Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Politics Of Parenting.

I thought that it was hard to parent my own children.
Get it right.
Teach them well.
Be compassionate but firm.
Give them boundaries lovingly.

It is hard. I second guess myself daily.
I over think it.
I worry that I might get it wrong and deeply scar my child emotionally.
I read. I learn from others. I work at it.

What I never expected was how hard it would be to parent other peoples kids.
You know your own child so intimately. You understand them. You see that they are tired or hungry before they can voice it.
Chances are you may not know a playmate quite so well.

One of my daily mantra's is "Different families have different rules."
Boy is that one coming back to bite me!

Those different rules are brought into my home during play dates and it is not always easy to convince a seven year old that they need to follow my rules in my home.

I have turned into my Grandmother - I find myself complaining about manners on a daily basis.
Today's kids are so bold - so entitled.
They demand rather than ask. They tell me that they disagree with my rules, they question me.

In some ways I love that these kids are self confident. That they are not afraid of adults.
In many ways I find it entirely obnoxious.
You are seven. If I say no - you may not, then you MAY NOT. I don't want to explain or justify it for ten minutes. It's just a no.
Is my kid doing this in other peoples home??
That's a rhetorical question.


  1. Oh I love this post... Yesterday a nameless lovely young 7 year old asked my nameless 7 year old to come into the room that we were passing by at school to say hi and play for a minute. We were in a rush home and she (and I both) politely said no, we would see you tomorrow. This little lovely one proceeded to say to me "she could just come in for a minute" and pulled my daughter's hand in the room. I had to actually remove her hand from the pulling (gently) and said again- I'm sorry honey, we are not coming in right now. Thanks for inviting us. Now, back in my time, well, let's just say that I wouldnt even try to cross that line with a parent (not even my own!!) because I knew what was coming next... I play the great self-confidence card often, but really think it needs to turn around. Your daughter is a sweetheart however! I must say those manners are going farther than just your home... anonymously speaking :)

  2. Maybe I'm just a mean parent, but I don't put up with other kids' cr@p in my house.

    I gave my daughter & her friend a snack (string cheese & a few apple slices) one afternoon in the kitchen. Five minutes later, they were up playing in my daughter's room. I cleared the plates & threw away the uneaten food (neither one finished). They came downstairs some time later and the friend started bawling because I had cleaned up. BTW - they didn't come down for something to eat, they were getting out a puzzle; my child didn't expect any food to be left on the counter because that's how it works in our house. When the mom came to pick up the friend, I got a what for from her because her kid was "starving". After explaining that her child was given a snack, ate some of the snack, then went off to play, the mom backed off. Last time she dropped off her child, I did overhear her say, "Remember, their house, their rules." I felt sooooo vindicated - is that bad?


Leave me a comment.