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I've been catching up on old posts, so make sure you scroll down.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What am I known for?

I recently read something that resonated with me:

"I meet a lot of parents who are anti-this, or anti-that. You know the type. The ones who are known by everyone for what they’re against, rather than what they’re for.
Don’t be those parents." (Noah's Dad blog)

The author is commenting on those types of parents who look down on moms like me for feeding my kids fast food, allowing TV and video games at a young age, and using sweets (as a reward, no less--gasp!). The disapproving moms and dads are out there, exclaiming, "I would NEVER feed my child a Happy Meal," "We don't allow refined sugar in our house," and "Television is detrimental to a young child's development ." And with each statement comes the implicit message, "I'm obviously a better parent than you." We all know parents like that. I just hope I'm not a parent like that. There are, of course, things we don't allow our kids to do (e.g., jump on the furniture)/ consume (e.g., caffeine)/ be exposed to (e.g., movies with anything but a very mild PG rating). And it's okay to be against things. I just don't want to be known for what I'm against.

For example, I often get self-conscious when talking to other parents about our family's choice to homeschool. Because the absolute last thing I want to imply is that public schooling is somehow inferior. I'm not against public school. For us, it was simply a matter of examining what values are most important to us, and how we could ensure our children's' education while best honoring those values.

So that brings me to the question: when it comes to parenting, what am I for? I thought about it briefly, and came up with a rough list.

  • Kindness
  • Faith in God
  • Family
  • Knowledge
  • Fairness
  • Empathy
  • Creativity
  • Hard Work
  • Fun
  • Respect
  • Moderation
I want others to know that these are the things I'm for. If our family's values are clear, then the motivations behind our family's choices should be pretty clear too. For example, while I don't claim that my methods of teaching respect are the absolute best, I hope it's clear to others that I value respect, and am actively trying to instill it in my children.

I imagine that my list is similar to most other moms' lists out there. The fact that our methods differ is immaterial.

That's the bottom line: our methods are different, not inferior or superior. We're all just doing the best we can. I believe that to go above and beyond, we should be constantly searching for ways to do things better, to be better parents than we were last week. Because we all want the same result: children who will become adults who value the same things we do.

That's all we're trying to do. Raise stellar adults.

No pressure. Nope, none at all.

1 comment:

The Wallace Family said...

I see a family home evening lesson in this. Great thing to ponder!

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