After thinking about it for a while and talking with the school principal to get his take on what the core of the issue might be, I decided that my son has not ever reconciled himself to the concept of necessary evils. And that this was not a problem that started with or was limited to being at school. So, I talked with the boy about it.
When I asked him how he thought we should respond to necessary evils he said, “fight them?” Ding! Ding! Ding! We’ve found the problem! So, we talked about how there will always be necessary evils and its rare that we can do anything about them. And how middle school is pretty much a giant jumble of necessary evils all gathered in one place. Which makes it the perfect place for him to learn this lesson.
He decided that although he doesn’t like it, if I felt so strongly that this was a problem he needed to master, he would stop his campaign to go back to homeschooling – for now. I agreed that if I saw that he had learned to deal with necessary evils in a healthy way, we could revisit the issue. But I’m pretty sure that once he stops fighting and freaking out over all the dumb things that just can’t be changed, he will start to adjust perfectly well.
So . . . alls well that ends well. for now!
BTW Just because I know some people are so enamored with their own black and white view of the world, I am perfectly well aware that I can just make my kids do what they are supposed to do. And I do that. All the time. (See the part where I forced him to stay in school and then go back to begin with.) However, my kids are fellow human beings. They deserve to have their feelings and ideas dealt with respectfully and with compassion. And I think it’s very important not just to teach my kids to do the right things, but how to be the sort of people God designed them to be. Making my kids do what I say – even when they protest – is EASY. Teaching them how to approach and think about life is much harder, much more important and much more profitable to all involved. So yes, I do discuss things with my kids and getting them to understand and choose wisely for themselves is central to my concept of being a decent parent. Which is why this was ever a topic for discussion. Just an FYI for those of you who might be tempted to offer opinions because you already know all the answers.