Totally random post, but just the other day as we’re talking about Baby Bun, I voiced a few opinions about how I planned on raising my children.
- Giving them responsibilities (tasks and chores without any expectation of money)
- No allowance
- Expecting a minimum standard of working hard and trying hard in school (their only “job”)
- Letting them make their own mistakes and fail without stepping in to bail them out each time
- Being a well-behaved, polite member of society
- Making them understand that I’m the one in charge, not them; I will listen to them but ultimately, I decide.
- Always mean what I say, which includes giving ultimatums and following through on them
- Not allowing any negotiation at the table when it comes time to eat — don’t want to eat? Fine, go hungry.
My mom gives me a look and says:
Your poor Baby Bun.
So many expectations! You’re going to be so tough on your kids..
Please give them a childhood, a life!!!
I thought about it and replied:
Just because you never expected anything out of us and we turned out okay, doesn’t mean my kids will end up the same way.
I could do everything the best I can as a parent, and they might still end up as bums.
Of course, I should mention that my mother is speaking from growing up in poverty, having had a cheated childhood because she had to worry about food, money and basically surviving a dog-eat-dog world all the time.
My parents never pushed us for anything. Never helped us with homework, helped us with anything school-related, or asked us to do anything, not even chores.
I feel really guilty now, thinking back to how my mother quietly worked like a house elf while we grew up without a care or notion in the world of having any responsibility and what it meant.
As a result, this will not be the case for my kids.
“WHY MY KID IS CRYING” — Via
I am still going to give my kids a childhood, we’ll go biking and do lots of fun things that have nothing to do with learning and studying. I plan on giving them lots of free time within reason.
However the reality is that life is not just about fun all the time, and I think as a society we’re allowing children to grow lazy, irresponsible and to expect that life will stay like that forever.
It’s kind of a miracle that my parents raised us the way we did without paying much attention to us, and we turned out to be okay adults.
For me, helping your kids doesn’t mean coddling them, because shielding them from the reality of life, and ultimately teaching them that you can’t get everything and you will never fail, is not the answer.
My worst fear is that I don’t and won’t be able to prepare them well enough as a parent for them to go out into the world and be independent.
I’m not going to send them to work in the coal mines at the age of 5 to bring home money for the family, but I am also not going to let them run free and wild without any (age-appropriate) responsibilities either.
I figure it’s the least I can do for them.
One thing is for darn sure, if I ever leave them with her, she’s going to spoil them rotten… then I’m going to get questions like:
Grandma lets us eat/ do _____ and ____!
Why can’t we eat / do that here too !!?
I’m thinking my answers will be somewhere along the lines of:
- Do I look like Grandma to you?
- You can only do / eat that at Grandma’s as a treat once in a while
- Whine again one more time, and I’ll make sure to tell Grandma to never let you do / eat that again