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Who is "raising" your child- terminology that matters - Page 4

post #61 of 107
I really hate the phrase "raising" children anyway - to me it implies that children are lower life forms and adults must bring them up to our elevated level. Bah! I'm my daughter's parent - her only parent - and only I can parent her (ymmv, if your kid has more than one parent, but that's how it is here). Others have cared for her, mentored her, loved her, helped her, taught her, held her, hugged her, encouraged her, been there for her... and I am so grateful for all of them.

dar
post #62 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootaloo78 View Post
when I have made that statement I was not trying to offend anyone. I guess it's all in the way it's said.
I definitely believe you when you say this, but it is a hard phrase to hear as a WOHM or even as a SAHM who knows she's going to have to go back to work. That's why I'd probably avoid it. You just don't know what people are thinking at the time.

I've definitely said things that I only meant to refer to myself, but later I realized could really be taken the wrong way by the listener. When I was SAH and my DH and I realized that we did not like having the traditional SAHM, WOHD setup, between ourselves one thing I said to my DH was that I was tired of not thinking. Of course I don't think SAHMs don't think. But for me, for my specific situation, I found the lack of specific kinds of intellectual stimulation as a SAHM extremely difficult and it pushed me into a lot of unhappiness. That phrase was a shortcut for me to sum up a lot of complex emotions and my DH and I found it a handy phrase to use between ourselves.

Anyhow, I once was talking with a WOHM friend and I said something about how I was tired of not thinking and so I would be going back to work. I later learned that she was emotionally exhausted by WOH and really wanted to SAH. I went back and apologized and explained what I had meant. She was very gracious about it, but I felt terrible. (We are good friends, and she understood me, but still. Not a good thing for me to say.) I was so focused on how miserable I was in my own situation that I didn't think about the possibility that she might be thinking of SAH. :

Anyhow, that taught me. If I'm going to talk about why we prefer two WOH to a SAHM/WOHD now, I never use short-cuts in my phrases any more. If somebody asks, they get the whole story, so that I can be clear that I'm only talking about my specific experience and not making any value judgments about other people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I really hate the phrase "raising" children anyway - to me it implies that children are lower life forms and adults must bring them up to our elevated level.
Wow. I've always felt an instinctive sort of dislike for the phrase, but I could never figure out why. Thank you! This is exactly it.
post #63 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I really hate the phrase "raising" children anyway - to me it implies that children are lower life forms and adults must bring them up to our elevated level.

dar
...kind of like "raising chickens" or something! I agree!
post #64 of 107
I'm wondering if my response, when people ask me about our situation, is offensive. The other day I was talking to my new supervisor about the fact that DH finally returned to work after being out for almost two months. I was explaining that it was good to get DS back into our regular schedule/routine. She asked if we were able to hold our daycare spot for him and I said we don't use daycare. She looked really shocked and so I explained how we work opposite shifts and said something along the lines of "it's important for us to not use childcare" So, I'm wondering if those of you who do use daycare would find this offensive. Because I am so cautious about being offensive in this area, I usually add the downside of our situation being we have less family time since DH is gone all weekend- we usually only have weekday evenings together as a family. I have found that when I don't point out the 'negative' of our situation, the person I am talking to usually goes there immediately.
post #65 of 107
I'm not sure if I would be offended by that sentence. It would probably depend on the tone of voice used.

I think it could imply that day care is always bad and best to be avoided. Again, with a certain tone of voice, it could take on a moralistic stance--or even a type of martyrdom--due to all the sacrifices you are making as a couple/family in order to avoid something that many others find so very "o.k.," even enriching for our families.

Off to get a cup of coffeee....not sure if I'm making sense!

ETA: I am also not in favor of people having to walk on eggshells when just talking about their own situation.
post #66 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post

ETA: I am also not in favor of people having to walk on eggshells when just talking about their own situation.
I agree.

I also think people are overly sensitive. I mean, I don't get offended when someone tells me their child is getting loads of socialization because they are in daycare. If I assumed they were bashing my parenting because DS isn't getting the amount of socialization he 'should' be getting I'd be PO'd all the time.
post #67 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia622 View Post
I'm wondering if my response, when people ask me about our situation, is offensive. The other day I was talking to my new supervisor about the fact that DH finally returned to work after being out for almost two months. I was explaining that it was good to get DS back into our regular schedule/routine. She asked if we were able to hold our daycare spot for him and I said we don't use daycare. She looked really shocked and so I explained how we work opposite shifts and said something along the lines of "it's important for us to not use childcare" So, I'm wondering if those of you who do use daycare would find this offensive. Because I am so cautious about being offensive in this area, I usually add the downside of our situation being we have less family time since DH is gone all weekend- we usually only have weekday evenings together as a family. I have found that when I don't point out the 'negative' of our situation, the person I am talking to usually goes there immediately.
I can see how your response could be offensive. When you say it's "important to us not to use childcare" I think, what is important? Are you implying that something about me having my child in childcare shows that I don't think her care is important? Do you know something I don't? Do you think I am not being a responsible parent because I have dc in childcare?

Or that som aspect of my child's life isn't "important" enough for me not to consider keeping my child in only family care.


Saying daycare is raising my child whether intential or not implies that I am not doing the raising. Not that it is a mutual-shared responsibilities between loving and concerned adults, but that I am pawning my child off on another person to do my dirty work.
post #68 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
I can see how your response could be offensive. When you say it's "important to us not to use childcare" I think, what is important? Are you implying that something about me having my child in childcare shows that I don't think her care is important? Do you know something I don't? Do you think I am not being a responsible parent because I have dc in childcare?

Or that som aspect of my child's life isn't "important" enough for me not to consider keeping my child in only family care.


Saying daycare is raising my child whether intential or not implies that I am not doing the raising. Not that it is a mutual-shared responsibilities between loving and concerned adults, but that I am pawning my child off on another person to do my dirty work.
What's important for us is we want to be with DS as much as we possibly can. I would prefer to SAH with him but financially, we aren't willing to make that sacrifice so this way one of us is with him. Teaching him what we want to teach him rather than put our trust that someone else is teaching him what we want him to learn. Obviously, I do think keeping him out of childcare is better for our family but I'm not saying it's better for all. I don't say this to anyone because I know others would be offended. I think it's a given that we do what we think is best for our children and our families. zlike I said, I don't get offended when someone tells me about the social aspects their child gets through daycare or assume they are implying I don't care about my child's social growth.

So what would be a good way to respond when someone asks me about our situation? I'm really curious because I have tried many ways to explain and it seems I can't seem to come up with a non offensive way to do so.
post #69 of 107
Mama, *I* don't think your way was offensive, but I can see how it *could* be offensive. Just trying to see things from the otherside.

And, I don't think there is a way not to be offensive. Those who are offended are always going to be offended.

In the end it boils down to "If you're doing something different it's because you think my way is wrong" mentality, that even I have.

We all think the way we do things is the best, right, healthiest way to do things and just the act of someone doing something different may suggest different.

Afterall, WE are the center of our own worlds.
post #70 of 107
sorry that I was getting defensive
post #71 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
ETA: I am also not in favor of people having to walk on eggshells when just talking about their own situation.
I totally agree with this.

Alicia, I would only be offended by that phrase if you said it with obvious intent to trumpet your superior decision-making skills. Which I'm assuming you avoid. Frankly, I have no problem at all when people tell me that "SAH is best for our family" or "it's important for us to have a parent at home." In fact, I usually think positively of the person when I hear that, e.g., this is a family that knows what works for them and is working to achieve that. Good for them!

Actually, I probably wouldn't really be offended even if you said it in a tone of voice clearly implying that daycare is bad and superior parents know to avoid it. I'd just be more: and probably both feel sorry for you and think less of you. At this point, because we've hit upon what is good for our family, and we're confident in our choices, I dismiss people who are trying to dig at me pretty easily. Mostly I just pity them at this point.
post #72 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by alicia622 View Post
So what would be a good way to respond when someone asks me about our situation? I'm really curious because I have tried many ways to explain and it seems I can't seem to come up with a non offensive way to do so.
How about "we split shift so we can avoid the need for childcare."

Many will assume your concerns are for price (which is a huge concern for pretty much everyone) and others will assume your concerns are for type of care.
post #73 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
How about "we split shift so we can avoid the need for childcare."

Many will assume your concerns are for price (which is a huge concern for pretty much everyone) and others will assume your concerns are for type of care.

Better yet, 'we split shift, because that is what works for our family.'
post #74 of 107
My MIL says "You raise chickens and rear a child."

Where I live, a lot of environments for children are of poor quality from daycare centers through high school. I wouldn't be offended if someone said that they split shifts or stayed home or homeschooled to avoid all of the mess, because most people would do something to avoid the situations if they could. It's just super-expensive to do something different.

I want to raise a question regarding rearing: Do you think that childcare providers have much influence on your child's development (moral, physical, emotional) and how do you ensure that your influence is greater?

I think that they can have a huge influence on my kids just by the way my 34 MO has picked up some phrases in the past 2 months that she's been in a CDC. Some things she has said have gone against my beliefs like she now uses the word "booger" in a harsh way, and I think it sounds crass. She asked me to polish her fingernails like her teacher's. I think these things are small, but I don't think they are appropriate, so I spend a lot of time talking to her about what I think is appropriate. In a way, I feel empowered by the challenges because it gives me an opportunity to start imparting my values on her.
post #75 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowilli3 View Post
My MIL says "You raise chickens and rear a child."

Where I live, a lot of environments for children are of poor quality from daycare centers through high school. I wouldn't be offended if someone said that they split shifts or stayed home or homeschooled to avoid all of the mess, because most people would do something to avoid the situations if they could. It's just super-expensive to do something different.

I want to raise a question regarding rearing: Do you think that childcare providers have much influence on your child's development (moral, physical, emotional) and how do you ensure that your influence is greater?

I think that they can have a huge influence on my kids just by the way my 34 MO has picked up some phrases in the past 2 months that she's been in a CDC. Some things she has said have gone against my beliefs like she now uses the word "booger" in a harsh way, and I think it sounds crass. She asked me to polish her fingernails like her teacher's. I think these things are small, but I don't think they are appropriate, so I spend a lot of time talking to her about what I think is appropriate. In a way, I feel empowered by the challenges because it gives me an opportunity to start imparting my values on her.
I don't consider it a gatekeeping issue - the process of a child's moral, physical, and emotional development. That is, I don't see my job being to ensure that my influence is paramount. No one died and made me Queen

I do believe it is my job to protect my child from influences that would harm him. I totally believe it is my job to surround him with all kinds of experiences and influences that are positive ones. To introduce him to the best in life that I can provide, and explain how I make those decisions. When he brings home ideas that I'm not fond of, I surely will challenge them in a variety of ways.

But I don't consider it my job to keep him away from people, ideas, or stuff that will impact on him. (I'm not talking about disturbing movies at the age of 4 or something; I just mean ideas that are different from ours, even in fundamental ways). Mostly because I don't believe it works, and I also don't believe I am necessarily the ultimate authority on good and evil.

I am his mother and he will learn a lot from me in so many ways - daily life, how he is loved, what we choose to bring into our home, and looking to me as a model either to follow or to break away from. Obviously, especially up until he is older, I have a huge job to do there.

But in the end I cannot possibly keep him away from everyone that thinks differently. I can't even anticipate what the world will be like when he is 40 or 50. Just think, when I was growing up cell phones were science fiction. There was no Internet. Canned corn was a vegetable.

Ultimately my child will live in the world. I hope, in fact, that he will join it joyfully - nail polish, junk food, and all. Of course I hope he will make good choices for himself, his body, and the planet. But I just don't see that there is only one way to do that - certainly the ways in which I have found happiness and moral centre have often been ways that my parents never contemplated.
post #76 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post

But I don't consider it my job to keep him away from people, ideas, or stuff that will impact on him.
That's not what I mean, but we do have to recognized that some people will impact them in ways that might be harmful. I do think that I am queen in my house and that my husband is king. I've had the experience that some DCP don't share my same values, and I need to make sure that my DC know that what I say is right for them. I'll give an example:


A few weeks ago, my DD (34 MO) who is biracial fair with blond hair and hazel eyes overheard a teacher comparing her with her brown skin/eyed brother, calling him "dark" and saying that her hair was "better than his." My DD came home repeating it. That's an influence that could cause some serious harm in my family for all of us. My DH and I had to teach our DD some heavy stuff in a light way for a tot. I know that I can't shield my DC from racism, but I can make sure that they know how to spot a stereotype or ignorance. It makes me sad that I have to start talking to my kids about this before they can grasp the concepts, but I've seen racism taught in bold and ugly ways at a very young age. In fact, when the teacher who said the things apologized to us, she said, "Well, I used to work in the public schools, and the kids there didn't like the biracial kids. They teased them." So, yeah, I need to be the biggest influence in their lives because they are facing some ridiculousness, and I want them to know that they are human and normal and loved.
post #77 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowilli3 View Post
That's not what I mean, but we do have to recognized that some people will impact them in ways that might be harmful. I do think that I am queen in my house and that my husband is king. I've had the experience that some DCP don't share my same values, and I need to make sure that my DC know that what I say is right for them. I'll give an example:


A few weeks ago, my DD (34 MO) who is biracial fair with blond hair and hazel eyes overheard a teacher comparing her with her brown skin/eyed brother, calling him "dark" and saying that her hair was "better than his." My DD came home repeating it. That's an influence that could cause some serious harm in my family for all of us. My DH and I had to teach our DD some heavy stuff in a light way for a tot. I know that I can't shield my DC from racism, but I can make sure that they know how to spot a stereotype or ignorance. It makes me sad that I have to start talking to my kids about this before they can grasp the concepts, but I've seen racism taught in bold and ugly ways at a very young age. In fact, when the teacher who said the things apologized to us, she said, "Well, I used to work in the public schools, and the kids there didn't like the biracial kids. They teased them." So, yeah, I need to be the biggest influence in their lives because they are facing some ridiculousness, and I want them to know that they are human and normal and loved.
Sure, I would definitely include that in my "harm" category that I talked about in my post. Racism is absolutely harmful.

But, as an example, at my son's school he is taught by a Muslim teacher, and a Hindu teacher, and some other teachers whose religions I don't know. I know that they hold different beliefs than we do, and that he may be exposed to their beliefs. It doesn't bother me, even though I hold neither.

But even more weirdly to me, this school introduced him to the concept of Santa Claus this year. We hadn't decided whether we were going to do Santa and I guess I thought since it's such a multi-cultural school they'd just avoid it. But no - and my son came home singing "You'd better watch out/you better not cry..." totally against our GD values, right? So I did say to him, "Oh that's a silly song," and after some discussion we decided a low-key Santa was ok (and if not, that would have been ok too).

But I had my huge moment of realizing that OH MY I'D LOST CONTROL. Because making a list and checking it twice is not in our value system.

And then I realized (with talks with my husband) that yes, this is happening a little early but... truth is, he is going to get exposed to Santa, and nail polish, and who knows what else... and the main thing that we really want as parents is just that we get our say as well (knowing, of course, that we are our son's first and most influencial family). I don't want to produce a child that has only had the chance to assimilate our values - I want to produce a human being who willingly chooses them.

OF COURSE that will involve teaching, unteaching, loads of discussion, and drawing the line at what is okay (racist comments like that = not ok), and so on. But at the end of the day I really do want to give my son the world, not just my narrow world.

I doubt I am expressing myself well here but that is sort of where I am with it.
post #78 of 107
She asked me to polish her fingernails like her teacher's. I think these things are small, but I don't think they are appropriate, so I spend a lot of time talking to her about what I think is appropriate. In a way, I feel empowered by the challenges because it gives me an opportunity to start imparting my values on her.

I feel the same way! I think some of the most valuable lessons I learned while growing up came from those situations where I learned something from an outside source, which forced my parents to really sit down with me and talk to me about why certain behaviors or values were not appropriate. Without outside influences, life would be like taking a science class without the lab, or learning to read music without ever picking up a musical instrument. The task of "rearing" a child doesn't mean that you only have one shot per value or belief system. For lack of a better word, the whole process is quite "organic" and requires layers and layers of teaching and guidance, imo. Where I would fail, I believe, is if my child learned certain behaviors outside the family and I refused or neglected to correct those behaviors or explain to her why those behaviors are or values are wrong or undesirable.
post #79 of 107
Thread Starter 
This is a wonderful discussion.

I likewise have no doubt that my dd's dcp has a huge influence on her. She loves her daycare teacher and learns alot from her. So far, I haven't had a problem with any of that, but I think in part that's because I very intentionally spent months and months researching and interviewing dcp's long before my daughter was born (and I know everyone doens't have that luxury). I screened out a lot of places that just didn't feel like the environment I wanted to create for my daughter.

But as she gets older, and her interactions with others becomes more sophisticated, I love that she will be exposed to different ideas. I cringe that some of those ideas might be messages that I dislike, or find harmful, or hurtful, or negative. I guess my hope is that she and I are still bonded and engaged and talking so that I get to have my say about those things as well, encouraging her to have a critical compass for the messages she hears. I know that means she will, eventually, gain a critical compass for the messages I share with her, too, which is scary, but part of having a child grow up to be an independent intelligent adult.
post #80 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by namellea View Post
This is a wonderful discussion.
I likewise have no doubt that my dd's dcp has a huge influence on her. She loves her daycare teacher and learns alot from her. So far, I haven't had a problem with any of that, but I think in part that's because I very intentionally spent months and months researching and interviewing dcp's long before my daughter was born (and I know everyone doens't have that luxury). I screened out a lot of places that just didn't feel like the environment I wanted to create for my daughter.

.
I see it this way too. I didn't have months and months to screen and interview, but I did a huge amount of word of mouth, followed by multiple visits and interviews to get the dcp's we have used. I trusted my gut when I visited a place that didn't seem to have the same values as we do. We really have been blessed with providers that almost completely share our values. We have been doubly blessed that those providers remained consistent for years at a time, so that as babies my children didn't experience caregiver 'turnover.'

I think perhaps the frustration comes when parents don't have as much access to high quality care, and/or that high quality care still has some staff turnover. Some parents end up having to settle for less than optimal care because they can't find great care, and they have to put food on the table. This is more of a larger systemic issue that is probably beyond the scope of this thread, but it is faced by many families.
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