I always find it interesting when people think it is ok to tell people how to or not to parent.
Over the years I have had my share of people telling me that what I’m doing with my boys is right, or more annoying… wrong.
Well, yesterday a person I’m friends with on Facebook said that she was tired of people telling her she was in essence a mean mother. I shot her a message right away. While I don’t know her in person I know that no one has a right to tell another mother that they are doing it wrong. She is a mother of little boys and wants them to learn to take responsibility for their actions and understand that actions have consequences.
As we got chatting I realized that she is dealing with many of the same issues I have dealt with over the years. We are living in a time where so many people think that being a parent means making life easy for their children. That a parent should be friends with their child and protect their child from upset and/or disappointment. Well let me tell you that is not the world I want to live in.
I do not smooth the road for my sons. I force them to figure out life. I am here if they want to talk, need suggestions or if things get beyond their ability/developmental level, but I will not make life easy for them. I am raising men not boys. I want my sons to make mistakes now so that they learn that when you mess up, you fess up.. then you fix it! Life isn’t fair, life isn’t perfect, why should childhood?
What are we saying to our children if we fight all their battles? What are we saying to our children if we don’t force them to stand up for themselves? What are we saying to our children if they don’t learn to take care of day to day life?
I was glad to be able to chat back and forth with this mom. To let her know that just as the kids need to learn, life isn’t fair. That you have to learn to ignore the ignorant and that when people try putting you down, they are probably questioning their own choices.
In my chat with her I shared some of the things I have said to my own sons over the years:
- It is because I love you that I’m upset with this choice, if I didn’t love you I wouldn’t care
- I will always love you, but I won’t always like your choices.
- All actions have consequences, you choose if they are positive or negative.
- I’m here to help you, but I won’t fix it for you.
If you parent the same way as me, or think I’m totally crazy… I don’t care. As long as a parent isn’t hurting their child; as long as a parent isn’t doing lasting damage; as long as the things a parent does is out of love… .then who are you to say it is right or wrong?
I know how about we worry about being the best parent we can be, and stop worrying about others parenting the same way. Each child is different, each parent is different, each family is different, each situation is different….. lets embrace these differences instead of putting them down!