I think my core ideal is to raise a happy, educated, healthy little guy and enjoy my life doing it. In that I think we are generally succeeding.
The devil's in the details, though. I don't look at it as success/fail, more general direction so:
- infanthood: We met and passed all our breastfeeding goals for sure and handed diapering and vax the way we had decided was right for us. We never realized not circumcising was a big deal because here in Ontario, they don't do it at the hospital by default. We had a co-sleeper and I thought that we would move from that to a crib in our room but we ended up co-sleeping more than I thought and it worked for us, but only after my son was over a year (I had fears).
- model and give respect, but remain the adults:
I think we mostly make the mark here; however we are helped a lot by my son's inbred temperment and personality which is generally jolly and helpful.
- give opportunities for success
We expect that our son will participate in the maintenance of our home and be able to handle social situations at an age-appropriate level, which I personally believe is part of natural parenting - for the child to join the tribe's work, so to speak
- media: we're mixed
I've read a lot of the stuff on TV and I am wary of it as a default activity, but my husband and I both enjoy movies and some shows quite a bit. I also freely admit that some days we are all tired out in our BRAINS by 5:00 pm and a half hour of entertainment goes a long way.
Our family compromise has been that we don't get any broadcast TV but we have invested in a DVD library of shows we consider okay, beginning with the odd Signing Time episode when my son was about 15 months and now we have some movies, like Pixar's Cars, and the Popular Mechanics for Kids set, and Earth, and even some TV ones. Through a series of Fateful Events he also was introduced to the Star Wars Clone Wars animated series and it's violent! And my son loves it and we've had so much opportunity to talk about good and evil...and it got him into reading fairy tales. So, ehn.
The last year or so I have also been letting my son pick some at the library each week, along with the books we take out, and we've been treated to some pretty jarring kids' shows (Wonderpets come to mind) but I feel like we gain more from the conversation/choice than we lose from the 45 minutes.
We also allow some Internet/iTouch games on holidays.
I do feel like we've not met some ideal in this area, but I think I'm comfortable with where we've landed most of the time, and when I'm not, then I try to adjust at that point.
- physical activity
As a two-parent WOH family I feel like this is where we least meet our ideals. My son fortunately gets soccer, martial arts, outdoor playtime, and yoga at his daycare/Montessori, and he takes swim lessons, but we really only seem to get it together to go for a walk or do a sports thing together about 2-3 times a month. (We do play in our yard a bit beyond that.) So this is where I think we really need to get on top of it more, for everyone's health. I most regret about working that we really haven't had the TIME to walk to and from daycare as that would be a great way to work it in.
We have sadly achieved our child's introduction to the idea that "at some places meals come with toys!"
But joining a CSA (veggie in the summer/fall; meat/eggs/root veggie right now) has imposed a locavore base for our meal planning and I've put a lot of time into developing menus that work against our schedules so that most nights we're eating homemade food/leftovers.
I don't aim for a complete elimination of "unhealthy food" but more that it is the odd spice in our diet and not a staple. So... we do have one box of Kraft Dinner in the cupboard that gets eaten occasionally and replaced, and I'm not overly fussy about sweets and treats occasionally crossing the threshhold - I honestly think the odd packet of gummies is one of the great joys of childhood. And yes, artichokes are too.