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I'm a twenty-nine year old Army wife currently living near a large Army post. I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper, the Internet, cloth diapers, and ridiculous TV shows. I'm a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters, AJ and Amelia. We also have a 6 year old beagle named Abby who is as dumb as a box of rocks.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Parenting Philosophy

I read this blog post over the weekend and it got me to thinking.

I'll be completely honest. When I was pregnant with AJ I was so consumed with being pregnant that I forgot to think about what my parenting philosophy would be once she was here. Then, after she was born, I was too busy parenting to really think about whether or not I was doing it the way I had (not) planned.

Now that we're getting to a stage in her life where she knows who the boss is, ahem, *cough, cough* its me, I'm starting to realize that as the mom, sometimes there are things that aren't necessarily dangerous for her to do or play with, but they are things that I still don't want her to do. While it may be easier for me to just let her do it, I want to maintain a sense of heirarchy in our house, with me and D standing at the top. Now, whether or not this will happen successfully over time is yet to be seen.

I hope that I will always be able to maintain a respectful, healthy relationship with my children, while being a parent, and not a friend to my kids. One of the most important aspects of parenting is maintaining a foundation of rules and expectations for one's children. Obviously the expectations are fluid and change as children grow.

I'm sure that there will be times when it might seem easier to be her friend than it is to be her mom, but I hope I can remind myself to step back and remember that she already has friends, and what she needs is a mom. I am grateful that my own parents didn't fall prey to the disturbing trend that is parents acting like their kids' friends. I have had a few friends in life whose parents were always trying to be buddies with their kids and us (their kids' friends) and let me tell you, its weird. There's a point in life when its acceptable to be friends with your kids, but I don't think its until your age starts with a 2!

When I was a kid, I know I wished that my parents were more lenient, but now that I'm more mature, I'm glad for the rules that were imposed upon me. When children don't have appropriate boundaries set for them, they don't thrive. I'm not talking about rules that are obvious for safety reasons, but rules that are in place to establish boundaries. Children may find these types of rules to be unfair because without the maturity that comes with adulthood, it is hard to understand.

I am expecting it to be difficult to establish family rules during this next phase of AJ's life but I think its really important to set the rules when she is young and stick to them consistently throughout her life. I don't want to confuse her by changing the rules a few years down the road. I know that some things will change over time, but I aim to be as consistent as possible.

Okay, I know that those of you with older kids (or just kids older than mine) are laughing at me, but that is okay. I'm not claiming to have all the answers; I realize that I'm going to make many, many parenting mistakes over the course of my life. I just hope that I can always look back at each season of life and be proud of the way we raised our kids.

5 comments:

  1. I'm with you! I swear my parents were Nazi back in the day. Then when you get older, your parents are pretty cool.

    I would say that I hope to be a bit more rigid with the way they treated each kid. Like always, the baby of the family is the most lenient because they're tired of it...lol!

    But in the age of sibling jealousy, you have to be even. So I hope to treat my kids like Russians, lol...welcome to your Communist childhood!

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  2. My parents raised me the same way yours did. As a kid, I saw them as rigid. They were the "law" and we were expected to do as they say. My parents were fun with us, but they established those boundaries that they were the parents and we were the children. Gosh, I still cringe at that line to this day! I cannot even remember how many times I heard it. While I agree with their approach, my goal in raising our son is to not have to say that line, but to show it instead. And while I plan to change a few things about what my parents taught me when it comes to raising children, I do respect them and look to them as role models when it comes to parenting.

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  3. I totally agree with you. I also didn't think much about my parenting when I was actually pregnant. And there are a lot of things I always said I wouldn't do, that I do all the time. The more time I spend as a parent, the more I hear myself sounding like my mother.

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  4. My parents were more strict than a lot of others (in my head and in real life). I'm thankful for it now. There is nothing worse than a spoiled, entitled kid who rules the house.

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  5. I love this post. I seriously seriously love this post.

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I'd love to know what you think...