Do you and your parents ever have conflicting views over how you should raise your child?
Luckily for us, our children’s grandparents are well aware that we are in control of the parental decisions in our family. Donetta and I are strong characters and that is a trait respected by our parents, who had a hand in making us that way of course.
Since becoming a parent I’ve forgotten I’m also a son. It’s a strange feeling, I don’t feel like a son anymore, I feel like a Dad, top of the family food chain, along with Mum of course, protector of all that I’ve created and have been blessed with, King of my castle. A son needs a protector, a son is second in line of said food chain, a son is more of a Prince than King. I’m in this strange moment of life now where I’m both, I still seek guidance from my parents but also need to parent my way.
I’m in no way saying this is a problem, even if we couldn’t agree with our parents on anything, which isn’t the case, it’s a fortunate position to be in, we have family around us and that’s always beneficial to raising a child. There’s an old saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, maybe in today’s society not quite a village, but a whole family certainly!
I don’t know what it is with us, but we are rarely given advice by our parents on parenting, whether that’s because we’re doing such an amazing job already, or our parents know that as much as we welcome their opinions they know we will do exactly as we decide anyway, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because they know our family is very open, if we needed advice we’d ask for it. The advice I tend to remember, throughout my life anyway, has always been for me to think things through then decide what’s best for my family and I. Do you even need any other advice? That’s a pretty sound piece to live by.
I’m well aware however that this isn’t the case for all parents. Some parents are constantly being told to do things differently by their own parents, told they’re doing it wrong and the grandparents force themselves upon their own child, taking over their moment to learn parenting for themselves. There’s a huge roll to play for grandparents but they must play it right! Sure they’ve got all the experience but does that give them the right to steal yours away, how will you become a better parent and learn if not allowed to. I mentioned our strength of character earlier because I could imagine there are others out there without this trait and having their early parental experience sabotaged by the grandparents. I’m sure this happens, I’ve seen this happen.
We have one parenting rule in which all decisions are made, if we’re unsure for only a second it’s a no.
Let me explain. Basically parenting is making decision after decision after decision, so when an option is presented, such as, will Corben be OK eating that? Can the girls spend the afternoon in town with friends? Just for example, there has been much tougher decisions believe me. We ask ourselves, do we have any doubts regrading Corbens nut allergy, if either of us do then he doesn’t eat whatever it was. If we have any doubts over the girls maturity or safety then it’s a no. Alternatives are presented and we make new choices with new decisions and that’s how we parent. Sure there’s more to it all than this but hopefully you get the idea.
What we will also be certain of, is that every decision is our decision. I couldn’t imagine ever leaving any decisions to anyone else, if something went wrong how would you feel! At least if you make the wrong decision you can own it and learn from it.
Back to the grandparents, they have the experience, not only in bringing up children but in life, it counts for a lot. My argument however would be that all that experience isn’t always relevant in today’s world. We’ve all heard the ‘Back in my day’ scenarios. I sometimes see it from my peers, 30 years old commenting on kids playing with tablets and iPhone’s rather than on their bikes or in the woods. Had an iPhone or Netflix been available when I was a child would my parents have dealt with my usage limits any differently to how I do with my children? It’s 2016, times have changed and are changing at a rate never experienced before. Parenting in the 80’s and 90’s isn’t parenting in 2016 is it. Obviously playing out, being active is massively important, that won’t ever change, but technology is today, extremely important and if you don’t open your mind to that fact, you may well be left behind.
I can’t say how to Grandparent perfectly, I have no idea how it feels to be one. I guess being there to support and giving your child space to raise theirs is all I could suggest. I’m very happy with how our family is but I know others may need some space. As I’ve said to every single person that’s ever asked my advice on parenting (which isn’t many), do it your way, it’s the only way you know you will have done your best.
I’d love to hear your stories, feel free to comment, message, tweet – Even send me pictures, show us who’s Grandparenting perfectly, share your experiences even if negative, maybe we can change that!
As always, thanks for reading @dadvworld
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