27 December 2013

The Exception to the "Rule"

I'd like to talk about a . . . phenomenon? not sure that's the right word . . . that I come across quite a bit. I'm not sure what to call it, but I would describe it like this:

The ability to get away with something conventionally viewed as "negative" 
because your own anecdotal results are "positive" to the average layperson.

Let me explain with a few scenarios.

Because my children are all tall and thin (as in, close to average on weight but way above average on height on those ubiquitous charts), when we walk into a fast food restaurant and sit down and gorge on fries and cheeseburger-y goodness, no one bats an eye. Would they look at us differently if all/some were clearly overweight? Probably. But, no one judges the thin kid with the plate of nuggets.

Because my oldest is considerably ahead of "grade level" in math and reading, when folks learn we homeschool their reaction is mainly positive. It's "okay" that we teach her at home because she's smart. But what if she were just average in most subjects, or struggling? Would folks assume we must be inadequate educators?

Because my children are sweet “normal” and (for the most part) non-clingy kids who enjoy interacting with other people, I must be the exception who did not scar them for life by breastfeeding them until age three. I mean, everyone knows that nursing a child past one year, six months, ten days, whatever will cause them to be too dependent on mom forever and ruin any hope for gaining independence, right?

Because my middle child is a complete extrovert and super friendly and social, no one expresses concern that she is "missing out" on a traditional kindergarten classroom experience. But what if she were more naturally reserved and timid? Would our choice to keep her home be deemed a mistake?

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