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To think that "it could be worse" is an OK attitude to parenting?

(15 Posts)
legalalien Thu 19-Jul-07 22:44:05

Just had what feels like a very unsatisfactory conversation with DS, a short time after our friends (childless friends) have been and gone: I genuinely wasn't being confrontational in tone.

me: glad DS went to bed OK in the end - once it gets an hour past his bedtime it's always touch and go. Plus I think he's going through a bit of a phase of not wanting us to go to work at the moment.

DH: Oh well, it could be worse for him.

Self: yes, but not sure that "could be worse" is a test that I generally want to apply.

DH: I don't want to discuss this, I will not be criticised.

This against a background of him not being here for the last six months and me not mentioning a single word by way of criticism.

I kind of waited ten minutes and then said I was going to bed and snuck up here to post.

AIBU? I really don't think "it could be worse" is anything approaching an adequate attitude for bringing up your own children.

legalalien Thu 19-Jul-07 22:45:20

ps conversation was with DH, not DS (duh!)

legalalien Thu 19-Jul-07 22:47:56

um, and title should read "is NOT an OK attitude to parenting". Too much wine at work so probably am BU.

EscapeFrom Thu 19-Jul-07 22:59:51

It's the 'I will not be criticised' bit that would worry me more, to be honest.

LittleBellatrixLeBoot Thu 19-Jul-07 23:03:05

It depends

At some stages of your life it is the only attitude to have

At others, it is not good enough if you yourself could actively do something to make it better.

(I have just read Going Gently by David Nobbs, where the heroine of the book at a certain stage reflects that she is lucky to have three sons, only one of whom is a murderer. So yeah, I guess it could be worse. )

Blu Thu 19-Jul-07 23:05:42

Sometimes I thnk 'good enough' is just that - good enough. And that parenting is a part of RL, not a perfectionist show-garden. Kids have to learn to be resilient in the real circumstances in which they grow up. (within reason, obviously).

Also - LOL - your DP knew full well, confrontational in tone or not, what was behind your comment. He probably did know that now, wine drunk, BIG issue with last 6 months, was not the best time to start the discussion!

A relaxing weekend for all of you maybe?

zookeeper Thu 19-Jul-07 23:06:57

I think it's essential for the sanity of theparents to have the "it could be worse" attitude - constantly striving for the best must be so draining

legalalien Fri 20-Jul-07 07:38:13

In cold light of day, probably BU then. Have put DH on breakfast duty to make myself feel better about it.
Blu - yes, good point and he was marking up a document at the time. I concede that I might have had a "tone".

Relaxing weekend for some - DH is playing cricket

BandofMuggles Fri 20-Jul-07 07:44:12

When DD1 is driving me mad testing boundaries, and DD2 is waking at night, I am constantly thinking "It could be worse, it could be worse."
Perhaps it's not the best parenting technique, but it keeps me sane. And I read much worse bhvr and waking at nights on here, and thank the stars that it isn't worse.

If it's not DH's fault that he hasn't been there for the past 6 mths then don't be too hard on him, andthe fact that he is on breakfast duty while you MN is encouraging.
He too could be worse

dazedorconfused Fri 20-Jul-07 07:48:05

I think 'could be a lot worse' is the mantra I live by!
When my dd was a little baby and preferred not to sleep, 'it could be worse, I could have twins' keep me going.
Now that we go to toddler groups and I've seen the joy that some toddlers bestow on their parents I try to remember that 'she could be alot worse' when my dd plays up!
I know that sounds flippant as its frustrating when you are worrying about something and dp/dh seems to be a bit too laid back but in the long run - I think all will be well.

littlelapin Fri 20-Jul-07 07:51:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BandofMuggles Fri 20-Jul-07 07:54:24

Good point LL, I too would not be too impressed with being spoken too like that, esp as he'd been away for 6 mths. Hmm, conflicting advise, but apart from that comment I stand by what I said before.

OrmIrian Fri 20-Jul-07 08:13:28

The 'don't critisise me' would really get my back up. Like a red rag to a bull in this house .

But I firmly beleive in good enough parenting. After all how do you know what is perfect - each child needs different parenting and circumstances change. I think that parenting to a 'perfect parent' template is pointless and stressful for everyone involved.

Blu Fri 20-Jul-07 11:14:06

Playing cricket? hah! I feel that natural justice may prevail here and that the wicket will be a swamp.

Shame - it's the Lambeth Country show in Brockwell park - which is a brilliant event. Don't miss it, will you? Your DS will love the jousting, the Sheepdog demonstration, the owl display...make DH go with you when he is not playing cricket.

legalalien Fri 20-Jul-07 11:28:54

Yep, the forces of nature are with me, it seems (actually, feel a bit bad about that). Didn't know about fair but will find out about it and definitely go if the sun is out. Tx!

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