Believe it or not. . . I've gotten a lot of criticism for
my behavior as a parent.
Everybody has an opinion on parenting, and
are very vocal about their standards.
What I've never received any commentary on, positive or negative, is my behavior as a wife.
Maybe it's because I don't divulge much about our relationship. Somethings are too private, especially when they involve people other than me.
Or maybe it's because with the state of families in America, with the divorce rate 50/50 one in two families are now "alternative."
Despite the obvious widespread problems among America's couples, mentioning them is still off limits, and even though discussing meetings with your therapist at dinner parties has become widely accepted, almost vogue, mentioning couples therapy is still taboo.
Usually the first mention of problems in a relationship to the outside world happens as a couple is announcing their separation.
With these factors taken into account, It is amazing how little attention is paid to how the family dynamics affect a child's well being and how little overt tsk-tsking occurs when a marriage shows very real problems that are being expressed through the actions of their children. IT is also amazing how much pressure and fault
placed on the mother for any perceived flaw in their children or their rearing techniques.
You'd think with women's lib we would have evolved to recognize there are two parents involved, but much of the blame is still placed on the mother.
And where are we to go when If you ever want to get two completely opposite opinions on the same subject, all you need to do is ask two parenting experts?
As a very sick mother, I know my priorities as a parent have been altered, but luckily, I know my priorities.
My priority is always the well being of my child, but I am not as focused on the long term outcomes of my child.
I prepare for the future, but will all-to-quickly throw that away for a good time now.
Think about what you would do if you realistically could die in your sleep that evening?
Would you really want one of your last actions to be putting your child in time out? Even if he did do something as outrageous as, say, try to get out of evening homework time in the first grade?
That doesn't mean I'd ever allow him to be unsafe or aggressive, but I'm certainly more laid back on issues other parents obsess over.
It'd be nice to ignore others techniques, but competetive parenting seems to be a national passtime.
I am ultra-competetive. Don't get me wrong. But there is a difference between competing against my own standards and competing against someone elses.
Ugh. Who wants to live up to that? Especially when these days many scream you are failing your child if you are not a helicopter mom that lavishes endless attention on them when, in fact, both are scientifically proven detrimental.
With all my life experience, and my unique, scientific study based free range parenting, let me tell you what is really failing your child is neglecting your own well being and relationships.
When ever there is a debate regarding behavioral outcomes of children nature vs. Nurture is the first question asked.
Nurture being solely the child's environment, you'd think family dynamics would be getting more attention than whether or not they watch tv (again, for the people poised to write their comment, I'm talking in moderation).
Role modeling is probably the greatest factor on the nurture side of the debate contributing to a child's behavior, that includes role modeling the relationship you have with your spouse, your family, friends, enemies, adversaries, etc.
And we all know (or should), a healthy relationship can't be attained if you are not healthy (physically or psychologically) yourself.
Here is some advice from a non-expert but experienced mom, for mother's day this year ladies, give yourself the best gift of all.Give yourselves a break.No one will ever agree completely on how to raise a child.The world would be a much easier and happier place if all the parents of the world would just mind their own kids , their manners, and their business, but they won't.
Take it from a mom who has experienced the worst case parenting scenario: facing the possibility that I will die and my son will grow up motherless.
Life goes on if your child steals a toy at a play date when he is two. It also goes on if you simply take the toy away and don't throw him in time out or even if you are too tired or sick and let it go.
If you are not out shoplifting dinner, chances are your child will not be a burgular later in life.
Remember what is important.
Yes, manners and behavior make huge contributions to a child's persona, but there will be no event to use any of these qualities you worked so hard to create if the child doesn't know how to have loving relationships.
Remember to remember yourself. The best way to give your child the gift of healthy, happy relationships is to have them yourself.