A few weeks ago I made some snide comments about Sharknado 5. Someone commented- “How can they be up to 5? How does that happen?” Well- I’ll tell you how it happens, because I managed to do it with my blogs. You do the first blog, and you think- “Ok- this is good. Maybe I should do another on the same topic. And you keep getting feedback, and before you know it, you’ve written your 5th parenting blog in a row. OK- not exactly a row- I did my usual weekend stuff- but- you know- it’s just a lot of parenting- even for me. So let’s see if I can squeeze out any fresh ideas, or if I jumped the shark…..
My Daughter faced my parenting blogs with wry amusement. I believe “You’re so full of it” was the exact wording. So here are a few things my kid said, and I’ll give you my explanations.
You’re gullible to peer pressure. You’ll read a fashion magazine and say to me, “Ooh- velvet is in. Should you get something in velvet for the season?”
I admit, I like looking at fashion mags. I like to see what is in style. My daughter and I enjoy shopping and coordinating outfits. Is buying something on trend submitting to peer pressure? I don’t think it is. I think it’s fun. Now- if you say you HAVE to have something because everyone else has it, or you wear something you don’t really like, or something that is not flattering- I think you’ve submitted to peer pressure. FYI- the little velvet dress she bought last winter got her through 5 outings.
You bought me expensive “name” boots.
Yes I did. Because they were practical for the cold weather. Because they are truly high quality and well made. I had once bought the generic version of these boots and they barely lasted a season. Hers have lasted 4 years and are still going strong. And I just didn’t go out and buy them. She put them on her holiday list, and I bought them as a gift. I think it’s OK to be a little extravagant on gifts as long as you stick to your overall budget.
Your talks on expectations, hopes and rules contradict one another.
Expectations are traits that can be taught and modeled. They are behaviors that you are not born with, but are learned behaviors. These are the things that make someone a functioning member of society. I include respect and empathy as examples. Expectations should not change- these are lifelong behavior patterns.
Hopes are things that you hope your child finds valuable, because learning the hard way can be, you know, hard. One example is that I hope my daughter surrounds herself with good people, I can explain why, but I can’t expect her to listen or do this. Sometimes a child needs to learn the hard way which people to trust.
Rules are the guidelines you establish for the benefit of your family. As a parent you are allowed to set rules about curfews, video game usage- really anything that you have a strong feeling about. These are things that are important to you individually (and by this I mean parents or guardians- I’m not sure best way to phrase this- but lets also say that ALL parents must be on the same page as far as these rules go- Mom saying one thing and Dad saying another is dysfunction at its finest) Rules are also things that can be reevaluated every year. My daughters curfew is later now than it was 2 years ago. She didn’t wheedle the rule change out of me- as she matures I feel she is allowed a bit more freedom. But every family has their own rules. You can’t change other peoples minds- but you can talk about them on your blog…….
Sometimes you bend the rules
Guilty. I sometimes bend the rules. I have a no electronics at the dinner table rule. When her best friends boyfriend broke up with her, I let my kid keep the phone on the table. Her friend needed her. I don’t regret that decision. But for the most part- I am really consistent.
What about the whole curfew conundrum?
At the beginning of sophomore year, I gave my daughter a curfew that I thought was reasonable. The first night she was out, I realized that everyone had a curfew later than my daughter. My daughter did not ask for a later curfew- she accepted what I had said. But here is the problem: living in the city, the kids take mass transit, or walk home. If my kid left before everyone else, she would be making the entire trip home solo. I extended her curfew, because I didn’t want her traveling completely alone. It had nothing to do with peer pressure.
So you can decide if I am full of it or not.