I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my parenting style. I don’t know that I really even like that term. That’s a little too yuppy-ish for my taste. I think I’d rather like to say “raising my younguns”. Yeah. That feels better.
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it. I’m a fairly laid back parent on most issues. However, I may be a little anal on other ones. For example: my kids are allowed to watch TV, eat candy, and get dirty pretty much at will. BUT they are not allowed to go places alone without an adult. Namely to the park or library. Which would be the 2 places they would want to go by themselves if I’d let them. They are also not allowed to watch movies that are above a PG rating.
Overall, I’m a lot more laid back than Brian. He doesn’t really love the getting dirty part at all. To me, I just think “…meh, it’ll wash” when I see them covered in dirt and grass stains. He is very neat and clean at all times, so he cringes when they come strolling in with mud on their feet. There’s a word for those differences that my husband and I have. It’s called annoying balance.
A little girl at Hannah’s preschool scolded me today for allowing Hannah to say “butt”. She actually said to me, “You shouldn’t let Hannah say butt, it’s a bad word. You really shouldn’t allow her to do that.” Ha! What do you say to that?!? Well here’s what I said “Honey, we don’t really think it’s all that bad, but if your mama tells you it is, then you definitely shouldn’t say it.”
Apparently Hannah fell and said “I landed on my butt!”
Okay, so it’s not the most lady-like word on the planet, but I mean, in the grand scheme of it all, I don’t really feel that me allowing my kids to refer to their rears as their “butts” is really going to cause any long term damage. And me and my girls aren’t exactly of the most lady-like persuasion anyway. Ya feelin’ me? I mean we have had lengthy conversations on things like poop, puke, guts and the consistency of brains, so “butt” doesn’t exactly even land on the radar of impropriety in our house. And because of the fact that I actually say “butt” at least 15 or 20 times a day, generally speaking, I just don’t feel like it’s something that I can really demand that they never utter. Unless they are in the presence of my mamaw. We respectfully refrain from using it in her presence. We say bottom instead. 🙂
There is this abundance of over-parenting going on today. It makes me cringe. I see why it’s happening. We live in a crazy world, for sure. And I think we all want to protect and shield our kids as much as possible from all the craziness, but the world has always been crazy. Micro-managing our kids is not going to change any of that. I’m not saying that little girl’s mama is micro-manager, I don’t know her well enough to make that kind of a statement, but I just think it’s so funny that there are little 5 year-olds out there that feel empowered enough to correct an adult. Maybe it’s just me. Does anyone else think that’s odd? We all know that kids just tell it like it is without holding anything back, so maybe that’s all it was.
At the other end of the spectrum is the parent who could care less. And that’s not good either. Me, I’d like to be shooting for somewhere right in the middle. I want to try to give my kids the freedom to be kids while at the same time being present enough for them to know that I love them and care about how they feel. I think that there is a lot of good to be said about just being in the middle sometimes. I hope that I’m doing that for them.
I have a cute story that is a good example. I recently went over to my cousin’s house for an evening. She’s got 3 adorable kids. Two of which are close enough to my girls’ ages for it to be fun for them all. So, my cousin and I are busy in the kitchen making tortillas and the kids are pretty much just running wild. Well, as wild as they can in a fenced in backyard, anyway. It was probably somewhere between 50 & 60 degrees out, so the kids were kinda running in and out playing. All of a sudden, in comes my cousin’s daughter, she’s not quite 2, and she’s wearing nothing but her panties, which are on backward, and her tennis shoes. And she’s just strutting through the house, her little “butt” cheeks hanging out the back of her panties and she’s on top of the world. We got such a kick out of that and laughed so hard! But the thing I loved the most about it was that my cousin didn’t freak out and whisk her little girl off into another room to discipline or scold her. She just rolled with it. And that to me was a perfect example of some great parenting in action. Do we want our kids walking around naked in a public restaurant? No. But is it a big deal for a little girl to act goofy with her cousins on a night when we’re just hanging out and chillin’ with the family? Absolutely not. And yes, I do believe it is possible to teach them the difference between the two.
(By the way, my cousin is a great mama and I in no way wish to imply otherwise. I’m pretty sure that her children wear clothing whenever it is mandated.) 😉
So, in conclusion, I’m sorry that my return from my semi-retirement from blogging had to be a soapbox post, but what the little girl said to me today kinda burned my butt a little. Ha! Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Now, back to semi-retirement I go. 🙂