The fireside talk with my parents and hubby replays in my mind often. I remember them dismissing my concerns, telling me that I don't have to worry about my nephew, and summing up the conflict as a difference in parenting styles. Not only was it invalidating, it was sad and reinforced my concerns for my nephew.
I know that there are different parenting styles. I know that there are different styles of loving, communicating, and living. I understand that and I also believe that those different styles fall along a spectrum spanning from healthy to unhealthy.
I think that there is no firm line between healthy and abusive-it's subjective. What scarred me for life may have left someone else with a lasting, loving relationship with their family; maybe spurred them on to great achievements and success. I was not so lucky. I don't think my nephew will be so lucky. Maybe things will change directions for him (I hope they do) in the meantime, I do not thing my opinions are unfounded or simply "differences in parenting styles."
|BB enjoys accessories! Including random|
barrettes found in the hair salon toy box.
All that has been rattling around in my head and heart. I've also been questioning how I parent and what type of parent I am. I've thought about this all before, it's just more nagging lately. Months and months ago, I had decided it was one of those "life's mysteries" that can't quite ever be completely explained and decided to stop worrying about it. Lately, my parents' words have burrowed under my skin.
Am I too sensitive? Am I too "easy" on Baby Bananaface? Should I be more strict? Should I be drilling him on words and shapes? Should I draw a line when it comes to neatly eating instead of letting BB "get all up in it?" Do I come off "hippie dippy" or "laissez-faire?" Is he gonna turn out to be overly sensitive and unmotivated?
|Let BB have a cakepop the other day and|
rocked his world! Use change (like that nickle)
to distract him and keep him focused while
out and about :o)
I don't think so.
Being around my family has shaken my footing. I think the hubster and I have made specific parenting choices that are quite different from my family's. So what kind of parent am I? What's my style?
I'm patient. I'm kind. I am gentle whenever possible and firm when necessary. I give BB room to explore. I am strict when he needs to be reined in. I distract instead of discipline whenever I can. I try very hard to not take my frustration out on him. I try very hard to stay in the now. Often, I let him lead. Sometimes, I show him the way.
I don't know how he'll turn out. I know he'll have struggles. I know I'm not perfect. Every child is different and what (I think) works for him may not work for others. I think I strike a balance between what he needs and what I can give. I didn't gain a lot of self-assurance from my childhood and I want to try and give that to BB. I'm trying to do that the best way I know how.
|Another outfit BB put together himself.|
I don't put much effort in "styling" him myself.
What kind of parent am I? What's my style?
I'm a good parent. I'm loving. I'm sensitive. I'm dedicated.
My style is VERY different from my family!
So that's a peep into some of my pondering of late :o)