At this point in life, I am keenly aware of my status as an introvert. I am recharged and get all that I need spiritually when I spend time at home, especially alone. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, whether it’s straightening up, lesson planning, or even reading and writing, I do joyfully and enjoy the time to myself. I’m working on a two-year certificate in holistic health. It’s a very slow process due to homeschooling, which always comes first. Nevertheless, it’s one of the personal goals I am pursuing in order to stay motivated and inspired. I am an admitted hard-core homebody, but that doesn’t mean I can’t function in society. Almost everyday I do something that requires getting out, which isn’t too hard these days with all the tests and appointments on the calendar. But overall socializing is not a scheduled, daily thing. I have many online friends, which is great because as a blogger we can become much closer. Women who become friends online usually become closer faster because there’s a sense of comfort and connection that doesn’t happen as quickly in person. Then there are my friends for life. When we were moving here we drove through a town in Tennessee where one of my friends from high school lives today. We made an overnight pit stop and I got to catch up with her. It was like we had never been apart. I have three friends like this. Then I have my friends in my family, through my brothers and their wives/girlfriend. And then I have my seasonal friends, those I click with through groups, spiritual things, and interests. When I move either literally, like out of state, or just move on in my journey personally, the friendship fades and dies. If the connection is based on the mutual love for something and we are no longer doing that “something” together, there’s no glue to hold us.
As an adult, I have realized that socializing means something very specific for me. My children are growing their own personalities in a way that is comfortable for them and socializing may look different and change as they grow. What is socialization? According to many sites and books, it means different things, but according to Wikipedia, socialization is a term used by sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, political scientists, and educators referring to the life long process of inheriting and disseminating norms, customs and ideologies, providing an individual with skills needed to participate in his or her society.
We are not mindless drones. Do we have to accept that definition? Absolutely not. Actually I don’t want my children conforming to the world’s ideologies and theories because I think many of them are wrong. My youngest child loves animals, I know all children do, but this kid lives to take care of animals. And when he’s not doing that he’s pretending to be an animal. Being social for him means one day caring for animals. Stray animals need us. They are alone in this big world that mostly doesn’t notice them. My child does notice them, and he has a huge heart for them. I am more concerned with getting him to his destination of caring for animals than I am with forcing him to be with people “just because”.
It’s important that my children understand socialization is about being human. It doesn’t look like any one particular person’s definition. Type-A folks have a very different view of socialization that Type-B’s do, and introverts and extroverts, and Christian communities and atheists, and those who are moms have a very different social life than single guys. I am not preparing them to “fit in”; my husband and I are preparing them for the future. They will become adults one day and we are preparing them for that. They need an education and we are providing a top-notch one of I do say so myself, but as far as socialization goes, it’s not something that will be forced in our school. I know that scares people, but we don’t live to please mainstream ideologies. Whoever decided that forcing kids together based on age and enforcing them to sit and be quiet for hours a day, then go out for recess and run around and be crazy, then come back in and sit and be quiet, would be an excellent way to give children social skills, was probably not a parent.
Socialization means something different for everyone. It depends on what we are comfortable with and who we choose to become friends with, and what we believe in. If my kids decide that their calling is to take care of homeless people and most of their friends are homeless men and women, and they depend on their brothers and few close friends for advice and support (and always their mom and dad of course), they are well socialized. If they are pleasing unto the Lord and making a life for themselves that’s fulfilling, then they are well socialized. If they can think insode the box and outside the box, and are free in thought and deed, and they are set apart and successful in the eyes of the Lord, then I would say that socialization will most likely not be an issue. The Lord has shown over and over again that He is concerned with love and He wants us caring for each other. He doesn’t mention much about socialization outside of loving and caring.
“It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice. So I guess I’m not socializing my children, I am humanizing them.” ~Kimberly Price
Have a wonderful weekend!