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We always try to protect our children, but I didn’t realize

Picture by Todd Clark - Realtor (Beaverton, Oregon)As many of you know, my family has chosen to home school despite my parents, grandparents, and even my brother all being teachers or having been teachers. But, one of the things that they criticized us for in that decision is that our children weren't getting the social interaction that they needed.

Now, I personally disagree with that because they are involved in sports, church youth groups and even girl scouts, so they get plenty of social interaction as far as I'm concerned. Even if you talk to most people who meet our kids they say they are the most well spoken and polite children they have ever met. (Not to toot my own horn, but I think my wife and I are raising some pretty darn good kids.)

But, last night during our family game night we realized that we are sheltering our kids, but sometimes that isn't always a bad thing. While playing a game with the kids, my daughter was beating the heck out of my wife. So she laughingly said to my 10 year old daughter, "AHHHH, this is child abuse starts, so cut it out!" It was a joke, of course, and we were all laughing. But, then in all seriousness, my 10 year old daughter looked at my wife and asked, "What is child abuse?"

WOW! We were sheltering our children, but I think we may be sheltering them from what the real world is like. The weird part is that we were able to shelter her from this despite me being involved in the Cinderella program that has a lot to do with abuse of young girls from family and or other figures that most kids look up to.

So, my question is, can we really shelter our kids too much or maybe kids should be in such a position that they can be kids and not have to worry or ever know what such things in life happen? After our other younger children went to bed we sat her down and had to explain what child abuse was and she didn't know that people could or did treat kids that way.

We had to explain to her that is why her uncle is a foster parent. Most of those kids were in exactly that situation before going to his house to live with him. I think she was a little saddened that kids she may even know on the baseball team, or kids she knows from girl scouts could be in this situation. Her perfect world may have been shattered by a innocent comment during a family game night.

I wish we didn't live in such a world, but I'm glad she didn't have to find out about it until she was 10.


Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


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Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 11 commentsRespect Realty LLC • January 20 2009 10:51PM


Todd, You were right to explain this to her. In today's world I think you have to shelter your children, unfortunately. I hate to sound like, hmmm, well, an oldtimer, LOL, but when I was a kid there was absolutely nothing on TV, music, magazines, or in school that anyone had to worry about kids being exposed to.  So sad, really.

Posted by Shirley Parks, Broker, 210-414-0966, San Antonio TX Real Estate (Sands Realty 210-414-0966) over 10 years ago

Todd- This is exactly one of the best reasons to homeschool and why I homeschool also. It is up to us, the parents when and how our children learn some of the not so nice things about the world we live in. It is not sheltering them in a bad way but rather choosing the time and the place for teaching those things.

As far as socialization goes, homeschool kids get way more than public school kids because of our support groups and the time we devote to their social events. We tend to go the extra mile to make sure they get positive social interaction from church and scouting, field trips and neighborhood activities.

Studies now show that one of the blessings that homeschool kids have over others is that they get along and communicate very well with adults because they are around adults in closer settings. They hear adults talking more and participate more in those adult conversations. My 6 year old's vocabulary and critical thinking skills is so amazingly advanced. And everyone says he is so well behaved.

Keep doing what you are doing.

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) over 10 years ago

The beauty of innocence..........I think what you're doing as a family is a wonderful thing..........home schooled children are some of the best educated and 'together' kids I've ever known........the bonding that takes place.........the nurturing and multiple blessing......make it more then worth it........Good for you!

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor over 10 years ago

Todd, we too homeschooled our girls and it was the best decision we made as parents. It did shelter them from a lot of stuff they didn't need to be exposed to and I don't apologize for that, I wish I could have been so sheltered when I was a kid. Things have changed a lot in this world, kids lose their innocence too soon. There'll be plenty of time for the realities to come.

By the way, our oldest is about to graduate from college, the youngest just made honors in her first semester of college.

Posted by Debbie Malone, From Lynchburg To The Lake (434) 546-0369 (Londeree's Real Estate & Property Management) over 10 years ago

Our children were not home schooled, but I would never criticize those who choses to do so.  The only thing I wonder about is if sheltering them from the bad things that can happen is all good.  My children went to public school.  They were not always treated as they would treat others, but this is true in life as well.  There are bullies, children with issues that don't always deal with them appropriately. lazy children, mopy kids and selfish kids.  There are also wonderful children, sharing children, funny children and ambitious children.  These children have parallel personalities in the adults we deal with daily.  Just as we have to learn how to deal with these people, so do our children.  They need to have our support when they come up against these people.  I am not sure they get these opportunities in home schooling.  Maybe with the other groups you involve them in, they do. It's just a question.

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 10 years ago

Todd, All the people I know who home school have great, will adjusted kids...

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) over 10 years ago


I don't think that we can shelter them from too much real world stuff.  They will get all of the information they need soon enough.  I jsut wish that we could go back to some of the more comfortable things that we had way back in the day like letting the kids go outside and play with their friends and not have to worry about them as much as we do today.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 10 years ago


I think in some cases kids are a lot more observant than we had to be when we were younger. Your kids sound like the greatest kids around, and I think it is great that you go that extra mile. Hats off to you Todd.

Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago

We as parents tell our children what we feel is important - my daughter came home her senior year in high school and said she did not know what she could have quit school when she turned 16. I looked at her and simply asked why she needed that information since it was not even an option in our house. She looked at me, thought for a moment and that was the end of the discussion. We tell them things that we as parents feel are relevant to their world - some things they just don't need to know as children -

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

And just as additional information, I was a high school teacher for 15 years - still, it was not relevant to her world -

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

Wow Todd: First of all, beautiful photograph! I just think you will know what to say and when AND they will learn through some of their other social activities - BUT, I do think you need to acquaint them with parts of the REAL world....I think child abuse in the mind of a ten year old is rather difficult to conceptualize....she'll get it soon enough. ;-)


Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) over 10 years ago

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