One of the biggest struggles of being a parent, at least for me, is that of convincing my kids that all of the hundreds of "inevitabilities" they are taught about are not really inevitable.
I have written, before, about my older son having come home and having said that he learned in school that day that when he becomes a teenager, his hormones are going to make him rebellious. His exact words were, "Did you know that when I become a teenager, I am going to start being mean to you?" It goes to show how careful we have to be about teaching. I, of course, corrected this by asserting that being mean is a choice; he can control how he acts toward me, no matter how powerful nature's pull may be. He was much relieved.
A few months ago, late in the summer, I was talking to another adult and my son (the same one as above) was with me. I mentioned that my son was going into the seventh grade. This person (an educator) immediately countered with: "Uh-oh..." and went on to explain how ("just you wait") seventh graders are so hard to handle and how he was going to change. A while room full of adults agreed, laughing the laughs of the battle-hardened parents. So, in front of him, I said, "Nah. Joe's a good kid. Everything will be just fine."
I was mad, but I didn't show it to either them or to him. When we got outside, I burst in to fake, comic tears. Joe picked up on the routine and patted me comically on the back. "There, there, Dad," he said, in a silly voice. "What's wrong Father?"
"It's all over," I wailed. "You heard what they said. As soon as the school year starts...in a few short weeks, you are going to become a monster. We are going to stop being pals. Waaahhhh..."
We both broke into a fit of hysterics over this. When we calmed down, he said, "Well, I guess we ought to do something fun soon, because as soon as school starts, we'll be enemies..."
We laughed again.
Satire is a powerful parenting tool. Most of the way through October, things are still pretty good. No dramatic changes. We laughed at dinner last night; during our bedtime prayers of thankfulness, he expressed his thanks for the "World's Greatest Family." This weekend we are going to do some target shooting with our bows...
I don't see an imminent collapse, despite the wisdom of my elders...
All hail humor, the best weapon against groupthink.