Sounds pretty normal to me, this is how I compare:
- I let my kids swear at home as long as it's pragmatically appropriate. In other words, if you drop your pencil, I suggest you find another word. If you drop a book on your foot, swear away!
- I include them in our conversations. Most conversations. Sometimes dh and I do want to converse without being interrupted by the plot summaries of the latest A.N.T. Farm or random baseball/football/basketball/soccer facts. Dh and I don't talk about stuff our kids shouldn't hear unless we're alone (dd has amazing 'hearing' and will pick up on the slightest thing.)
- I don't spank, I rarely punish. You have to really do something BAD or dangerous, or MEAN. (e.g., Dd has been getting bullied by ds' friend down the street, and we have threatened to take a break with the friend if ds doesn't start telling his friend that he's being mean to dd. He can't make the friend stop, but he can point out when he's being unfair or taunting her.)
- I to watch TV and play computer games.
- I let them run around barefoot.
- They can pick what they want for breakfast and lunch. We have family dinners, and I'm not a short order cook. But, we take their preferences and tastes into account, and if they ask for a dish before I've started dinner, I can usually accommodate them.
- I do ask them to try a bite of a new food, but don't force them to eat things they don't like. (This backfired on dh's parents in a major way!)
- I allow them to dress themselves, even when going to school. There's just a few pairs of dress up shoes dd is not allowed to go out of the house with (think stiletto heels bought at Goodwill).
- I let them build forts all over the house.
- I let them make mud pools in the back yard and jump around in them. They just have to strip in the bathroom and hang up the clothes to dry.
- I used let them sleep in our bed until they got too tall. Now they sleep next to our bed (ds some nights, dd every night).
- I have let them run nude in the house and sometimes back yard depending on the weather. (I did this too until they developed modesty around age 8.) I even let them run nude in the front yard once or twice.
- They have pretty free reign over snacks. One of ds' primary food groups is Nutella. (He's a 12 slim with the adjustable waists pulled in. Until he gets to be not a slim, he's got free reign over the Nutella). Dd tends toward cheese, turkey and yogurt. (I don't buy Doritos because she'd sell her soul for those, and they aren't good for her on so many levels.)
- I don't care what they read, except that if it's keeping dd up because it's too scary, then she needs to put it away and read it in the daylight.
OK, I don't let them eat where they want.
I insist on family dinners.
I make them do chores (15 minutes a night, plus ds has to unload the dishwasher; next year, when he's 11, he'll have to load it too).
I personally cringe at the amount of TV/games sometimes, but right now there are other battles/skills that we're working on. The video games are only Wii sports (must be rated E) and the computer games tend to be things like Roller Coaster Tycoon, which is mildly educational.
Actually, the only odd thing I find is that your friend tells you that your parenting makes her cringe. I know some people who don't see eye to eye with me on parenting stuff, but I try really hard not to pass judgement (or more accurately, when I do pass judgement, I try really hard to keep it to myself!) Everybody's kids are different. Every parent is different.Edited by LynnS6 - 10/2/11 at 7:23pm