Wednesday, 14 January 2015
My Children My Responsability
I am who I am today because of my education. I went to a Catholic school but my family was in no way religious. I was taught to pray and believe in a higher power yet at home my parents told me otherwise. I grew up living both sides. As I got older I began to see more clearly the dangers of religion my dad had been warning me about. Religion is run by men, if there is a God his message has been interpreted and dishorted by men. He was very clear in making me aware of how doctrine had always been anti female. He told me there was nothing wrong with faith, and it is to be respected but be aware of the power hungry man.
I am grateful for his honesty. I grew up grounded and capable of respectful debate. Now my children are to grow up in a home with an athiest mother and a muslim father. I will teach my children the exact same message. Respect other people's choices but know when to act when their choices prevent you from making yours.
My daughter will grow up to know her worth and to refuse anyone or anything that considers her inferieur. She will learn the customs and traditions of her father's beliefs but she will be free to make her own choice, without worrying about disappointing either of us.
When I first met my partner he was a very different person. He was never a radical muslim but he did have some strong beliefs about a woman's place being at home with the children and the man bringing home the chicken (can't really say bacon in his case can I?!). But he met his match with me! I have a brain and a mouth and I used both of them. Over the years our debates became less heated and I came to see the goodside of his traditions and he began to see that a strong minded woman is nothing to be afraid of, quite the opposite.
Since our daughter was born his views have changed again. He wants her to be independant. To never need a man (apart from him of course!). He knows that if he walked out today I would be more than capable to stand on my own two feet, and he sees the merit in my education.
We have a second child on the way, and although not yet confirmed, we both have a strong feeling it's a boy. This is where it's going to get interesting! I certainly won't be bringing him up to think he's the most special boy in the world. I have all too often been around parents who have sons & daughters and seen the daughters expected to do chores and the sons not to. Believe me that won't be happening here! As Tiana wil learn basic plumbing & DIY, my son will learn the difference between a washing machine and a tumble dryer (I'm speaking from experience here, I've lost count of the amount of times my partner has put the washing in the tumble dryer first!).
Educating my children is a job I have no right to fail at. I will not rely on school or friends to teach my children. I will bring them up to question everything, nothing is black & white. If Tiana was a bit older I would have explained truthfully what happened here in France this week. There is a fine line between preserving childhood innocence and throwing ignorant 18 year olds out into a very imperfect world.
They will grow up in a multicultural home where tolerance and freedom of speech & choice is the backbone of our happy family life. They wil grow up with both parents enjoying fulfilling careers and a balanced private life. They will grow up seeing their father hoover and cook and their mother checking the oil in the car and unblocking drains!
They will grow up with freedom but knowing mutual trust is key. We will travel, experience other cultures. They will spend time with their African family and their English family. They will grow up being proud of their diversity.
They will know the history of black oppression by the white man, and see first hand how times have changed, how from generation to generation we can create a fairer place. They will know the fight of women and their responsability in this world to keep up the fight so everybody is equal. They will know we live in a dangerous world but not to be afraid to live. They will be free to have their own opinions but learn to express them respectfully and after much self evaluation.
They will know their time here is limited but their footprints will last an eternity. I will teach them their actions have direct consequences, being an ostrich in this world makes you part of the problem.
Education starts at home. We choose to bring these little creatures into this world, it is our responsibilty as parents to mould them into good people.
Parenting is more then "brush your teeth" "say please and thank you". What your child grows up hearing and seeing will be the foundations for the person they become.
Shower them with hugs and kisses but shower them equally with knowledge and sense of responsibility for all humanity and maybe we will be one step closer to an united world.