I’ve blogged before about competitive parenting and parenting labels and how every child and parent is different. Now before I get started, I’m in the camp of ‘each to their own’ when it comes to parenting and dislike seeing anyone being judged. But, with this in mind, I just can’t help but wonder what happens when all these different parenting styles, ideals and what we class as bad behaviour all come together?
Irrespective of what yours are. Whether they are manners, behaviour, food or lifestyle based, there will reach a point where all your efforts to curb these ‘no no’s’ and enforce these ideals will be put to the test.
When I started out as a parent, like most I had the grand idea of no juice, no sweets, no TV etc. Will these stand the test of time? The chances of someone raising a child with identical ‘ideals’ to me is highly unlikely. I’d go as far to say impossible! I will have to accept that these won’t stick. However, I’m not so ‘come and go’ with things like manners, swearing or hitting. We’ve been lucky so far with these and I would love these to continue right through to adult life (mmm, maybe not the swearing!)
Take Christmas for example. How long do you plan to keep the ‘magic of Christmas alive’? Unless everyone feels the same about it as you do, you can guarantee it will only last until someone in the class has been told. What about age restricted films and video games? It is worth spending time restricting this at home, only for them to go to a friends house after school where they may have access to them?
Ok, so Munch is only 2 and I have a few years yet before school (I know I worry too much). But take all of our little cherubs, each with their own set of ‘instilled morals and rights & wrongs’ and stick them together in a classroom, for example, which ones are going to last? I’m already seeing little cheeky habits she brings home from nursery. Nothing drastic. But I dread to think the future holds at primary and secondary school, especially in this day and age!
I know I have years of ‘but she’s allowed to do that/eat that/say that’ to come and I’m somewhat fearful of my prospective job as a ‘mummy lawyer’ having to justify each and every boundary I’m setting right now. Then comes the risk of your child being ostricised in the playground for your enforced ideals. Another of mine is facebook. I dread the thought of Munch being on it. Open to the possibility of bullying 24/7. But do I want her to be the only child not on it?
Will my five years of teaching Munch to say please and thank you be wasted when she meets someone on day 1 of school whose parents didn’t have that on their list?
It’s hard to predict what the future holds, but I for one am evaluating what we enforce now and how realistic is it that it will stand the test of time and clash of the parenting styles.