ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
What kind of parent are you?(52 Posts)
As im pregnant with my first child , I often wonder what kind of parenting style ill adopt.
I picture myself being authorative, but I hate the idea of being authoritarian, as in 'you cant have a biscuit because I SAID SO," and will try to reason and compromise the best I can. I believe in being consistent with discipline, and sticking to my word.
However I know this will probably be easier said than done, but this was the way I was brought up.
What kind of parent did you envision yourself being? Liberal? Authorative? Authoritarian? And did you stick to it? Do you bring your children up the same way as you were?
Please dont flame me for having an idea of how I think I would be as a parent- its all part of the fun for me and I appreciate that having children and thinking about being a parent are two different things. Just want to know what im in for
i think it's interesting how much we tend to parent our own childhood, rather than our children. i remember being 11 &, fed up with my mum's unreasonable response, thinking "i'll write a list of all the stuff my mum does that i hate & never do that to my own kids"... needless to say i got caught up in another pre-teen hormone rush & never did, as i was off dreaming/stropping about something else.
but needless to say, our kids are different to us & grow up in a different world than we did, so the playing terrain has totally changed. applying rules from nineteencanteen in a non-adaptive way just willny work!
i think the best balance that's worked for me is based on understanding rather than doing the same or opposite as how you were brung up. for me (whose mum went from over-empathic baby-led, to ran-out-of-sympathy wouldny listen to owt before barking "don't be ridiculous") i found a flexible routine for babies (so i knew how i could plan my day but could change to more frequent feeding during eg. growth spurt). then as toddlers make sure i followed through what i said (treat or sanction) & clear boundaries, then as they get older explain in more detail, talk about stuff. at all ages LISTEN because they deserve to have their say.
i always try to remember what it was like to be that age & have those feelings, and then decide how to react, & even if i have my reasons for saying "no you really can't", i can let them know that i see their side but still have to take the
bossy responsible parent tack.
very important for me
especially as i regularly cock up is to delay & allow thinking time before making decision, or be prepared to change that decision, & admitting if i've done wrong by shouting at them & calling them an arse & apologise as we all make mistakes! this may well be because my folks wouldny budge or discuss once the initial reaction had been issued as writ. i like to be more reasonable rather than authoritarian!
i thought i'd be the opposite to my mum, but in fact have seen some echoes (of good bits hehe) & some new bits i've learnt myself. it's good to think about how you're doing it so you can assess whether you need to sort bits. consider it a works in progress as both you & kids grow & needs change. core values will probably shine through, mines are good manners, caring & probably explaining too much!
I have two DDs, (nearly 10 and nearly 7) and I am authoritative as I expected to be, but I think I give my children more freedom than I thought I would.
My parents were strict, and sometimes wouldn't allow me to do many things that my contemporaries did. I thought I would be the same. In reality, I am strict, but actually within my rules, my children have a lot of freedom (but if they break the rules, I come down on them like a ton of bricks). So I allowed my eldest to go to the park earlier than many of her friends, or to the cinema with friends (and no adults), walking to the shops alone, walking home from school alone etc. I was one of the last from my friends to do these things, but my daughter is amongst the first. However, my DD was recently described by a teacher at the school as "very sensible" (she is) and so she can be trusted to do these things. We also talk a lot about boundaries, and expectations so she is entirely clear about what she is and is not allowed to do
I started off thinking I'd be strict and that he'd fit in around our lives but it didn't happen! I'm ridiculously soft and gentle with him and everything revolves around him! I'm even a sahm now which I never imagined. One thing I've learnt is don't compare children of similar ages. They all reach their milestones at different ages sometimes months apart and it used to bother me. But then I realised all adults are different and therefore children are! Enjoy! Everyone said it goes so quick and I thought yeah right, but it really does, it's weird!
I'm usually fairly laid back, but can be because I have tight boundaries to be laid back within. I set those boundaries taking the boys into account, though. Both have SN, which always ups the ante a little bit. I also build in wiggle room, because it's in DS1's nature to argue with everything, so I give him the opportunity to negotiate a reasonable compromise, in some situations and feel like he has complete control in others (usually, he doesn't really).
Very like my parents, except that once my mother said 'no' she stuck to it, whereas I am inclined to rethink, if given a reasoned, sensible argument.
I think that you can over think it all and all you really need is - unconditional love, security, time, and a sense of humour.
According to my mother I'm unbelievably strict with them
I think I may have said 'No more jellies' once in her presence and she's decided I'm unfairly tough on them.... she seems to have had selective amnesia about taking packets of buttons my granny gave me and doling them out 1 a day!
I'm pretty relaxed really, some things I won't tolerate and come down hard on, lots of stuff I let fly. I'm not too pushed about treats or tv within reason. I'm a bit shouty but tbh I'm under a lot of stress with a degree, work and 3 children (2 with SN) so my nerves are a bit frazzled. I insist on politeness but am failing miserably to instil table manners and don't really care. I buy them treats 'just because' if I can afford it, they know not to nag fro them if I say no.
I'm somewhere between 'dragging them up' and 'child-led'
Fairly laidback now they are older. I do insist on being spoken to respectfully, no swearing in my hearing, absolutely no derogative or sexist language, but am open to being told that I am talking through the back of my head. Tend to trust them rather than snoop.
Basically I am more relaxed now that I can see they've got the sense they were born with. Also they have got used to me and know where the boundaries are. Not very different from my own parents, except that I am more shock proof. Dd tells me things that I would have tried to protect my parents from because I always felt they were a bit innocent.
I like the 'strict but loving' description. I am very firm - the rules are there and I expect them to be stuck to but I go with the reminders of the rules rather than actual punishment other than timeout for the youngest who is six, and
almost never ever deviate from them - if it's OK today why is it not OK tomorrow? All of my boys are expected to remember their manners etc. I am loving and have loads of fun with them but I am their parent first and their friend second.
FadBook - it's because it's a negative label. And if you say a child is naughty, that's not really addressing the behaviour, just calling the child a name. It can affect their confidence , esteem etc. Same with the term stupid - say it often enough, a child will believe they're stupid.
The kind that never scrimps on love, cuddles and kisses as much and as often as I can. Because of this my 2.6yo ds knows that when I sound stern I mean it and he should listen! I'll be one of those embarrassing mothers who is still stealing public displays of affection - deliberately - when he's 16. The kind that gives him space and freedom to develop confidence and explore on his own without calling him back all the time, and encourage him to dust himself off when he falls. But when he's really hurt I'll sweep him up in my arms and kiss it better. He has truly made me a much better person than I ever thought possible. Not a perfect mum by any means, but a better human being.
What's the deal with not saying 'naughty' silk? Is it because its a negative word or that the behaviour is 'naughty' (unacceptable) rather than the child?
I always get confused by this
My son is two. I'm very affectionate, silly, try to encourage creative play and a love of the outdoors, but I'm also strict about certain things (bedtime, being kind to our dogs, saying please and thank you as opposed to whining for something).
Being a nursery nurse for 6 years before having DS and being so hot on health & safety, routine, child protection etc, I thought I would be a worrier parent - the type that buys stoppers so doors don't slam on fingers, socket protectors and so on. I'm actually more laid back, soon realised I wouldn't get sued if my child broke his arm falling off the sofa!
Seriously though, it definitely changes as they get older. I'm laid back about most things but I don't tolerate misbehaviour in public places. I always thought I'd follow the book but reality was definitely different!
Only thing about being a nursery nurse was the prohibited use of the word 'naughty'. I've never called a child naughty, ever, and this has become part of my parenting. At 2.4, DS has never been called naughty and doesn't even know what it means. I don't work in child care anymore either but the emphasis on naughty being a big no-no is still there.
I thought that I'd just carry on my life as normal and my children would just fit it. Imagined taking a young baby camping, on bike rides, even along to parties and they would just sleep there (ha ha ha!).
I also thought I would be a lot stricter than I am I.e no chocolate until they were 4, always eat at nicely at the table etc (again ha ha ha!). I do think it depends on your child's personality though, some make it pretty hard to stick to your guns. My dd is very demanding and she gets away with too much. I do what I can to get by.
I do want free-thinking DC, however - independent experience (albeit in situations of mt choosing) is key to my parenting style.
I'm much more routine based than I thought I would ever be. I realised in the early days that going with the flow didn't suit me and DS at all. I need structure in my life, so consistent bedtimes/naptimes/mealtimes have been on the agenda since weaning. (I bf on demand for the first 6 months).
I am quite strict, but I am quite pfb and protective. I don't want him to have to toughen up too quickly. (14mo)
I don't have a consistent style at all.
I use whatever tool I have in my kit to get the job done. Sometimes I scream and shout, sometimes I give in, sometimes I cajole, sometimes I bargain, sometimes I bribe ...
I think my style is flexible...
I have been the opposite of how I expected to be so far. I thought I would be pro routine from day one - in fact I wasn't at all. I thought I would FF from day one - am still BF at 15 months. I thought I would make all the food from scratch - in fact I have used many a pouch or jar - why chop and blend when you could be cuddling?
The key thing is, I feared I wouldn't love my daughter, or would only love her if she had certain qualities - in fact I find I would lay down my life for her a thousand times. I couldn't give a shit what she ends up being good or bad at, as long as she is happy. And I am much more physically affectionate than I thought I would be.
Instincts played a big part in it all for me - rational thought sent out of the window!
I am a "path of least resistance" parent. I basically get dictated to by my 4 month old
I get more authoritative (not authoritarian) as the years pass. I started out being quite free range! Not so much these days.
When I was younger I used to think I'd be the kind of Mum that let DC do anything, fast forward to having my a teenage DD and I am not that Mum!
I try and understand my children more than my parents did with me. My Mum was always saying I was too young to have a boyfriend/shave my legs/dye my hair.
I have tried to let DD 'know herself' if she feels ready to shave her legs then why should I say she can't.
I also keep my own mistakes to myself, my parents often said we smoked/took drugs/didn't study enough and regretted it so you shouldn't do it, however I took this as they did it and they are Ok so I'll be OK too. With DD I don't use myself as an example, I prefer to remain a paragon of virtue.
One of the best pieces of advice we were given was if you say it you have to follow it through.
If I say I'll read with DS1 in a minute I do,
If I say do that again and there's no TV for a week then that is what will happen.
I find that I change to fit the children. Ds1 requires strict boundaries because he will push them at every opportunity. He florishes best when given clear, unchanging rules. Ds2 needs a softer approach and is more capable of sensible compromise.
I started off being very laid back but realised I had to change when behaviour became an issue. It's been a constant learning curve.
The opposite of my parents!! They had a lot of good points but were very conditional, limited praise and wanting us to 'keep up with the Jones's' type stuff rather than realising how we really were and what we really wanted/needed.
So I try my best to be unconditional, make sure they know I love them enormously and will always be proud whatever path they take. And that its ok to be different and they will always have their parents support. And that they make me happy! I hug and kiss them lots too.
I'm quite firm on some things - set bedtimes, good manners, meals at the table etc but quite laidback in other ways.
I think we're doing ok, we're all happy so it cant be too bad!!
I try and live by the adage "say yes when you can but when you say no mean it"
Also this! It's easy to get in the habit of saying no. I try and stop and think and say yes as much as possible.
I didn't really think about them not being babies
I'm very easy going though, my mantra is "will this matter in 10 years time?" so, manners, respect, kindness, learning and wanting to learn,all important, but DD2 hating running and me letting her miss sports day today, won't really matter
But mostly what usual said. Winging it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.