Saturday, March 5, 2011

Intent, delivery and acknowledgement: The sugar to your lemonade.

In the gentle parenting world we all have our views and ideals. Some would argue that some of those ideals are more extreme than others. I consider myself middle of the road in some cases, that is not to say that I can not take a firm stance on something I feel passionate about if to me it seems like the only way. For example breastfeeding, though I made many mistakes when I started on this parenting road, I learned and can now tell you I could never be middle of the road on breastfeeding, I will never tell someone formula is ok.. I may acknowledge that in some cases (very rare because I can still argue donor milk can be a choice).. In some cases like complete rejection by the body of human milk that formula though not the ideal could be the last resort.  But that would be rare...

With that said.. do not confuse my middle of the road views at times for lack of  a backbone.. I can assure you I can stand by gray.. with the same passion as I choose black or white.. If I feel gray is reasonable and there is no tangible proof to me that black or white are  right.

That to me is the parenting area where discipline, (I hate that word.), rules, examples, behavior, education come to play.

You will find extremes from raising a child like a soldier, all the way to not making your child say please, thank you, learn to share or be expected to act politely.  Both work for parents that choose to go that route but not for me..

Outcomes on both sides will still vary!  For every child raised like a soldier that becomes successful and appreciative of the parents efforts  I assure you there is another one that grows up to be resentful and angry, and backlashes, perhaps engaging in less than desirable behavior.  For every free spirited child of a hippie in the 60's I assure you some grew up to crave structure and stability and made sure they included that in their future families.

Then thing is when it comes to parenting there is no right nor wrong answer.. there is no book that will tell you everything you need to know to guarantee you a successful well rounded person..

there is a couple of things... Intent, delivery and acknowledgment.


If you decide to raise your child as a soldier or a free spirit you must ask yourself what is your intent?
Do you mean well? Meaning is this to make your life easier or is it to teach your child a valuable lesson.

It is not the same to raise an unstructured child because you lack the info and you don't know what to do .. or to rebel at how you were brought up than to do so out of wanting his natural tendencies to surface and deal with the emotions behind them and to do so with research, as to what this entails.

It is not the same to raise a soldier out of enforcing your supreme authority  than to raise a soldier knowing that hard work and discipline can be keys to a successful path.


Do you keep in mind that your child is still a child? are you empathetic?  DO you know when to question and re-evaluate if what you are doing is working?  Do you consider giving in failure in your part, or do you see it as a message that you might want to change something. Do you feel like it is you vs your child.
If you enforce rules do you do it kindly but sternly, or sternly but kindly?  All of this to me makes a difference.


I think we must acknowledge that human nature.. is human nature..  the most basic human needs according to  Manfred Max-Neef  are








identity and


are we acknowledging and making sure these needs are met, regardless of what parenting style we adopt?
Do we acknowledge that when it comes to parenting we know nothing?  We know what we have lived and we practice what we choose.. but in reality, do we acknowledge that no matter what you do, your child will grow up to be an adult with a mind and free will of his own?
Do we acknowledge that as your child grows the rules of the game will change.. you cannot treat a teenager like a child? Maybe a toddler yes but not a kid ?
Do we acknowledge that we have to be there for our children.. no matter how busy, how tired, or how much you need to work.. you need to be there.
Do we acknowledge that our job is to steer them the right way not dictate it.
Do we acknowledge we are not perfect.
I think parenting no matter what style you choose to follow.. can be like a pitcher of lemonade. If you just add lemon to water it's going to end up a  bitter mess....  Sugar by itself is just sugar... and who wants to eat spoonfuls of just that? You'll get sick.. but mix them together int he right amounts and you might end up with  something refreshing.
I don't have all the answers... I don't claim either side..I am not a parenting guru  but I am a mom just like you.. and all I know is before I choose to take a plan of action in regards to my child's upbringing I always make sure I got those 3 areas covered..  I am not looking for the next Super Doctor.. I am not looking for the next philosopher.. I am looking for a well rounded, HAPPY, caring, responsible adult.. that can look back and say.. I am thankful to my parents.. without them I would not be where I am today.... no matter what path they choose. 
In the end you do what works for you.. like I said there is no right or wrong.. we wont know if what we do has worked until our children are adults..  But hopefully I have inspired some to lighten up in their quest to find the "perfect parenting method" as you will not find it in a book. Nature is smart.. she gave us a heart, a conscience and instincts. I think if we listen to those.. we will be ok.

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