Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Different Ways of Parenting

My parents are a model for good parenting, I would say. My brother and I were fed, clothed, educated, and kept relatively healthy. We were given rules to follow and expectations to meet. Since I made it to adulthood without resorting to a life of crime, my parents can place me in the 'win' column.

Now I am a parent myself, and you would think that I would borrow the very parenting strategies that brought me into adulthood. But the Times, they have changed. And I am not my parents. I do things my own way, and it seems to be working so far.

1. I am just fine with cosleeping.  My parents did not allow us in their room. It was off limits,  my parents' sanctuary. I always wondered what the heck they did in there, but the rule never changed. Everyone slept in their own beds, and that was that.  Nowadays, I am okay with my son climbing into bed with us to sleep.  Most times I don't even wake up. I know that eventually he will sleep the night through in his own bed, but he is still young enough that he wants to be with his parents, even in his dreams.  In six years, he'll be a surly teenager, and will avoid us like the plague. 

2. I can stand a little dirt. My mom is a little obsessive compulsive about cleaning. She once made one of my friends move her car because she did not want oil stains on her nice clean driveway!  I don't mind a little dirt here and there. I understand that boys are messy, and I don't feel compelled to spend my days chasing after Zane with a broom. Unless I step on a Lego with bare feet; then all bets are off.

3. I am more aware. My parents let us play outside for hours, unsupervised. We were dropped off at practices. We walked to places by ourselves. Shenanigans occurred, and my parents had not a clue.. I know exactly what my kid is doing, at least for now. All those adventurous but probably not kosher things I did as a kid? My boy will need to be twice as devious to get away with those around me. Deviousness is a fairly decent life skill to have, right?

4. I pick my battles. It was always my dad's way, no matter what. There was no discussion, negotiation, or bargaining. It was said once, and if it was not complied with immediately, there were consequences.  That's what you get when your dad is in the military and used to giving orders.  I am more relaxed. I'm okay with discussions and some negotiations. I've let Zane talk me into changing a rule or two, if his arguments were reasonable.  His clue that the bargaining has concluded is a 1, 2, 3 count. Zane hops right to it before I say the number 2. I have no idea what I would do if I got to the number 3. We've never gotten there.

5. I am way more sarcastic. My parents are very serious people. Very Germanic, very stoic, very deadpan. I can count on my left hand the number of times I heard my mom laugh, and she was never, ever sarcastic. My dad liked to tell horrible jokes and ask you to pull his finger, but was never sarcastic.  In contrast, I get pretty snarky, and I expect my son to keep up. When he doesn't understand what I am saying, or my tone confuses him, I will explain, but most of the time the boy is right there with me. He's learning the subtle nuances of language usage that he will need as an adult, and I will probably regret this when my son is a surly teenager.

How about you? How are you different as a parent from your mom and dad?

Go check out all the other writers in Mamakat's World Famous Writer's Workshop!  You can also sign up for her email, and writing inspiration will be mailed to you directly.  I used this prompt: 5.) List 5 ways you are different as a parent than your parents were.


  1. Yes, you will love it when Zane fully masters the art of sarcasm...most of the time! ;)

  2. I think I am more flexible then my parents were.. Ditto on the co-sleeping part even though I do wish that the youngest stick to her own bed on most nights. :)

  3. Sounds like you have learned to easy going, yet vigilant in child rearing. And I like that you laugh and can be sarcastic when you need to be! I think I am more like my parents than not. And I like that.

  4. I love that my parents taught me that their room was off limits because I've heard that it's a tough thing to crack. I'm not saying that cosleeping is wrong whatsoever. That is a choice and I don't judge. I just like my spot on my bed to sprawl out and not get peed on :)
    I think that being more aware is definitely a sign of the changing times. I remember being allowed to roam wild. I wouldn't dare let my son do that!

  5. It sounds like you have adapted to parenting in a very good way. Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on

  6. I am glad that you appreciate your parents' ways of raising you but still choose your own path. That's the right balance. I do wonder however, are there also things you think your parents did better in their parenting than you do now? I don't mean this to be critical, just curious. Via Mama Kat.

    1. My mom is way more organized than I can manage.

  7. I love your style! I suppose we all tweak the goods and bads of how our parents raised us and pass that on to our kids. I love the last one, and yes, you will regret that when he's a teen.

  8. Interesting on the co-sleeping... my parents bed was also off-limits but my mom would sleep with me in my bed or on the sofa bed when I was sick or simply needy. lol After they separated I was always welcome to sleep with mom and still can up to this day... I think part of it may have been a gender bias. My dad would braid my hair, serve me meals and snacks, he was very loving and caring as I grew up but there was a privacy barrier he always kept up. Old school I think :D Things have certainly changed.


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