight of them his best waking hours) a strange and annoying creature when we have just spent our ten best waking hours at a desk, a cash register, or a forklift.

Todayís family must somehow keep bread on the table and love around the table. If your family has found a way to keep one parent at home, cherish the opportunity and never apologize for it. Tell everyone you can that it simply isnít true that children are ghastly little creatures. Children are wonderful people. They are fun and they are fascinating. The most interesting people you will ever know are your own children. Part of our mission as homeschoolers is to reawaken society to this fact.

Love, Your Uncle CHiN


   About Testing

   Deducting Homeschooling Expenses

   Homeschooling through the Summer

   On Doing "Nothing"

   On Loving Your Children's Company

   Over Eager Mom

   Private Time for Mom

   Sibling Rivalry

   Teaching Children at Different Grade Levels

   The Many Ways to Homeschool

   Uncle CHiN on ADHD

   Unit Studies

   What About the Prom?

   Winning over a Skeptical Grandma


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