Thursday, February 24, 2011

The OTHER Side of Parenting

It’s Thursday, which means it’s bloghop time again (of course, if no one else links up, there is no “hopping”, so write and link with us!).

This weeks topic is:

What are the most challenging aspects of parenting.

Not everyday with Gianna is sunshine and dancing. Not at all. She is a toddler and she is mischievous and dramatic. Like, REALLY dramatic. Mike and I have talked recently about how we parent and what we need to work on. We are so far from perfect, but it’s a work in progress with challenges still to come.

Ignoring the judgment.

For me, this is the absolute hardest part of parenting. Not letting what others do and how they parent their child or think I should parent mine cloud what I want to do/know is right.

We are all different. Our children are all different. What works for one, might not work for the other. Etc. Etc. Etc.

You know, sometimes people are just mean and they can make you feel like you are doing something wrong as a parent. But – unless your child is starving, hurting or otherwise in danger – you aren’t doing anything wrong you are just doing something different.

We didn’t baby proof except for one baby gate and a few outlet covers. We try not to use the word “no”. Time-outs work in our house. We don’t believe in spanking or any other physical punishment and redirection/explanation is working to teach her boundaries and understanding. Those are things that work for us. With this child. Maybe they won’t work in the future, but maybe they will.

We fit under the “genre” of gentle parenting (which I never knew existed until like last week) by nature. I don’t have to agree with any other “genre’s” of parenting, but that doesn’t give me the right to give my opinion to someone unless they ask for it.

Also, it is fair to say, that a lot of times we FEEL like we are being judged when really people are just asking questions! Or we feel like our kid is the only without that cool shirt/fancy shoes/toy etc when really, no they aren’t!

Remaining open minded is hard in general, but it can be really hard when you feel judged by others. And for some reason, once I became a mom, I was admittedly hard on myself but I felt like EVERYONE was judging me. I have gotten better, but some days are still really hard.

So really, my biggest parenting challenge is not parenting at all – it is remaining strong so that I CAN parent my child how I believe I should.



Test said...
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Delenn said...

(I posted above, did not realize I was signed in as hubs)

I agree with you that this is one of the hardest things about being a parent. Not only is there no "correct" way to parent a child; there are so many ways that people tend to judge others.

Things that I thought would work with my son did not work. And I only found out through failure and tons of testing to find out that he is wired differently.

And my daughter is a totally different child. My parental style with her is new to me even though I have plenty of practice!

It is also one of my favorite things about parenting--learning through doing! :-)

Esperanza said...

Great post! I'm not looking forward to people's judgement of how I raise my child. I can already see it sometimes in my in-laws eyes. I know I will never be perfect and cannot respond to everything in the best way possible, but I will always respond to my daughter with love and respect. And that is all that matters. I just hope I can remember not to judge others, that can also be difficult. Thanks for writing this!

Rebecca said...

I dare someone to judge me...I haven't had a good conflict in a while due to not working and I miss it. Oddly enough, I just wrote a post about all the crap people judged us for that I am so happy that we did (does that sentence even make sense??). You gotta do what works for you, right?

The Red Headed Mama said...

Aiden is 8 and I still get defensive about how I parent the boys. I realize that most of the time it's not people passing judgment, just curiosity...and the rest of the time, if they are judging, WHO CARES? I get this, but it's SO hard to not let it get to me.
All kids are different, all parents are different. Different is good :)

Miss K said...

This is something that I struggle with. If I really think about it, most of the time when I feel judged it is because I am judging myself, not because someone has said anything to me. The hardest thing to do is to give yourself a break as a parent and realize that it's a learning process for everyone, not just the child.

Anonymous said...

Parent her with lots of hugs and kisses and singing and dancing just like your mamma did and she'll be as amazing as you and your sisters!! Your doing a great job! Love all of you! P.S. let her play "fedders" with Gama and she'll laugh all day!