Monday, September 06, 2010

How to mess up your kids...

I often worried over the fact that my children were growing up in a different culture than my own. Twenty five years later I do not know why this even bothered me, but at the time it seemed they might be forever scarred and labeled as misfits of the planet. Which they may well be, but that can be a good thing in this day and age!

Growing up in the jungle among a tribal people with a completely non Western world view was bound to have some impact upon their psyche, right?

You could say that!

This would often be displayed by the innocent things they would say or do never suspecting it was not normal in their own 'culture'.

Like the time my 12 year old son informed me that if his wife ever behaved like 'so and so' he would spank her! After all, that was the way Ye'kwana men dealt with their wives. We had a very long discussion about that and I am sure he has never spanked his wife.

Then there was the time we were in Caracas and needed to travel across the city by using the subway. Jewel was 6 years old at the time and as we walked down the stairs leading into the underground subway system, she freaked out! I was a little freaked out myself because the subways are very dangerous in Caracas, but this child was terrorized.

Finally, we got it out of her. Did we not realize we were dragging her into the underworld? The terrible place where evil reigned and people entered but never returned! Every Ye'kwana indian above the age of 2 knew of this awful place and we were dragging her into it. That took another several hours long discussion to set straight. I think she knows it is not true now...I think...

My oldest daughter watched all her friends get married young. Very young, like 12 - 14 years old. Is it a wonder she was married at 18? Is it not logical that she would choose to have her babies be born at home with only her husband in attendance? She uses the Ye'kwana hammock method to deliver. She had one baby in a hospital in Costa Rica, but to hear her tell of it, she was tortured and will never purposely submit herself to that again.

My youngest daughter thought the village was the world. The entire universe. She thought everyone ate worms and monkeys. She knew her familial relationship to everyone in the tribe. She even thought the rainbow was her cousin for awhile...

11 comments:

Carrie said...

I love this post!

I worry about my MKs, too :)

Gigi said...

Thanks for the peek into a totally different world!

Eddie Buford said...

Thanks again for a very informative and thought provoking post. It would be a lot better if our American kids were raised that innocent. I see too many of our kids, and younger married couples being too caught up with material things and the latest fads. God Bless You:)

Susan said...

Delightful!!!

Brenda said...

We should all hope our children grow up to be as "messed up" as yours! ;)

marion said...

"How to ruin them for the ordinary!" - more like =)

Jeanne said...

Beautiful! I like it. I wish my kids were that messed up...

Kristen Stewart said...

Hello Rita

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Will you add my blog in your blog?
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Thanks

Kathy said...

This is wonderful Rita--only you should have titled it, "How to bless up your kids!" :)

Gringo said...

You had a posting where you told us that one of your children, age around 3 at the time, got very upset when a US guest at your place in the jungle spoke English. Until then your child had assumed that English was a special/secret language that only the family used.

"How can he be speaking OUR language?"

Jungle Mom said...

Kristen, I have added your to my blog roll.