MY PARENTING TECHNIQUES THAT MY PARENTS HATED
I have great parents. They are generous and kind. But their way and my way are so different.
- •White t shirtsMy 3 kids are very close in age and for years they were all roughly the same size. My mom got so mad that I didn't really care what they wore to daycare or a regular school day. I bought tons of basic white t shirts and Hanes socks and cheap patterned shorts/sweatsuits that were all interchangeable and not once did I care if they got lost or ripped or left somewhere. I can't tell you the number of times I have heard a childcare worker apologize to a parent for a muddy/torn outfit. Muddy=fun
- •Daycare lunch packingI bought stuff in bulk and just kept it in the kitchen at daycare and prepped it when I got there in the morning. I'm not sure why this bothered her so much, it made perfect sense to me. I never forgot, and there was plenty to share with kids that did forget.
- •Diaper bag eschewedI just had a box of diapers and wipes in my car and some bottled water/snacks/a can of formula mix. If I needed it, it was there and I didn't have to lug around a bunch of crap everywhere.
- •Bottle feedingShe loved breastfeeding and I hated it. Once I decided to bottle feed (at about 2 weeks old) my giant baby would drink 8oz and sleep all night and wake up happy in the morning. Breastfeeding is wonderful if it's making everyone happy, but she just couldn't understand that it wasn't good for us.
- •Reading age inappropriate booksI read to my kids all the time. Sometimes my books and sometimes theirs. They always listened and were happy. When they got older we talked about the things we read or watched. It never was an issue.
- •Letting them curse at homeWhen you are an adult you act differently at home than at work, with your extended family, at church, etc. It didn't bother me if they were comfortable at home and didn't have to mince words. Respectful of people always (no name calling, etc.) but putting restrictions on words themselves made no sense to me. Sometimes a curse word is the right word for an occasion and sometimes it isn't. They learned this early.
- •"Letting" them decide about their own beliefsI took them to church when they were little because I thought there was a lot they could learn there. But ultimately belief is personal and when you are old enough to start thinking about what you believe you are old enough to start making decisions about how you handle those beliefs.
- •"Letting" my oldest decide not to go to collegeMy feelings about college are ambivalent. It is a good opportunity if you are interested in maximizing it. It's not for everyone. Knowing yourself well enough to make that decision is a mark of maturity.
- •Driving them everywhereIs it spoiling them if they aren't spoiled? I'd do anything I could for them, any day. They strive to be independent, but they all know how to ask for help.
- •Openness about SexAbstinence only education is ridiculous and harms children. It devalues women and underestimates men. Teach kids about their bodies and give them the tools to protect themselves. Teach them to use their words and actions to protect others. Teach them that their value has absolutely nothing to do with their sexual orientation or preference or activity. Informed decisions can only be made by people who are informed.
- •Ok with skipping school for fun stuffSome days you feel too good to go to school. Life is a balance and perfect attendance is not necessary.
- •Honest about drugs and alcoholI like alcohol. I've been drunk and made stupid decisions. Some drugs are worse than others. Legal doesn't always mean good, illegal doesn't always mean bad. Be reasonable. Be careful. Be responsible for yourself and others. Never let the fear of being in trouble keep you from doing what you know is right. If you need to escape your life every day then you need to consider why that is.
- •Not caring overmuch about gradesHard work is for your interests, your passion, your joy. Prioritize your efforts for things that need to be done.
- •Telling them working their hardest wasn't the virtue everyone thinks it isYou only have one life. Find some things you love and give them your all. Not everyone or everything deserves your best. You decide where your effort goes-it should go where it brings you the most joy.
- •Throwing the schedule out the window sometimesSchedules are good, but some of the best times I've had have been at 3am when I've had to work the next morning or when I drove right past school and went to the lake on a beautiful day. If you keep your head down you'll miss a lot of joy. You know what needs to be done. Do it, then have some fun.