Monday, October 3, 2011

Parenting pet peeves - my take

My friend Karen has a good point, what is it about different parenting syles that can be frustrating?

Oh parenting pet peeves, could talk for hours!!!  but I will attempt to be brief, for everyone's sanity :) .

The one that bugs me the most:  Parents who bring their kids to the playground and essentially ignore them so that they can socialize.  I think this is a common pet peeve for those of us who actually keep an eye on our kids to make sure they are behaving appropriately.  Example 1:  I was at a play-date-in-the-park event offered by a community group and this woman had brought her home daycare with her, which is great, it's a great outing with lots of activity and lots of other kids.  However, her charges were all over the place, behaving like wild animals, grabbing, pushing, saw one give the other a kick, they were heading into the wooded area (we're talking 2-3 year olds) and she spent the whole time talking with the staff running the group and complaining about the parents of the kids in her care, barely glancing to make sure all of the kids were accounted for.  I heard her make several judgements about mothers who work outside the home, saying they were unloading their responsibilities; I could go on but I won't.  All I have to say is this:  If you don't like running a daycare, don't choose to do it!  Do something that makes you happy.  Example 2:  Larger boy steals my son's soccer ball so that he can play "keep away" from my son who wants to pass the ball back and forth the way we play together all the time.  I took the ball from the older boy and had to put it away.  His mother sat and watched and tickled her small baby, cootchie coo!  Never wanted to slap someone so hard in all my life.  I was forced to take the ball from my son because of her son's unwillingness to share and play together.  I explained to him I was not taking it because of his behaviour, but because the other boy would just keep hogging the ball. 

My other major pet peeve is those who judge our home routines, especially bedtime.  (I have discussed this hot topic with many people, some have been super supportive and made suggestions in a helpful way, others, just plain openly judgemental)  I put my kid to bed when he is ready, not when I am ready to have him go to sleep.  It's a subtle difference, but one that matters to me.  Our family time is precious, hubby and I both work full time and so yes, we hoard every minute that we have together, because we want to be together.  If that means he goes to bed at 8:30, so be it.  Am I being a bit selfish?  I admit it, yes, but it's not without consideration.  In my book, firstly, that's not very late.  Secondly, if he were cranky and unmanageable during the day that would be reason to make adjustments.  His bedtime is creeping earlier now that he is in school and not napping in the afternoon, but I let his signals tell me when to put him to bed.  If his behaviour says he is ok, then I'm not going to make a huge deal about it.  On rare occasions, he asks to go to bed, like I would say no!

I'm not saying I am so perfect and non-judgemental that I *never* do things like this, but I try *very* hard to keep my mouth shut unless directly asked for advice or input.  I am in the position where I screen for developmental delays in children and have to keep my profession separate from my personal life.  And on the playground, I manage my own child, and sometimes my friend's children, because I know that they wouldn't mind me doing it.        

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