As far back as I can I can remember both of parents worked full-time. It never struck as odd that my mom was at work rather than home with us kids. We were busy anyways, that was back in the day when you could play in the neighborhood from dusk to dawn with no phone calls home and no fear of being the next child abduction. Though things are very different, I mean I never even went to daycare despite my mom working full-time from the time I was in the first grade. Heck we just took care of each other. But anywhoo. Like I said, it never struck me as odd or that I was being shortchanged. What I do remember is being labeled as a latchkey kid. The target audience of the after-school. This struck me as odd I mean keys to our house did not even exist until I was in college. The doors we always unlocked. Growing up the way I did definitely shaped my mindset for parenthood. I ran across an article the other day by Christie Mellor on mommytracked. She articulated exactly how I feel. She said…
“In all my books I guess I’ve tried to get across one simple point above all others: Don’t make your children the center of your universe, make them a part of your life. Have a Life. Introduce your children to it; give them the tools—as best you can—to navigate their own lives. Help them to be independent. Encourage them to have independent lives, and share your life with them — your interesting, creative, joyous life…” [read more]
I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. Enabling children’s independence is a greatest gift to. I learned so much from taking on my own tasks, making my own mistakes, and being accountable for my actions. Way more than I ever could have learned if my parents had tried to spare me disappointment, heartache, and good old fashion work. I learned how to make decisions, how to solve problems, and how to deal with most situations without crumbling. I learned team work and loyalty. My siblings were a force to be reckoned with. You did not mess with any of us without having to face the other five.
It has been interesting to see opposing views on this since from other parents in the course of our kids being in school. Take my daughter in kindergarten for instance. They got a few big projects to do. We made her do her own projects. GASP! Of course we would help where appropriate, but we would by no means do them for her. You could clearly see that was not the case with a large number of the other students. We continue to see that every year at the learning goal fair. Our daughter’s presentations are almost embarrassingly bad compared to most other kids. But then again, not really when you consider she did them all from start to finish. Some moms I know even redo their kid’s homework for them so they will not get anything wrong. Other neighborhoods where sports teams do not keep score, all the way up to fifth grade. Failure is a part of life, and an area where we personally learn the most from and learn to grow and improve. If there is nothing to strive for aren’t you just going through the motions? How can you better appreciate your accomplishments than by overcoming your failures?
No judgment. There is no right or wrong it is all what works for you. It just got me thinking and realizing. Interesting to think about how we all form our own style of parenting.
Being so intrigued, I looked up her other books on Amazon. I realized I coincidentally I have one, a friend gave it to me when my son was born. The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting. I often give as gifts too.