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« Post Irene | Main | Gotta Love New England »
Wednesday
Apr272011

Parent Up

It continually amazes me the difference of how people parent or don’t parent their kids. There are the “helicopter” parents on one end and then there are the “I had kids because I could” parents.

I have run into parents from both end of the spectrums. Let me tell you how I was raised to give some insight into how I feel.

  • I was raised that you never talked back to your parents or any other adult because… well… you would suffer the consequence. Non of us really knew what that was but we weren’t willing to find out.

  • You didn’t steal from your friends, neighbors or anyone else because… well… again you would suffer some kind of consequence that was beyond your wildest imagination.

  • You said thank you, please and your welcome because it came naturally due to the example your parents gave you.

  • I didn’t have to wait to get reprimanded until my father came home because I was raised by my father… thank goodness.

  • You were aware of others around you because the world didn’t evolve around you.

  • You always did your best because your parents always knew when you were slacking off.

  • You didn’t lie to your parents because eventually they find out when the guilt of what you did is too much to handle.

  • I was allowed to fail and make wrong decisions with the perspective that I had learned a valuable lesson. (This is important for helicopter parents to learn).

Since I was laid off from my job over a year ago I have had the opportunity to be more involved with my kids and their activities. I could be helping out every day in class but I don’t. The kids need to have other adults that they listen to and respect. I help out approximately once a week for about an hour in one son’s class and computer class for the other. I will help out whether in the classroom or out. I don’t need to hover (hence the name helicopter parent) over my kids while they are in school. When I have helped out in the younger son’s class and there is another parent I specifically ask if they can do the project with him and not me. I am there to help not monitor my child. One of the biggest compliment I received from the teacher was that Peyton behaved the same whether I was there or not. She was basically saying he was on his best behavior all the time. Music to a parents ears.

I was recently in the dentist office with both of my children. in the waiting area was another woman and three children. The fourth child was already in the dentist chair. They were disrespectful to her in that they did not listen to her when she reprimanded them. But from their perspective there was no consequence hence, they kept doing what they were doing. The way I view it is you are only making it harder on yourself in the long run if you don’t follow through. The kids were loud and obnoxious. After my kids and I had our appointment I found out I wasn’t the only one to think so. the doctors staff shared my sentiments.

My kids aren’t perfect by any means. What I will say is they have received numerous compliments on their behavior when they are at other people’s houses or we are out in public. Apparently well behaved children are such a rarity they get noticed.

As parents it is our responsibility to raise well adjusted, behaved and mannered children that will grow into mature and responsible adults. How else can we ensure a bright future for them or ourselves. They need to be able to make decisions on their own. This also means they need to be left alone to make their own mistakes on their own too. My father raised me to make my own decisions. Some of them were good and some of them were bad. Regardless, he was there to help mend or celebrate.

As I have said before my children aren’t perfect and neither and I but frankly my tolerance is getting thin for those parents who won’t step up to the plate and parent their kids.

Reader Comments (7)

Well written! so many kids raised with no discipline these days, here, too. good job, Mom ;)

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErika

Sarah...this was very well said and I have to agree with you. As a former employee, I completely know what you mean with the 'hovering' parent. And then the 'dental office' mom, who clearly doesn't want to deal with the issue at hand. Parenting is a 24/7..365 days job and it's the hardest job. People have to 'own' their kids behavior, especially when they are young, it just gets trickier as they grow...I found the middle school age the toughest. I, too, claim no angels, but I am very proud of the peole my children grew into.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandy M

Very nicely written Sarah. I share your same thoughts. No one said parenting would be easy but the hard work pays off as they grow into young adults. My kisd often were complimented for their good behavior and maturity in restaurants as young boys and they stand out out still as "nice boys". They aren't perfect and neither are we. They disappoint and so do we as parents. That's the journey...What has finally been realized by my husband and I after 14 years of parenting is that the "rules and expectations" of when we grew up, no longer exist. Kids don't respect adults and other parents like we did because those adults don't want to take responsibility for their kids behavior. God forbid you interfere...So now we just watch and keep our mouths shut. Slowly but surely we and our kids have fewer friends, but that's ok because the friends we do have share our values! Continue your hard work, focus on YOUR family and enjoy the outcome!!

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

‎...and, I was sometimes surprised by other parents that would compliment the kids behavior..but then, I realized that, if they were going to have rough moments, or sibling arguments, wasn't home the place for that anyway? So, although I had my difficult times with fighting kids..when they were out in public, they knew appropriate behaviors to exhibit. And they had manners..they never went after a snack without asking....I had to ask them to stop asking when they were teens.Too funny!

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

I am reposting your comments on my blog. Cathy... maybe it was the something in the water in Somers. I think alot of our parents felt the same way. I tell other parents that if your child comes to my house I will disipline them the same as my own. The parents that I am friends with pretty much feel the same way and they have the freedom to do the same.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I agree with you all! I am mortified when my children behave (at home or in public) a way my parents NEVER would have tolerated. My husband reminds me they're good kids when I'm beating myself up for being a bad parent, but kids today - including my own - definitely don't have enough sense of consequences (Sarah, you're right here in that we just knew there would be one without ever having seen it; not enough fear in kids today!).

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

Ditto for me too. I was raised to FEAR my parents because consequences were always delivered when we stepped out of line. Nowadays it's all about how llittle Johnny FEELS about something and how his self esteem is handling things.

B.S.!

By today's standards it is amazing anyone from our generation actually survived.

May 10, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKris, in New England

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