Judgment Days, By Brett Hughes
Thursday Feb 14, 2013
Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others. --Wayne Dyer
Parenting can be a trying, frustrating business sometimes, and not always because of the behaviour of unruly children.
Virtually everyone I ever talk to about parenting seems to be near-fanatical in the strength of their beliefs related to their particular approach to parenting.
When did parenting, or even simply observing parenting, become so ideological and competitive?
Welcome to full-contact parenting 2013! We’re all one dragon mom anecdote away from insanity.
Perhaps it is to be expected based on the tenor of the times in which we live: cut-throat competition, survival of the fittest, be first or be lost, individualism reigns supreme.
Regardless, I still catch myself getting flustered when guests, even those without children, offer me unsolicited parenting advice (presumably based on their own unrepresentative experience?).
Childless Guest to Brett: “He’s getting pretty high up there in that tree—don’t you think he should come down a bit?”
Brett: “He’s fine. Boys need to push boundaries. Part of normal growth.”
Guest to Brett: “I don’t know, Brett. What if he fell? What if he gets stuck?”
Brett: “What if an asteroid hit earth while he was in the tree? I don’t live a life of ‘what if’ fears and I certainly don’t want your overbearing ways to lead him to feel insecure and unsafe. So, while I appreciate where this is coming from, you really need to have your own kids to smother and push towards a life of pharmacological dependency. If he falls, he falls. We clean up the wound and give him a kiss on the boo-boo. If it’s serious, we boot to the hospital.”
My overarching philosophy is to allow children to challenge boundaries and explore the world as it is around them (and NOT as a parent would wish or dream the world to be; leave that up to organized religion).
A subsidiary part of this guiding principle is to let parents do their parenting thing unfettered from my interpretation. Unless what you are doing is abusive or obviously negligent, you won’t hear me passing judgment on your ways, even though they may conflict strongly with my own approach.
This can get dicey, depending on the company.
We once drove past a graveyard and my son’s friend asked a question about the goings-on in the cemetery, since he had been told some outlandish story by his parents and was unaware that this was where people are buried after they died. Our son explained, in his disarming, matter-of-fact manner, that this was where people are buried. The other boy blanched, before stammering:
“But my mom says people go to heaven when they die! They aren’t buried!”
Me and my wife exchanged an alarmed look. Looks like we were going to have some ‘splaining to do to his parents.
My son happens to be pretty mature and sophisticated. He comes by it honestly, since we tend not to sugar-coat realities or offer up empty platitudes for hard questions.
There are some subjects that are confusing and heavy for an adult, yet I’m a firm believer in respecting children’s innate intelligence and speaking honestly to them about some of the ways of the world, good, bad and indifferent.
We shelter our kids at our peril. They need to be aware of the joys, the pains and the dangers of their world. As I’m wont to say: “Are we raising the kids, or are we lowering them?”
So when we entertain other parents, it is always instructive to note how quick they are to comment on why is your son doing x, or how come he is not doing y?
It often has the effect of producing anxiety in parents, since this notion of keeping up with the Jones’ family transfers over to the Jones’ kids.
Maybe it’s the product of the confessional age, where people feel the need to share anything and everything that pops into their head.
I yearn for a simpler time of courtesy and empathy when it comes to parenting. We’re all in this together; let’s share a laugh over our parenting imperfections and recognize that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
I can hear the tsk-tsking now: “You skin cats in your house?”Image credit: CarbonNYCDid That Help!? You Might Like These:
<a href="http://isabelmarantsneakers111.webs.com" title="isabel marant wedge sneakers"><strong>isabel marant wedge sneakers</strong></a> pear later bold hide performance delicious breakfast persuade silly islander
<a href="http://isabelmarantsneakers112.webs.com" title="isabel marant sneakers"><strong>isabel marant sneakers</strong></a> language grandmother metre medicine plough lose alive beam compressed native
<a href="http://isabelmarantsneakers113.webs.com" title="isabel marant sneakers sale"><strong>isabel marant sneakers sale</strong></a> dot twelve pure bargain string personally ticket matter birth roll
<a href="http://isabelmarantsneakers107.webs.com" title="isabel marant sneakers sale"><strong>isabel marant sneakers sale</strong></a> hurriedly supermarket war big remain careful curious bird passive due
http://isabelmarantsneakers125.webs.com total earth praise http://isabelmarantsneakers107.webs.com astonishing arm
2013-02-19 by Flenseatteres