Thursday, 8 May 2008

Aaaaak! (or.. an examination of modern parenting.)

This is sunset last night at my house. See! We really are up on top of a hill!

Please note that views expressed in this blog ARE those of the blogger and as such the management express the right to endorse them at all times!

Bloody borrowed child! I showed one of my parents this book and having read it she then let her TWO year old read it all by herself! People, she is TWO! And these are not cardboard pages. She tore a page! Aak!

My favourite book now has a tear at the bottom corner of the frontispiece. Remind me why I work with small children? And their parents?

This is kind of a carry over from the last post plus the zeitgeist and I are so connected it is crazy! I think if I were to do a post-graduate something it would be in family dynamics (if there isn't post-grad work in this there should be!).

Been blog-surfing recently and I have come across many posts where the woman (for it usually is) is discussing parenting, either how fulfilling it can be or how dull, infuriating, frustrating, saddening or otherwise she finds it. And so many times when it is the latter it is with an apologetic tone. These are the women I want to reach out to, to pour a nice hot cup of tea or stiff rum and coke (insert beverages of choice here) and say to them - 'If you are worried that you may be a bad parent then you are not.'

Am I making sense here?

Over the years of observing, experiencing and discussing parenting/mothering I have come to the conclusion that those women (for again it normally is) who worry whether they are getting it right are doing the only thing any of us can do - trying really hard not to get it wrong.

(Evidence that while I may make children slave it is kind of fun!)

Feel free to have a little argument if you like - with me or someone sitting closer but I don't understand this need to be friends with your child. Perhaps I am strict but I don't think harsh or unkind (Princess C-W would definitely call me unkind b/c I make her do things she doesn't want on a regular basis - brush teeth, her hair, make her bed, etc...).

This month's Easy Living magazine has a piece about a new book discussing different methods of parenting and breaks them into seven styles:

The Pause parent - doesn't overreact in a crisis.
Cheerleader parent - focuses on their child's good points.
Tuned-In parent - understands the feelings behind the child's behaviour.
Physical parent - knows that when their child feels well they usually behave well.
Sorted parent - thinks ahead and stays one step ahead of their child.
Commando parent - has natural authority and gets things done without shouting or nagging.
Laid-Back parent - encourages the child to do things for him/herself.
It gave me pause for thought b/c as I read it I was thinking 'But isn't parenting all of those?

Depending on the child, the circumstances or even the time of day those different styles would apply. Except perhaps the last two. Those two I think are a little more personality driven and are also dictated by the relationship you have constructed with the child. But they remain part of the wider theme - child-rearing is a collaborative process between you and the child. While some grown-ups may have a natural tendency to one or other of those headings effective parenting only happens when you combine them to create responsive ways of dealing with children.

Well, that's what I think anyway!!

(And pretty maids all in a row.)


  1. I feel really sorry for the children who have parents that feel they (the parent) must explain their actions to their child. Good grief, who is in charge anymore? Be the parent, be the grown up! So many children don't mind any more. If your children don't mind when they are small, what do you think they will be like when they get into their teens!!! (getting off my soap box now)

  2. Trash, whatever you do, DO NOT put stickytape on that book. Take it to school and throw yourself on the mercy of the librarian and see if she will repair it for you - If not email me and I'll give you some tips.

  3. I couldn't agree more Trashy! Well said. I think half the problem with society these days is parents that spend too much time worrying about not upsetting their kids and not enough time giving them the tools they'll need to be functioning adults (which sometimes means having to do things that you don't really want to do, but nevertheless need to be done).

    Seriously Grrrrrr about the book.


  4. I must be a really good mum because I am painfully aware of how bad I am at it all!!!! Parenting is such a "blurry" hard job and there is no manual on how to do it all right as it varies from family to family and child to child. Off now to have that cup of tea/wine/brandy/gin!

    Good post Trashy!

    Locket xxx

  5. really ARE a trail-blazer! Breaking the #1 rule of Three Things to Never Talk About in Public: 1) Child rearing, 2) Religion, 3) Politics.

    I stand in awe of your bravado.

    ps: I must be a fantaboulous parent - already started a psychotherapy fund for TLG to work out all of the "issues" caused by TBG and I!

    pps: that was a JOKE - if the kid needs therapy he can pay for it himself. Just like the rest of us!

    ppps: care to share insight regarding the (USA) Presidential election? : )

  6. WMK forgot sex. When are you going to broach that taboo?? (if you could give me the head's up on that one I'd be grateful .... I'd clear my diary (ha! like I have a diary!) and be straight round)

    I have nothing to say about child-rearing apart from this .... it lasts for a very VERY long time and it costs a SHED LOAD of money. But I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the end.

    .... PLEASE tell me it'll all be worth it in the end ....


    ps. Hells bells and little fishes - are you sure you live on a hill? Looks more like a MOUNTAIN from here!

  7. I was reading your list and thinking ... 'but surely one has to do ALL those things at one time or another' ... so we are in agreement. Again :-D

    I remember having a chat at Toddler group (many moons ago) about the good cop/bad cop that is parenting in twos (ie. a mum and a dad). Every single one of us mums said we were the 'bad cop' - it's how it is, isn't it?

    By the way, that weird little alien dude is back on your NEOcounter :-O


  8. Very well said Trashy. I think the parents who do get it wrong are generally the ones who think they are getting it very right!