Parenting peeves

It’s a minefield, this parenting thing. But we have so much information available. And we all have our own experiences of childhood to use as a touchstone; surely we can remember what felt right to us as kids, and what felt crushing, or unfair, or enfuriating? It astonishes me how often I see and hear parents doing things that they would unquestionably hate anyone to do to them:
– speaking for their children instead of giving the child an opportunity to draw a breath, or think, or even to get a word in
– leaping in and trying to resolve disagreements that don’t involve them instead of letting their children figure it out for themselves
– plying tiny children with names and labels that are no doubt going to stick in ways they really don’t want (whether it’s silly or clumsy or selfish or even seemingly complimentary stuff like good or patient or kind… which are no less tyrannical once you feel squashed into their mould) – instead of letting children feel out that each situation calls for its own appropriate response
– insisting on “helping” their children to do things “perfectly” when what they are really doing is teaching the kid that they are irredeemably incompetent – instead of allowing the child to do things the way they like, and seeing the fullness of that.
Grrr. Then again, a friend keeps telling me: the easiest children to raise are other people’s. Ain’t that the truth…


About Lisa

I live in South Africa with my husband and two small children, doing things, thinking about things and sometimes writing about them.
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