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Kids in the craft


Athena

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I don't know how many of you have older children but I am currently trying to figure out the best way to help my 15 year old son on the path. He has recently become much more interested in my path and has went out of his way to be more involved. He is the one who brought home a nightshade cutting and started asking questions about uses I think its great. This morning I found my bottle of lavander essential oil in his room and asked what he was doing with it and he said he was curing his acne then told me the chant and what he'd used it was really simaliar to how I do healing potions.

 

Obviously he's been paying attention to what I have been doing and I am really happy he is getting involved but it does lead me to some real questions. I know how I grew up with my mom and grandma teaching me until I moved then I was lucky enough to marry into a family with strong tribal ties. Through them I have learned and I never gave much thought to teaching anyone else. Not to mention this is my child so I don't want to see him hurt and as we all know this is not an easy path and there are real risks. I also realize that I have stronger witchy ties than some NA which is ok for a medicine woman but not so ok for children but I have no intention of stifling him in his path though.

 

Do any of you have children in the craft? How did you go about teaching them or did you just give them a few books and pointers and let them find their own path. He does have one heck of an aptitude for potions already which I suppose is because that's mostly what he's seen me do. He is due for his vision quest next week and that will reveal allot to him about certain aspects he's not currently aware of. Maybe I'm just really nervous about all this because he is my child but it all seems so much more dangerous and important than when it was my turn years ago.

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Mine just grew up with it I can't explain it any other way. Well i could but it would be a long post and bore you lol.

Lol I understand I think maybe I'm just really on edge because of everything and so I'm over thinking it.

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I have not had children but I am only about 10 years older than your son so I just came out of this stage.  When I first was learning, I didn't like when I was "protected" from things that I wanted to experience and it made me rebel and do it all on my own which had some consequences. At your son's age I was living on my own with no parental guidance (I'm still alive yay!) and I seemed to manage though it would have been more helpful had I had a knowledgeable adult to talk to at that time. This stuff is just like anything else about growing up. He should have support and protection, yet enough freedom to choose and grow and experience.  Just take it one day at a time and answer questions he may have in the beginning. You don't need to make a whole college course for the boy. :D

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I have not had children but I am only about 10 years older than your son so I just came out of this stage.  When I first was learning, I didn't like when I was "protected" from things that I wanted to experience and it made me rebel and do it all on my own which had some consequences. At your son's age I was living on my own with no parental guidance (I'm still alive yay!) and I seemed to manage though it would have been more helpful had I had a knowledgeable adult to talk to at that time. This stuff is just like anything else about growing up. He should have support and protection, yet enough freedom to choose and grow and experience.  Just take it one day at a time and answer questions he may have in the beginning. You don't need to make a whole college course for the boy. :D

Thanks, I am sure once he gets through this next week I will feel less insecure about everything and I know he is excited about it. We have a really great relationship and in general he's a very good kid. I know he has to learn a lot of this on his own partly because if he really does want it he has to do the work just like everyone else. I think its just mommyitis because this is one more stage where he's stepping away from us into adulthood. I couldn't be prouder of him, he has a full time job this summer ( working on a local farm) his boss has been very impressed with him and he is growing up so fast. I hadn't planned a collage course (yet lol) I'm just doubting my teaching abilitys my grandma was so good at it and it was never like school or anything just walking in the woods or whatever talking and I feel incredibly inadequate compared to her wisdom.

 

This has given me an idea though I think I will call on her for guidance in this, having her there to give me a little nudge in the right direction will really help me. My other concern is with the knowledge he's going to gain on his vision quest which is a very big deal in many ways and how he's going to respond to it. This is something I can't help him with or even try to prepare him for which is difficult not because I think he won't do well but I remember how overwhelmed I felt at first. Its hard balancing my job as his mom with my job as his elder on this. I know its partly that I needed to give voice to this inner turmoil but I can't do that anywhere but here so thank you or letting me get these feelings out and clear my mind.

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I'm just doubting my teaching abilitys my grandma was so good at it and it was never like school or anything just walking in the woods or whatever talking and I feel incredibly inadequate compared to her wisdom

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I understand. 

 

 

You must be so proud of your son and yet at the same time it can be so hard to watch them grow up and know that they're not our babies anymore.  My baby's a senior this year. 

 

 

I'm not overly familar with NA practices.  Is the vision quest a right of passage in which he returns a man and is considered a man at that point?

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Yes and no , in most tribes your not really an adult until you marry or are thirtyish we take a much different view when its comes to that. I have a really hard time understanding why we built our society around the belief that at 14- 18 your supposed to not only know what you want to do for the rest of your life but decisions you make at that age can destroy dreams. We believe in allowing our children more freedom to explore life and not need to make those decisions until around 25-30 which is when your an adult. Then you don't become an elder until your over 40 or 50.

 

That's not to say they don't have responsibilities and are not expected to contribute with hunting and chores and helping the community and most teens have some sort of summer job to earn pocket money. Actually I think most teens would find our ways a little easier because teens get passed around the family so they learn different skills or knowledge. Many family's let their teens spend weeks at a time with trusted family members like grandmas or aunts and that can really help in families that or whatever reason don't get along well and there's much less runaways. It can cause problems though especially if there's not enough supervision or in family's where alcoholism is a problem. That's why my couch has been in use all summer because we have a 16 year old who's parents are less than great but he is an amazing kid so we have an open door for him. In short its not a perfect system but it does have many more positives than negatives.

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Thank you for the explanation.  That sounds so much more realistic than what most are doing culturally.  Allowing kids to be kids and having strong family ties is wonderful.

 

Teaching or telling kids that BOOM!  you're an adult on your 18th birthday is just - ugh.  It's not a magical day that changes who you are.  It's just another day in the progression of growing up.

 

The way you explained this makes me wonder if Tolkien took his ideas about the Shire from this culture.

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  • 7 months later...

I myself was not raised in the craft, or firmly in any belief or tradition really. My mother had certain abilities, she didn't exactly hide them from me, but sort of made light of them. When I was a young teen and  it became odvious to her that I was taking an interest in the path with or without her intervention,  then she stated to talk to me about it. To be honest, I felt a bit ripped off. Like "wait you knew all this and you didn't tell me about it?" When I had my own kids, I tried to do it differently, I tried to be more open with them, teaching them the foundation that I felt I missed out on, without 'indoctrinating' them. My daughter went through the "blabbermouth" stage asa well, saying things that would have been better left unsaid in front of my mother in-law ( a devout Cathlic) and some of the kids in her class. I made a point from then on to stress upon them the importance of keeping it to themselves, as there are many who do not share our ways and infact will wish harm upon us because we do. A little bit of damage controle, about how kids pick up on everything and take stuff out of context, solved the potential problem. I know, it could have been much worse. Now they know better, and I have never had this problem since. And now as they get older it seems my children are coming into there own. My daughter is soon turning 13, and her social life is more important to her right now then anything else  it seems. My 11 yo son is showing real abilities, and having experiences of the same sort I had at his age, when I did not understand, and no one would talk to me much about it. I see I have a chance to make a difference for him, but how much do I teach him at his young age? This forum has a private section it seems for the same reason, so very young or inexperienced seekers or lurkers do not have access to potentaily dangerous information. This is the difficult part to me. Of course I have taken steps to protect him, but at the same time, I do not want to withhold from him anything that may help him learn and be strong. If he is like me, and he seems to be he will learn certain things without me or any other living being having to teach him. Do I wait for that and guide him through it? The good thing is he does seem to be willing to talk to me about his experiences when they occur.

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