There’s a child out here somewhere whose parent was asking the famous whodunit question, “what happened?” To which the child answered in the standard panache, “it wasn’t me…wasn’t my fault.” Whereby someone turns to my son and ask him, “now, could you have gotten over on your mother with a lie like this?” Of course my son laughed, and he laughed fairly hard.
Having children young may have been a primary reason why my parenting style was easier applied. The age difference made for a better connection. We essentially grew up together, and while it may sound backwards, but I was their friend first. Then mentor. And now I am their mother.
Growing up together I only had one must. When I gave my children ‘this look’, they understood I was serious and stopped whatever behavior they were doing.
I never ‘baby-talked’ with my children. I used my regular voice and talked about regular ‘things’ from the day they were born. I won’t go into all the things my children did and said, and all I did and said, but will say many did not condone my parenting style. I'm supposing they followed the societal rule-book that was used to raise me. Well, not me with mines. I let mines define who they wanted to be…ugh…so long as they didn’t step on my toes. Now of course the big joke today is how ‘everyone’ used to watch my feet, waiting for me to put my foot down, which I rarely did.
In short, I believed, and still believe, children are very resilient and smart. The ‘one-look’ is all the parenting children need, even if this wasn’t proven until after it was all said and done. Too many rules, too many if’s, and’s, and but’s confuse children, no matter how resilient. Yes, they’ll figure it out later…umm…as I did. But the problems a parent (and child) go through as they figure it out can strain a parent-child relationship and turn into an unruly battle going in many strenuous directions.
A myth about my children was they were just born good. Well, let me elucidate this myth. My children, as ALL children, are born good. Something happens during the course in development that turns inherently good children, ‘so-called’ bad. Whether it is a child’s diet; lack of ‘proper’ discipline; a parent or parents who cannot connect with their children; ABUSE; …something happened. And Do Note: If a child has failed to meet your expectations, then know too, you have failed to meet theirs.
Another myth. “Well, this child turned out alright and got the same parenting as all the rest.” ← WoW, how many ways can this one be pulled apart!?!
Has anyone ever noticed that every child born to the same parents DO NOT ALL look alike…or one might be born with a physical or mental impairment, not like the others? And taking it a step further, there are many, many people who become ill and do not heal like others with the same illness, although they receive the ‘same’ treatment.
Children are individuals, and must be treated individually. Just because one catches a cold, doesn’t mean everyone in the house needs cough syrup, and bedded down with soups, teas, and Vicks vapor rubs. To get respect, you must give respect. If you lie to a child, even telling the little white lies, children will learn to lie back to you. If you feel uncomfortable about talking on certain topics, children in turn will feel uncomfortable talking about certain subjects with you too.
To this end, and this here is a BIG promise. No matter what a parent does, how much a parent cares, and all parents get right, parents will still get something wrong. But to some avail… Just as we know parents aren’t perfect, know that neither are children. No one is. And the real lesson I learned is that children don’t require much more than knowing they are loved, unconditionally.
Do not wait to start raising your child at 15, or 10, or 5 even. Starting nurturing and grooming our blameless individuals from the time they come out of the womb.