So, Today I’m Gonna Parent Like It’s 1969, 79, 89
I remember when I made bold statements about what kind of parent I’d be? I’d see families in restaurants or malls and lean into my spouse and whisper, “We’re never gonna do that!” Or I’d recall some moment from my childhood and think, “I’m never gonna be like my parents.”
Oh, how things changed once I became a parent.
Now that I stand in my parent’s shoes, I can clearly relate to what they went through. My parents raised me the best way that they knew how with the limited resources they had available. Looking back on my rearing with adult eyes, I realize that my parents weren’t as bad as I thought they were when I was ten years old. While I was in the midst of a being scolded for something or denied a privilege, I couldn’t understand that they were only trying to make me a better person.
I’m so glad that I’ve matured to the point that I can finally see the wisdom of their ways.
Periodically, I catch myself uttering the same words to my children that my parents spoke to me. I cringe because my repeating those words is an admission that my parents were (gulp) right.
I’m sure that my parents will acknowledge that they made some mistakes, but I am grateful that they loved me enough to discipline me when necessary even if I didn’t agree with their methods. Through it all, I believed that I turned out pretty good.
Being a parent isn’t easy, but with a little old school, a little new school, and the “good sense God gave me,” I feel comfortable that my kids will turn out pretty good too.
Christie Glascoe Crowder is an author, blogger, LifeCaster, geek, Social Media Junkie, and Multi-Tasking Maniac. She writes the blog Inside the ChatterBox and is the co-owner of The BlogRollers Media. Christie also wrote the book Your Big Sister’s Guide to Surviving College and is the host of the weekly Blog Talk Radio show, “The ChatterBox”
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Parental Wisdom Takes Time to Fully Understand
I love Mark Twain’s quote, “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
I think we all have this same revelation about our parents especially when we have children of our own. While we’re in the midst of being raised, we don’t possess the maturity to understand why our parents do certain things. As children we are more focused on our perceived injustices and unfair lot in life.
My mother taught me many lessons in parenting that I’m finally starting to grasp.
My mother grew up in a small town in the segregated South during the 50s and 60s. Her parents were harsh with her because they knew that any out of line behavior could have been a death sentence. She brought this attitude into her own parenting style. Although my mother wasn’t harsh, she was intolerant of mediocrity and could be quite demanding.
She realized that I had many opportunities that she never had and fully expected me to take advantage of them. For the most part, I listened to my mother’s instructions and followed directions. Even as a child, I knew the value of taking advice from a more experienced person.
However, I had a rebellious streak during my early teen years. While my mom was patient with me during this period, she no longer tolerated my behavior when it started to affect my grades.
I still remember the last and worst spanking my mother ever gave me. It occurred after a disappointing Parent/Teacher conference. After the spanking, my mother explained to me the privilege of education. My mother had to pick cotton and yearned for the days when she could go to school. She had to attend a one room, segregated school with few textbooks or study materials. She studied hard and made the most of the limited opportunities that she had. My doing any less was unacceptable and worthy of her wrath.
My mother may not have known everything about parenting, but I appreciate the important lessons that she taught me.
I hope my children will be able to say the same thing about me.
Question: What parenting lessons did you learn from your parents?