What About Socialization?
I took advantage the other day of free rides at Nickelodeon Universe. I packed all seven kids into the van and off we went. My two oldest are 11 and didn’t want to go on the kiddie rides so I gave them my cell phone and let them roam on their own through the park. I was with my sister so they could call when they needed us. As I looked around the park I noticed it was all home schoolers and moms with strollers so I figured it was a pretty good day to let them off on their own!
As I was in line at yet another kiddie ride I ran into a mom I’d met at the MACHE conference. We chatted, and I noticed she had her son along. She said he was a little bored because they were with a group of girls who wanted nothing to do with the big rides, and he wanted everything to do with the big rides! So, I called my boys and over they came to pick up a new friend!
Now, our kids had never met before, but immediately said hi and went off to enjoy the fast rollercoasters and swinging, spinning nonsense! They had a blast for two hours. Never did it occur to them to have a pretentious attitude or a critical spirit about hanging out with someone they’d never met. Never once did it cross their minds to check what the other was wearing or how they talked or if they had something in common as I see so many kids do.
They just accepted each other sight on scene and enjoyed each other’s company. They all had a great time!
So, what about socialization? Yeah, my kids don’t judge others by brand name clothing or gelled hair. They really know nothing about what’s “in” and what’s not. They haven’t got a clue how to act “cool” or how to show another kid they’re really something. Hmm, well if that’s socialization, I guess we’ll just remain unsocialized!
But if true socialization is the ability to be a friend to anyone who might come along and enjoy the company of even strangers, then I guess we’re doing alright.
Happy socializing, everybody!