Wanting to hear from other Moms of young adults - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 66 Old 05-31-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am finding it hard to find info about parenting young adults who have been raised with the kind of mothering found on this forum.  I have fraternal twins (23 years old) and a singleton (turned 25 yesterday), all boys.  I was a single mother for 14 years, starting when the boys were 3 and 4 years old.  We have a blended family now.

I breastfed my boys until they chose to wean (2-4 years old).  I raised my boys in a very nurturing, respectful environment.  They were not left with anyone they did not have a trusting relationship with and I respected and nurtured their very individual personalities.  Even though, they were all very strong personalities, I have not had one minute of disrespect from them.  They did well in school (B students), were involved in extra curricular activities, have very nice girlfriends, have a strong work ethic and are leaders in their peer groups.  They have never been in trouble.  They are have not been perfect but I would worry if they had been!  It's just the things they did were so minor compared to other kids we knew.

The problem I have is that I am very different from the other parents.  I am continuing to parent my boys in a way that provides support but encourages them to stretch themselves and go out in the world, knowing that I am always there for them, just like I have done all their lives.  As they were growing up, I would encourage them to try new things and test them for their readiness, but if they weren't ready to move forward, I loved and nurtured them until they were ready.

Now they all are in their last years of university (some struggles but all will graduate).  They all have long term relationships with wonderful young women who are smart, respectful and a joy to be with.  They are a blessing to me, after living my life with all men! 

I joined the La Leche League when my first son was born and I eternally grateful to the women who ran that group and showed me a different way of child rearing.  I believe that, if I hadn't met them, I would have raised my children the way I was raised (old school). 

I would love to hear from Moms who have parented this way and to hear how their children are as young adults.  Do you believe that it makes a difference as the children grow up? 

Many blessings, Jamie


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#2 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 09:36 AM
 
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I think most here have younger kids, but I know there are a few moms I've read posts from with grown kids. Welcome to Mothering! I hope you find some other parents at the same place in the parenting journey you're at, but I also hope you'll stick around and give some advice to some of us younger moms. smile.gif
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#3 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 02:53 PM
 
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I did similar stuff in terms of parenting. Not all, but similar. Mine are 19 & 21 now. 

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#4 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 04:23 PM
 
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My son is a teen, so we're nearly there.

What surprises me, other than relatives who were against how I was raising him, and haven't noticed a thing, is that when adults meet my son, they make a point to tell me how impressed they are with him. I've been told he's not like other teens; he's patient and respectful; and brings with him a feeling of peace. Other teens don't really have much to do with him, which he's OK with. He has his plans for the future, and is working on making his dreams reality.
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#5 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pek, I am sorry that those close to you have not recognized how amazing your son is.  Many who were so adamant that I was going to damage my kids with my parenting style are now amazed at what thoughtful, respectful, engaging people they have become.  I have had many teachers tell me that they wish they had a class full of kids like mine.  I am sure that I was not a perfect parent but definitely my parenting style has given the boys a good solid base.  I find, though, that it is a lonely road now, as I am not in touch with the parents who shared my views when the boys were young.


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#6 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mtiger, do you find that your kids are very well rounded now that they are older?  They are just behind mine in age.  I am curious to know if you feel that your parenting style (similar to mine) has had a positive effect on them.  I am sure that it has.


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#7 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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mamazee, thanks for the welcome!  I have been a member for a few years and have done lots of reading of posts on the forum but haven't really posted.  I hope I can be of help to the ones here who have young children.  I have been so blessed to find a way to parent that is so respectful of my children and myself.  I feel there is a need for parents of adult children to connect here, as our children as young adults are different than their peers. I am definitely feeling the need to connect with like minded Moms.  Also, to let the young moms know that what they are doing is of immense value.


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#8 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 11:06 PM
 
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This is a really interesting topic, thanks for starting the thread! My daughters are 17 and 15, and for the most part I've raised them similarly to what you've described. I was also a single mother for nearly ten years, beginning when they were 6 and 4. They are amazing kids, and I think they really do stand out among their peers in terms of maturity, manners, and lack of interest in the superficial, pop culture stuff that influences so many. I hear all the time from friends, teachers, and family how impressed they are with my girls, and I hesitate to take much credit. I feel that, at least in my experience, if you maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and don't arbitrarily and unnecessarily exercise authority, kids can find out who they are without all the pressures and baggage so many of us deal with.

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#9 of 66 Old 06-01-2013, 11:44 PM
 
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Um, they are grown ups now, they don't need parenting anymore.


It's complicated.
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#10 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 12:14 AM
 
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Um, they are grown ups now, they don't need parenting anymore.

 

 

I think that that depends upon your definition of parenting, I believe that my parents still 'parent' me but in an evolved way.  I still go to them for advice (my Dad in particular), I still want a hug from my Mum when I'm hurting, my Mum comes shopping with me when I have a special occasion to buy an outfit for and we lend one another money if the need arises.

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#11 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 12:25 AM
 
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I think that that depends upon your definition of parenting, I believe that my parents still 'parent' me but in an evolved way.  I still go to them for advice (my Dad in particular), I still want a hug from my Mum when I'm hurting, my Mum comes shopping with me when I have a special occasion to buy an outfit for and we lend one another money if the need arises.

 

These aren't parenting things. These are things that you would do with a friend.


It's complicated.
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#12 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 12:29 AM
 
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These aren't parenting things. These are things that you would do with a friend.

 

I think maybe we have different ideas of what parenting is....

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#13 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 12:40 AM
 
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I think maybe we have different ideas of what parenting is....

 

Parenting is raising children to be self sufficient adults, who are hopefully caring, productive members of society.


It's complicated.
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#14 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a really interesting topic, thanks for starting the thread! My daughters are 17 and 15, and for the most part I've raised them similarly to what you've described. I was also a single mother for nearly ten years, beginning when they were 6 and 4. They are amazing kids, and I think they really do stand out among their peers in terms of maturity, manners, and lack of interest in the superficial, pop culture stuff that influences so many. I hear all the time from friends, teachers, and family how impressed they are with my girls, and I hesitate to take much credit. I feel that, at least in my experience, if you maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect and don't arbitrarily and unnecessarily exercise authority, kids can find out who they are without all the pressures and baggage so many of us deal with.

I find this also.  My boys have not shown to be affected by peer pressure that much but are very popular among their peers.  My oldest son is quieter than my twins and not as social but I find that he walks to his own drummer and has fewer friends by choice.  I don't take credit either for the way my kids turned out when people (teachers, coaches, family members, friends) but I do agree that the things you describe so well in your last sentence has a lot to do with them feeling freer to be their authentic selves.  The reason I started this thread is because I feel somewhat awkward in society.  It is a bit hard because my kids do stand out.  It is nice to have the freedom in this forum to speak about it.  I don't say much to others about my belief in how this style of parenting works so well, because I wouldn't want anyone to think I was judging their parenting style.


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#15 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 06:03 AM
 
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Um, they are grown ups now, they don't need parenting anymore.

 

Really? Both of mine call me for advice or to bounce ideas off of. On all sorts of things. And for any number of reasons. 

 

When my daughter was dumped by her b/f, she called me in tears, saying "I want to come hoooooome!" I told her to get in the car and come. And then provided a shoulder, dried her tears, fed her her favorite foods, and took her for shopping therapy. Could she have gone to a friend? Sure - but sometimes, Mom knows how to soothe the hurt better than anyone 

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#16 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 07:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Um, they are grown ups now, they don't need parenting anymore.

I agree that they don't need active parenting anymore.  But being in a family doesn't stop once the active parenting is done.  My boys are in university, so I find I am still providing guidance in many areas, such as budgeting (Mom and Dad are helping to pay for it), emotional support when school issues arise, etc.   I think this still falls under parenting. 

Jem, I agree with you, that parents parent adult children in an "evolved" way.  I like that term.


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#17 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 07:12 AM
 
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Mtiger, do you find that your kids are very well rounded now that they are older?  They are just behind mine in age.  I am curious to know if you feel that your parenting style (similar to mine) has had a positive effect on them.  I am sure that it has.

 

I suppose it did have a positive effect, but I don't know how they'd have turned out with other parenting. They are the people they are. 

 

My oldest is a rising Senior at a conservatory, will be going to study with a composer in Germany next month, and has some extraordinary possibilities for grad school. He is quirky, wonderful, and has always marched to his own drummer. It has cost him dearly, I'm afraid. He has lost friendships and family connections based on the person he is. But he knows that he has strong core between myself and his sister. 

 

My youngest just finished her Freshman year, with hopes of going on to vet school. If that doesn't work out, she has other options. She's more "normal" than her brother, but has her own quirks and personality issues that have also cost her. 

 

Neither of them have a good relationship with their Dad, although #1 talks to him maybe once or twice a year. When/if he comes out to his Dad (he's trans*), I suspect that will end. #2 last saw/spoke with her Dad (same one) at #1's HS graduation. This situation (for both) pretty much came about when both kids insisted on following their own paths. Something I was cool with; Dad was not. But it is what it is. 

 

I guess, though.... yeah... the kids thrived living with me. We had our ups and downs, but they were allowed to be the people they needed to be - warts and all. When I compare me & them with my parents and me at their ages (*)? I am very comfortable with how I raised my kids. But they deserve the most credit for taking what they got and running with it. 

 

(*) I cannot tell you how many activities I was told were "not appropriate for a young lady". Not long ago, my Mom said that she got the feeling I wasn't happy when I was a child, and she wondered if I could tell her why. So I did. (Background - I'm 1st gen from an Eastern Euro family. Upper class -> refugees. Young ladies learned to play piano, do needlepoint, etc. They did NOT get sweaty playing sports!) I was enrolled in "appropriate" activities - Scouts, piano. needlepoint, ethnic summer camp. When really? All I wanted was to play softball, soccer and run track. 

 

When I had my own kids, I was determined to expose them to a load of stuff and let them find their place. When they were little, my son wanted to do sports, and my daughter wanted to do art. Fine! Funny how it turned out... my son is the artist, while my daughter is the athlete. Go figure ;)

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#18 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Really? Both of mine call me for advice or to bounce ideas off of. On all sorts of things. And for any number of reasons. 

 

When my daughter was dumped by her b/f, she called me in tears, saying "I want to come hoooooome!" I told her to get in the car and come. And then provided a shoulder, dried her tears, fed her her favorite foods, and took her for shopping therapy. Could she have gone to a friend? Sure - but sometimes, Mom knows how to soothe the hurt better than anyone 

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.


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#19 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I suppose it did have a positive effect, but I don't know how they'd have turned out with other parenting. They are the people they are. 

 

I guess, though.... yeah... the kids thrived living with me. We had our ups and downs, but they were allowed to be the people they needed to be - warts and all. When I compare me & them with my parents and me at their ages? I am very comfortable with how I raised my kids. But they deserve the most credit for taking what they got and running with it. 

I truly believe that this parenting style has a positive effect on allowing the kids to be who they will.  I am not saying that life was perfect when the kids were growing up.  And, I also believe that they are who they are and that contributed to who they are today.  My oldest son was high strung and anxious growing up.  He was affected most by the divorce.  But as a 25 year old, he still has some anxiety but functions very well at school and also works 24 hrs/wk.


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#20 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 07:39 AM
 
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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.

 

Well... She goes to school 5 hours away. And she had classes the next day. Just hearing that she could come home ASAP w/no recriminations from me? Allowed her to take a deep breath, stop and think, and tell me she would stay until after classes the next day, and then head home. She has a good head on her shoulders. 

 

LOL It didn't hurt that Grandma & Grandpa were here to pamper her a bit, too!

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#21 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 07:46 AM
 
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Um, they are grown ups now, they don't need parenting anymore.

While this is the parenting subforum, it is the Mothering site.  You never stop Mothering!  :)

 

I am not sure you stop parenting, either…there are always questions of how much to say, what kind of support to give, etc.  It is still parenting, IMHO, it is just parenting an adult.    


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#22 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 07:47 AM
 
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And actually... I didn't baby them at all. I maybe had more of a tendency to make them fly on their own. <shrug>

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#23 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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While this is the parenting subforum, it is the Mothering site.  You never stop Mothering!  :)

 

I am not sure you stop parenting, either…there are always questions of how much to say, what kind of support to give, etc.  It is still parenting, IMHO, it is just parenting an adult.    

I agree.  I think parenting becomes much more of a supporting position as they get older.

 

I nurtured my kids, not babied.  I was constantly encouraging them to stretch their boundaries to see if they were ready.  If so, great, if not, I pulled back and tried again later.  This gave them the confidence to realize what they felt internally when they were ready vs not ready.  A lot of anxiety is generated internally when we try to push ourselves to do things we aren't ready to do.  I believe we can adapt if we push past our readiness factor and jump in but it causes all kinds of stress related side effects


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#24 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 02:11 PM
 
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Um, they are grown ups now, they don't need parenting anymore.
Seems like an issue of semantics to me. Technically, if you're still a parent, your interactions with those whose existence confers upon you that title may be classifiable as "parenting." It's how you define the role that may differ. There's no need to try to put down the obviously well-intentioned statement by the OP. smile.gif
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#25 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 06:47 PM
 
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As my children age, I tend to reflect a fair bit on what I was doing at that age and how my mother handled things. 


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#26 of 66 Old 06-02-2013, 08:39 PM
 
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I was given no support growing up, and I lack confidence to try to achieve my goals. My son, whom I "babied", has the confidence to go after his goals, and even sometimes encourages me to go after mine. The only spoiling comes with neglect. That's my view, and now that I am seeing the results, I feel more confident about it.
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#27 of 66 Old 06-03-2013, 03:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Pek, it is interesting to me that Moms like yourself on this thread are experiencing what I am finding.  My kids are so different than I was at that age.  They are much more confident and authentic, free to be themselves.  I find them to be encouraging to me and each other.

 

Hopefully, this thread will show the Moms of young children on this forum that this style of parenting does work. 


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#28 of 66 Old 06-03-2013, 05:41 AM
 
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My son isnt an adult yet but he just finished his first year off at college thats more than 10 hours away and is spending the summer living in an apt in another state with some friends. So doing more "adult" things. One of the best benefits to our relationship is that he trusts me. He copied something he wrote on a friend's FB wall and shared it with me...she had posted something about how "if you want your kids to tell you everything, dont freak out when they tell you something" he had replied that he is happy he can tell his mother (me!) anything and she wont freak out or judge. He knows that he can tell me stuff and he won't be "punished" and that i support him making his own choices about things even if i dont always agree. At one point he made some bad decisions and we talked openly about it. I'm really glad he doesnt feel he has to hide anything from me. I dont always keep my opinion to myself and i try to give advice based upon my life experience but know that ultimately its his life. He was raised without punishment and i think  that has caused him to "rebel" less than another teenager might. 

 

The funniest thing about having a kid who is nearly an adult is how little any of those things people worry about actually matter in the long run, like what age they pottytrain or wean or that he never got that pertussis shot or that he didnt read til he was 8 or played computer games for hours. And yes, he DID eventually sleep in his own bed. ;)


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#29 of 66 Old 06-03-2013, 08:59 AM
 
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Hopefully, this thread will show the Moms of young children on this forum that this style of parenting does work. 

 

I like the spirit of this thread, and I don't want to bring it down, but something about the concept of a particular parenting style "working" doesn't sit right with me. I parent in an AP manner because it's what feels right to me, feels respectful of my kids and our family as a whole, and yeah, I do think it's best. But parents who spank, in a culture in which spanking is the norm and is the way to "train them up right" and "teach them respect," believe that they're doing the best too, and although I completely disagree with spanking as a parenting tactic, plenty of kids who are spanked grow up to be caring, accomplished, confident, wonderful adults whose parents might say, "See, my parenting style 'worked'!" (Of course, plenty of spanked children don't turn out well, and plenty turn out somewhere in the middle, just like with kids who were raised AP and every other parenting style.) 

 

One of the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful, most polite little boys I've ever encountered lives in a sort of "tough" family. They're not abusive at all, and they clearly love their kids and show them that love, but they definitely don't practice AP. But this little boy's light just radiates strongly no matter what. Maybe a lot of that confidence and security simply comes from knowing, to your bones, that you're loved, even if that love isn't shown within an AP framework. 

 

Anyway, I know this is a jumbled post. I guess my point is that, while I clearly think AP is the way to go or I wouldn't be practicing it myself, I'm a little wary of this thread coming off a little too self-congratulatory. 


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#30 of 66 Old 06-03-2013, 09:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 

I like the spirit of this thread, and I don't want to bring it down, but something about the concept of a particular parenting style "working" doesn't sit right with me. I parent in an AP manner because it's what feels right to me, feels respectful of my kids and our family as a whole, and yeah, I do think it's best. But parents who spank, in a culture in which spanking is the norm and is the way to "train them up right" and "teach them respect," believe that they're doing the best too, and although I completely disagree with spanking as a parenting tactic, plenty of kids who are spanked grow up to be caring, accomplished, confident, wonderful adults whose parents might say, "See, my parenting style 'worked'!" (Of course, plenty of spanked children don't turn out well, and plenty turn out somewhere in the middle, just like with kids who were raised AP and every other parenting style.) 

 

One of the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful, most polite little boys I've ever encountered lives in a sort of "tough" family. They're not abusive at all, and they clearly love their kids and show them that love, but they definitely don't practice AP. But this little boy's light just radiates strongly no matter what. Maybe a lot of that confidence and security simply comes from knowing, to your bones, that you're loved, even if that love isn't shown within an AP framework. 

 

Anyway, I know this is a jumbled post. I guess my point is that, while I clearly think AP is the way to go or I wouldn't be practicing it myself, I'm a little wary of this thread coming off a little too self-congratulatory. 

 

oh i totally agree!

 

i think sometimes parents think that they have (or they want to have and seek) the "magic formula" that will turn out great kids. Often i hear from friends (who parent differently than i do) how they get complimented all the time on their wonderful, well behaved kids. Well i got complimented on my son a lot too (often from adults who were amazed at his ability to carry on an intelligent conversation about interesting things with them) ...i think a lot has to do with personality frankly. Whether its AP or homeschooling or gentle discipline or breastfeeding or whatever else...i do see a tendency for parents to see their way as The One True Way and sometimes even denigrate those that do it differently. When you're in that group, and then leave, it becomes really obvious (i used to homeschool and then stopped, and now that my younger kids attend school i see the posts about schools being "jails that just want to turn kids into robots who unthinkingly follow orders!!!" in a totally different light. )

 

I used to tell people that even if breastfeeding (for example) *wasnt* superior to formula, didnt have any benefits whatsoever (in terms of health, IQ, all that) i would still do it because its what my child needed/wanted at the time. And ironically now that i have had younger non breastfed (adopted from foster care) formula fed babies, much of what i believed to be true about breastfeeding vs formula wasnt really true anyway. Maybe thats a little off topic though, sorry. ;)


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