Parenting Experts… Am I Right?
I’m pretty sure anyone who has written a book claiming to be a “parenting expert” doesn’t actually have children. I mean, really. What are they even talking about. Each kid is different. Even those who grow up in the same house with the same parents have vastly different personalities and need different guidance and direction as they grow. You should line up myself and my siblings. We are nothing alike at all. There is no “one size fits all” approach to parenting.
I had all these aspirations before I was a mom. I wasn’t EVER going to let my kid scream in public. I’d never bottlefeed. They were going to sleep in their own beds and life was going to be rosy.
(Insert hysterical, maniacal, sleep-deprived laughter here.)
Here are 10 of the parenting rules I’ve broken:
1.) Don’t Co-sleep.
Ha. Bite me. When Addie Grace was born, I was 19. And used to sleeping. A lot. Throw in a tiny, screaming human and it wasn’t cute. I tried to get her to sleep in her own bed. She wasn’t having it. And I wasn’t having five trips a night to a different room to feed her. So, she ended up in our room, and eventually, our bed. By eventually, I mean she was 11 weeks old when I had had enough. And this awesome little human slept in our bed until she was two and I was pregnant with her sister. Co-sleeping was the BEST decision I made with this kid. In yo face, parenting experts.
2.) Don’t spank.
I’ll be brief, here. My girls will be obedient. My girls will be respectful. My girls will be functioning adults. And she will be all these things because she will be disciplined. She will be Godly, she will be caring, she will be graceful. She will be all these things because she is LOVED and BUILT UP. My girls will be ladies. And if someone wants to stand in the way of that, I’ll whip them, too. (Insert winky face here. Don’t be so serious.) My kids are AWESOME.
3.) Never yell at your kids.
If you’re a mom who claims to have NEVER yelled, I’m a mom who claims to not believe you. Now, I try DESPERATELY not to yell. I know (just as everyone else does) that our littles are watching and learning from everything we do. I build myself up in the Word of God most days before the girls are up or soon thereafter. Sometimes, especially when I’m stressed, it all comes pouring out and they NEVER deserve it. But, I’m a real person. And tiny humans can get a little overwhelming. As much as I try, I break this rule more often than I’d like to admit.
4.) Let them have choices.
Ok. I understand the idea behind this. I do. If you give them two options, (carrots or fruit, red skirt or jeans) it helps teach them decision-making skills. But, here’s the thing: as adults, they don’t always get a choice. If I have the time, I definitely let them have options. It’s incredibly important to teach them that. If I don’t and I tell them to wear the red skirt, that’s it. The mom has spoken. I’m all for decisions and options. I’m also for my kids learning how to do what they are told and understanding they won’t always have an option.
5.) Don’t force them to eat what you fix.
Au, contraire. If I cook dinner for them, they shall eat it. I’m not making dinner for some and PB&Js for others. Not. Going. To. Happen. Do I fix things I know they dislike? No. Or if I do, I don’t make them eat it. But I am not a short-order cook. I don’t ask my littles, “Do you want green beans on your plate?” No. I put them on the plate and that’s dinner. I’ve done this since birth and my kids will eat anything but green olives or celery. Brussels sprouts? Bring it on. Sushi? Great. This morning for breakfast, they ate sliced mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and bananas. THEY ASKED FOR IT.
Side note: I also teach my kids this: If someone is kind enough to fix food and feed you, even if you don’t like it, say “Thank you.” and graciously eat at least some of it. They cared enough to feed you. You can care enough to be gracious. I DO NOT ASK THEM TO LIE AND SAY HEY LIKE IT. But I do ask them to have manners.
What parenting rules do you not follow?
Love to my loves,