Parents will do almost anything to protect their kids from harm, but a recent admission from former Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham has many wondering how far is too far to go. In a recent sit-down with People, Abraham revealed she’s already so worried about her daughter, Sophia, having to deal with bullies in her teen years that she’s seriously considering pulling her out of school completely.
According to Abraham, 7-year-old Sophia is already uniquely gorgeous, smart and well-liked. The little girl has her own social media presence and website, has done several professional modeling shoots and helps her mom run an Austin, Texas, boutique named after her. Given that unusual amount of success, Abraham says she’s concerned that other kids will grow jealous of Sophia’s beauty, brains and accomplishments as time goes on.
It’s safe to say Abraham is drinking the “I have the best kid ever” Kool-Aid just a little bit, but her fears for Sophia aren’t terribly uncommon. Abraham admitted she’s thought about home-schooling her daughter through high school to avoid the onslaught of bullying, drama and competition that so often accompany the teen years. Abraham dealt with her share of bullying after she became pregnant with Sophia at 16, and like any good mom, she just wants her daughter to “be able to be happy and focus.”
As a parent, it’s normal to worry when you send your kids out into the world on their own. At school in particular, kids are exposed to all sorts of things they haven’t seen at home. Sometimes those new influences and experiences are positive and help our children grow into better, kinder and more compassionate people. Other times, they come home dropping F-bombs they learned from another kid or crying about an older student who teased them.
It’s tempting to try to shield our kids from every possible hardship or negative encounter, but unfortunately for Abraham, that’s not really the intention of home schooling. Home-schoolers still participate in school groups and go on educational outings with other children. They play sports, join community theaters and take art classes. Home school is an alternative to public schooling, sure, but it’s not meant to be an alternative to kids learning how to get along with their peers.
The bottom line is that kids need social interaction. Either they get it through traditional schooling, or they get it through extracurriculars and supplemental activities, but no matter what, it’s a vital part of their mental and emotional well-being. Making friends, being exposed to a diverse group of people and, yes, even dealing with social situations that are sometimes disappointing or hurtful are all important parts of growing up. There’s no way to opt your kid out of that.
Obviously no one wants their child to be a victim of bullying, and kids in any school situation should have an outlet for dealing with harassment or violence. But pulling a kid out of school and keeping them isolated from their peers simply isn’t an option for any parent, whether they choose to home-school or not. Almost any mom or dad can relate to Abraham’s desire to look out for her daughter, but unfortunately for Abraham, she’s going to have to find a better way to help Sophia navigate the tricky teen years.
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