Parenting Styles. That's the topic this week. I've mentioned before that I'm not comfortable with labels. I certainly wasn't embracing the label that seemed to me getting thrown at me once I became a mom.
I'm a, do what works, kind of mom.
I don't think there's a "right" way or a "wrong" way to raise a child (as long as you don't neglect their needs and love them). As a seasoned child care provider I have had a chance to see many styles in action. I have my favorites and my not so favorites.
My least favorite are the parents who let their children do what ever they want. Let them treat others however they want. I don't like the kind of people that produces, unruly, ill mannered, little terrors. I have never understood these parents. No one (including them it seems) wants to be around their little darlings, so why not do themselves, and their poor child, a favor and draw some clear boundaries for them? I just couldn't fathom it.
I am not that kind of parent, but I can understand those parents a little bit now. For one, they (mostly) don't have my vast experience or knowledge of how children grow and develop. Secondly, we are all different people, they may not of the patience to deal with the amount of testing a child can procure (or for the sometimes insane amount of tantrum that can come forth from such a small human) or know the rewards that come from letting their child have the meltdown and sticking to their guns. Lastly, parents are tiered, often second guessing themselves consistently (or not nearly enough), and if you work full time like the hubby and I do, it sucks to have to spend the little time you get with your small love, disciplining them.
I get it. I do, but that isn't me.
I have been described as a loving, firm but fair teacher. I think that sums me up pretty well. I love my kids, and I love my son, but I am firm and (mostly) fair (I am human after all).
All of the children in my care know I love them. I think it comes across not only through the love and affection I bestow upon them of course, but I firmly believe that it comes across in the limits I set and that they know what the answer is (once they have asked once) always.
For children, limits, rules and boundaries make them feel safe and secure. Nothing makes a child happier than knowing they are loved and that they are safe and secure. Nothing. (Unless they're a toddler, then playing with a remote control or cell phone could top the list. Wait, no because they still have to feel loved, safe and secure to really enjoy that remote or phone)
I read a question on twitter this week, Are you the mom you thought you would be?
I am honestly not. I am in the sense of being loving and setting limits, but my son has a mind of his own and test me every day. EVERY. DAY.
I hoped I would be a crunchy granola lite kind of mom, but I just didn't think I had it in me. A natural birth, breastfeeding, no kid tv till two, making baby food, cooking meals staying away from junk food, being active with my son, sort of mom. That was gonna be way too hard for me.
Those were some lofty ideals, thought I.
I could never do it.
I kinda admire the moms that could, and I don't have anything against the moms that don't. Those things just fit better with the kind of person I am. No matter who you are, this is the key, YOU have to be true to the person YOU are. Kids can smell a phony a mile away. They don't respect phonies (and can you blame them).
One of the coolest things about being a mom for me, was discovering that I could do all those things. I could be that mom. I CAN be the loving, limit setter I am, AND the crunchy granola lite mom I wanted to be. I don't even mind that it's not easy, that I'm tiered. I'm the mom I didn't think I could be.
Other people would say to me, "You're gonna be a great mom". I didn't believe them. I didn't think I would be, but I am.
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