I love this thread! Sometimes I feel so out of 'the loop' at Mothering because my kids are older and I've already learned to navigate the playground. YKWIM?
Mine are 16, 17 and 19 - and they are wonderful teens and young adults. I likewhat pek64 said about seeing results. It is nice.
And I believe it is absurd to suggest that because my son is 19 - I shouldn't be parenting him anymore. I am still parenting him. I'm not wiping his nose anymore - but we parent differently at 8 months then we do at 8 years. The same thing applies to 18. The statement that we should not be parenting our young adults would insinuate that there is no place for me at Mothering. Absurd. That smacks of the culture of 'kick 'em out' when they turn 18. .....
Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby.
ds20, dd18, ds16
I don't "parent" mine anymore. The 24 year old owns her own house, has a good job, she calls for things like "What should I take for these allergies?" Or "Which rice cooker should I get?"
The other one is 20, and has a job, is in school, and just likes to talk, but I don't feel I have any say in what she does. I don't even check her grades. I just say "How is school going?'
I was very nurturing, but I always pushed for independance.
What I am trying to say (and have found, not only for me but with others as well) is a healthy parent(s) parent the best, "style" is really a minor factor in the "outcome"of the adult child.
I agree. (If I'm reading it correctly)
I have seen many, many kids grow up. I've been working in early childhood since 1980. I have kept in touch with some of the kids over the years. The kids who grew up to be confident, mature, strong adults, were the kids with strong, healthy parents. The parents who fought or disagreed on parenting, are the families who's kids are struggling with adult life.
Even the single parents who chose to work together to co-parent their kids raised confident strong kids. The single Moms with no Dad to help at all had similar outcomes. The Moms who were healthy, happy and strong now have successfully happy adult children.
In all honesty, the families where the Mom put the children far above the needs of the family or the husband, have adult children with problems. Off the top of my head, of the five families Where the mom would easily throw her husband under the bus, to make her kids happy..... four of those kids are in prison or have been in prison. (they were pretty extreme though...one mom drove her family into forclosure to send her kids to a very expensive summer camp..both kids are in prison right now.)
Parenting is the best experience I've ever had. But, it wasn't very hard really. Maybe I was ignorant. I know for SURE I would have parented very, very differently if the internet had been around back then. I cringe at some of the things I did because I didn't know better....and I was an "early childhood expert."
The kids who grew up to be confident, mature, strong adults, were the kids with strong, healthy parents. The parents who fought or disagreed on parenting, are the families who's kids are struggling with adult life.
...The Moms who were healthy, happy and strong now have successfully happy adult children.
In all honesty, the families where the Mom put the children far above the needs of the family or the husband, have adult children with problems. ...
Parenting is the best experience I've ever had. But, it wasn't very hard really.
In some ways I totally agree with you. I think that the emotional health of the parents is more important than the parenting style, partly because emotionally healthy parents are just going to get the emotional part of parenting right, regardless of what you call their style.
At the same time, as a new mother, I would have found your post terrifying. I wasn't strong or confident, and I doubted my emotional health or ability to be a decent mom. My parents had screwed up parenting so badly and I was such a mess as a young adult, that I seriously considered whether or not to ever have children. I understand how family patterns work, and I knew how difficult it would be for me to break the patterns in my family.
And my DH and I didn't agree about a lot of things at first. We had to hash it out.
And after the birth of my second child, I had PPD. The notion that I needed to be *happy* to be a good mom just made me sadder, because happiness was far from my reach.
And I did find parenting difficult. Especially after the birth of my second child, who screamed most of the time. That was also the point in my life when we realized that our older child had developmental issues. She was eventually diagnosed with autism. It's been a rough ride.
So while I agree that our own emotional health as people is really important to being good parents, my thoughts are softer -- for a mom struggling with any of this -- take care of yourself. Find a therapist to talk to. Take time to do things that help you find your center (its OK to leave your baby and go to yoga class or whatever it is that works for you). Speak gently to yourself. Love yourself.
Take time to nurture your relationship with your partner. This is the biggest thing I've learned from hindsight. So many of the attachment parents we knew starting out are now divorced. Although single parents can do a GREAT job and some marriages really are better off coming to an end, don't let parenting the baby that you made with the person you love be the cause of your relationship falling apart. That's not a good reason. If you started out with a good person, then one of the best things you can do for your child(ren) is to continue to make that relationship work.
Give yourself space to figure out what is worth arguing with your spouse over, and what you can just let go of and compromise. Give yourself space to figure out when your child comes first, and when they just don't. Accept that balance isn't the same as having all the answers. Give yourself space to not be perfect. None of us are perfect, and thankfully, children are resilient.
but everything has pros and cons
I love this! Home should consistently be the place where we are always welcome, with a strong supportive atmosphere. I always maintained an atmosphere in my home where respect and support was paramount among each of us. People thought that because I had 3 boys that it would be a free for all, with fighting and competition. Others said that I should let my kids learn that life was harsh and that I shouldn't "baby" them or they wouldn't be able to function when they went out into the "real world". Well, quite the opposite has happened. They are confident, kind, mature individuals who handle life very well, for the most part. They live away from home at school, with roommates, and for 4 years have all had good experiences.
"Parenting is raising children to be self sufficient adults, who are hopefully caring, productive members of society". Learning Mom, this was exactly my goal and I feel that I have achieved it.
as a mom of 4..im hoping for this too..
nursing mama to four beauitful lilttle gurls... Ivyrose 3.13.2004
married to dh steve since june 2010