There are too many parenting articles, so here’s another one…Posted: January 23, 2016
Based on all the parenting articles I’ve read lately, I’ve determined that we’re all destined to fail as parents.
My husband offered that I sound angry, which I’m not. I’m simply overwhelmed by the volume of information and level of contradiction, thanks largely to social media.
Last week I read I’m inadequately (or inaccurately) using the expensive gear we have, only to be coined a helicopter parent this week for stressing safety.
I’m supposed to make sure my kids experience distress and don’t expect happiness 100% of the time, but then I need to ask them about their feelings.
We’re supposed to raise them to think for themselves by giving them options, but then we’re scolded for letting them make decisions.
You shouldn’t give your kids too much sugar or let them decide what to eat, but if you go on Pinterest for ideas for playfully introducing a variety of healthy foods you’ll be picked on for trying to be supermom. Our moms gave us moonpies, juice, soda, vienna sausages and TV dinners, and look how we turned out. Oh wait, obesity is running more rampant than ever.
We’re told to do crafts to help develop fine motor skills and inspire creativity, but then we’re over-stimulating and playing WITH them too much when we should just send them outside (barefoot) to discover the world. Make sure you’re out there with them though…it’s dangerous and those bare feet will get some kind of parasite for sure.
One day I’m crazy for sending my child to public school rather than homeschooling and choosing our own enrichment programs; the next I’m not exposing them enough and will end up with a socially inept, awkward child.
My kids are only in one program, yet I’m bombarded by articles detailing how over-scheduled they are.
I let them get as dirty as they can, but some old guy in a parking lot takes it upon himself to remind me that boys should play in the dirt.
It goes on and on!
Share… don’t share. Teach them to respect adults, but don’t force them to hug someone… Expose them to art, music, foreign language and education from a young age, but don’t push them to learn too much when they’re young or you’ll totally screw them up forever. Did I mention over-scheduling? Don’t even get me started on discipline!
Maybe, just maybe, if we move to a farm with no technology, where my kids can only eat what they harvest, but are never around sharp tools and wear helmets at all times, maybe then some of you will be happy. BUT, someone else will call me “granola” and point to their kid who only ever eats processed food and watches TV 24/7 who happens to be the epitome of health and genius, and tell me I’m not exposing them to the real world. As parents, we can’t win…even with each other.
I appreciate all the concern and advice, but all it makes me do is second guess my decisions and my instincts as a parent. It’s too much. I’m really trying, but even that takes a beating when we’re told we’re putting too much time and thought into parenting.
None of you out there is a perfect parent, and neither am I. Thankfully, it’s not all on me. Nature plays a role, God plays a role, and there will be many other influencers and experiences that have absolutely nothing to do with mama. Please take it down a notch and let me screw up my children all by myself.
Also, what are you doing reading this article on your phone? Your child might see you and be negatively affected since you’re clearly choosing to look at it rather than watch him eat his lunch. Another one bites the dust!