This weekend I sat down and really thought about my parenting style. Only to realize that I really don't have a 'style'. At least, not a popular one covered by the media. Tiger Mom, helicopter Mom, free range Mom....I'm none of those. I'm more of a normal, everyday day. You know, the types that don't get media attention. Unless they go off the extreme deep end and I won't even go there.
In thinking about this I decided I'd put it down in a list. I love lists! I figured out that there are some things I am extremely type A about. Others, not so much. I also decided that since this blog is called 'Mommy Confessions' and all that knowing this Mommy's parenting style may help figure out why some of the stories and posts are hilarious, while others are not.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret from the get go. I'm the more laid back parent. Chuck is the enforcer. We didn't plan it this way. It just happened naturally and is based off of our own upbringings. His Dad was strict, very strict. I was raised by various family members and none of them were called "my mom or dad". Rules schmules in my home. It's easier for him to be the Greg to my Dharma.
Here's my parenting style...revealed.... :)
- I am not my children's friend. Oh, I listen to them and offer advice but friendship will come later. Right now I am one of two people responsible for shaping them into productive human beings.
- The whining stops here. Nothing and I mean nothing makes me cringe more than my kids whiny voices. I require them to speak in 'big boy or big girl' voices to ask for something.
- I never spoke 'baby language' to them. Ever. I believe that to have children who speak clearly and with confidence you need to do so as well. None of this "oh, widdle CS hab a poo poo". Nope it was "CS, do you have poops in your diaper?".
- Our kids don't have the latest and greatest of toys, electronics, etc. I want them to use their imaginations. In my house books far outweigh toys. (exception to Barbie and Thomas the Train. We have oodles of those. Mostly hand-me-downs).
- I believe kids will do things in their own time and in their own way. There is no need to push and pressure them.
- Develop each child's personality as much as you can. I'll admit that this one is bringing me issues this year. Ren just isn't into soccer anymore and tells us at each practice, game, etc. Which leads me to my next rule.
- If Mom and Dad pay for a sport or activity and you change your mind, tough. Money doesn't grow on trees and until it does then our kids are obligated to continue a sport or activity to conclusion. After that they can choose whether to play or participate again.
- You get what you get and you don't throw a fit. Thank you Kate Gossling (I know, back before all the drama). I am not a short order cook and if you don't like what I prepare then see you at the next meal. Thankfully all 3 of mine will eat almost anything you put on their plates, so this rule hasn't been enforced often. I love that we have adventurous eaters. They will try anything once.
- Try 3 bites. Along the lines of the above rule, when something new is introduced each one of them is requested to try 3 bites of it. If they still don't like it after 3 bites then they don't need to finish eating it.
- I like loud. I like giggling. I like playing. I don't compromise on those 3 things. Chuck prefers quiet, so they get out all the sillies before he gets home and then proceed onto quieter activities.
- I shield the kids from bad and adult stories/things. I'm happy that my 7 year old daughter has no idea who Justin Bieber or the like are. Why should she? She's 7. No need to hurry the "cute boys are great" thing. It will get here soon enough all by itself.
- Body parts are called by proper names.
- Furniture are not toys. No climbing, swinging, sliding, or jumping.
- Unless it's given to you, it belongs to Mom and Dad. Respecting other people's property and belongings is something a lot of people don't do anymore.
- Manners, manners, manners. Please, thank you, yes ma'am, yes sir, pardon me, etc are all being reinforced. I know some disagree but in my experience manners will get you places a lack of them cannot.
Okay, so I guess I sound a little harsh. Maybe I am a little stricter than I realized. Some of those rules are from me, some from Chuck. The thing is, we both agree on all of them. Exception to the whole loud thing.
I will say that we also dance, make up silly songs, laugh, twirl, shake our groove things, sing loudly and really off key, and generally have a good time. Our kids know the rules and what is expected of them. Whether they choose to use them and follow them is their choice. When they break one, the consequences are known as well.
Do you have silly rules or strict ones?