parenting differences

August 3, 2008 · 5 comments

I was thinking recently about my kids and the things we let or don’t let them do as compared to other families we know. Not judging, just thinking it is interesting how we all do things differently and how it doesn’t mean we can’t coexist peacefully.

For instance:

  • My kids have never had soda. They have probably tried a sip of something once or twice each, but never expressed any desire for more.  We still water down their juice (like 85% water!), so I’m not really surprised they don’t like the sweetness of soda.  My neighbors’ kids? Love root beer and sprite.
  • Neither of my boys have ever had gum.  The neighbor kids? Chewing gum ALL the time.
  • My boys are totally allowed to go barefoot if they want to.  Would I prefer them to wear shoes? Sometimes, sure. And do I demand it if they are riding bikes or the driveway is super hot? Of course! But honestly, I hate wearing shoes and am barefoot 80% of the time in the summer, so I can’t really pull off the do as i say thing. The neighbor kids – always have to have shoes on, and we are total bad influences on them (oops).
  • My kids are allowed to watch tv, play video games, use the computer and use my cameras as long as we know what is going on and they are careful.  Most parents would panic if their 4 year old grabbed their digital camera and wanted to take pictures. Me, I love seeing what they shoot.  Matt has his own (my old one, not a brand new) DS now, but he doesn’t abuse it; he’s had a tv in his room for a long time, but rarely uses it unless he really needs some alone time.  Most of the shows and all of the computer things they do are educational.  I know a lot of people are against this kind of technology for little kids, but I figure as long as they are learning, it’s all good.  Besides, they play outside more than anything, which is the most important part of childhood anyway!!  The boys love shows like Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, as well as many home improvement and cooking shows, so it’s not all cartoons, all the time either.  The neighbor kid watches crap like iCarly and Hannah Montana and had no clue what Shark Week was or who Mike Rowe is = tragedy!!
  • My mom often expresses amazement at how laid-back we are as parents. She thinks things like jumping on the couch, removing the cushions to make forts, tearing apart my bed to play Deadliest Catch are all things that would have given her a heart attack when I was little.  To me, that stuff is no big deal.  Choose your battles and all that.  Of course, she also often expresses amazement at just how smart and well-spoken my kids are…correlation, anyone??
  • A friend of mine has the whole bedtime thing down. Her kid gets like 1-3 books and then he goes to sleep.  Of course mine need a minimum of 4 and often fall asleep while I am reading; Matt will sometimes be up for 15 minutes to an hour if he doesn’t fall asleep while being read to.  Preston will sometimes roll over and say he’s ready to sleep after one book, which is totally awesome.  I’m really hoping to get a serious bedtime routine in place when Matt starts school…yes, he’ll be 5, yes, I’m aware we should of worked harder longer ago, but there’s a good reason!!  See, neither of my boys slept well as babies.  So poorly did they sleep, in fact, that we often let them fall asleep where ever and when ever and would just move them to their beds.  That still happens. :oops: But since I’m big on the whole “whatever works” style of parenting, it’s all good.
  • Being as lazy laid back as we are, we’re pretty easy going when it comes to food as well.  Our boys love them some junk food (TimBits, Mac&Cheese and Fruit snacks are gold around here), BUT they also LOVE corn on the cob, green beans, carrots, cheese, etc.  What they eat in junk is made up for in good for them stuff.  And while Preston may be a little chubby, I am seriously not worried, as Matt is a freaking string bean; P just needs to grow UPWARD a little!  I always hear about kids not liking vegetables, or cheese, or milk or yogurt and I’m thankful that my kids like those things.  Pure luck is all that is!!
  • On the other hand, pretty much everyone I know has had better luck with potty training and getting their kids to DO things than we have.  Probably something to do with horizontal parenting, but hey, you take the good with the bad, right? :neutral: Matt is almost 5 and I am embarrassed to admit that he is (a) lazy and (b) still does not wear underwear to bed and (c) still has accidents on a regular basis during the day.  Of course, B & C are directly related to A.  Apparently, he has that first born, we did everything for him for too freaking long syndrome going on.  Believe me, we’re diligently working on some independence and curbing that laziness.  (And by lazy I mean not wanting to do or get things for himself, not sloth-like; the kid has more energy to burn on a daily basis than Fermi). Any tips on the night time undies would be appreciated if anyone has some – he claims that when he turns 5 that he is going to do it.  LOL.

I’m sure I had some other things, but since I started this post 3 days ago, I can’t remember.  Feel free to chime in with some things that you’ve noticed if you’d like!! :lol:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

AndreAnna August 3, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Other than a pretty strict bedtime routine (I need MY time), we’re pretty laid back parents too. Like you, I pick my battles and figure some things are not worth fighting over.

I also hope my kids like the discovery channel and stuff too. I’m currently living in Dora hell, but I don’t let her watch all that Hannah Montana crap and don’t think I ever will.

AndreAnnas last blog post..Blanketing FAIL


alejna August 3, 2008 at 10:11 pm

It’s great to see what works for other parents.

I’m not sure where we’ll fall on the laid back/strict spectrum yet. It probably depends on the context. I just still feel like we’re newbies with our 2.5 year-old.

I think we have similar philosopies on food. I don’t have a problem with junk food as long as the good stuff gets eaten too (and more often than the junk). I have no plans to give soda, and I actually don’t even tend to give any juice due to the high sugar content.

We were stricter about sleep training than some of my friends, though we end up being overall more flexible about the sleep schedule. If we have a party to go to, Phoebe comes along even if she is up several hours past bedtime. Or we sometimes forego the nap in order to go someplace. My friends, on the other hand, will opt out of plans due to the sleep schedule.

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Tabatha August 4, 2008 at 10:33 am

I let Alexis play on the computer and with my digital camera as well. She also plays with my DS. And sadly she LOVES playing with cell phones, only to take pictures or listen to the music ringtones, but pretty much you hand her a phone and she can get to the camera, or the ringtones! It is funny watching her teach my grandparents (Both in their 60’s) how to use their computer and camera! I think in a technology filled world we have now days it is important that kids know how to do things. Alexis also LOVES her some coffee! Black, and HOT or even with cream and sugar, she DOESNT CARE! Now, she doesnt get it often, but she does love it… We all parent different but I agree, whatever works!

Tabathas last blog post..Where does the time go?


above average joe August 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Ditto for Peanut & The Champ on soda, watering of juice (not 85%, maybe 50-50) & gum.

TV/computer games are limited in time & shows. (No PS, No Spongebob)

2-3 books each at bedtime. (I am the one who falls asleep.)

above average joes last blog post..Pause


tenakim August 4, 2008 at 8:54 pm

We don’t do soda except the occassional Sprite. We have a strict 8:00 bedtime and they all usually go with it. And if I can getthem to eat ANYTHING with nutritional value- it’s a goood day. Whatever works for you!


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