Lay off the Parents already by Karen Maezen Miller - Glad I read that post.
I have given up on feeling guity for parenting. (ok not really, but I try)
I studied Children and Families at university for a few subjects. I have read parenting books, I have been to a class or two. There is a place for research and I recommend a few of the parenting books I have read. I recommend a class or two if you feel you need it. Gathering parenting ideas from others is helpful.
But sometimes I think that you know what's best for your children. I know when I am not doing enough. I know. Everyday I make a mistake. And I will use prayer, study and good sense to try and steer my path right.
I might as well ask for forgiveness each day. Start the day with "I'm Sorry. Forgive me"
But what if I just want to raise mediocre kids?
Now that sounds terrible, but what if I just want to let them be. Within the right framework kids will raise themselves no? "Honestly, how good does a good kid have to get?" Another quote from the above linked blog
However this line of thought is so difficult to have when others don't think the same way. I find myself in the hidden agenda game of 'your kid, my kid' comparisons with other mothers at school and in general. And it's hard not to join in sometimes.
We all want smart, athletic, beautiful, polite, kind, well adjusted children. But do we push them to be so?
My children do very little after school activities. As a family we go to Little Athletics friday nights for one season (Oct - March) The rest of the year we do nothing - We replace it with family movie night. I feel bad they aren't enrolled in Soccer, Netball, Swimming, Drama, Gymnastics, Dancing and the list goes on (the other kids at school are enrolled in these, some kids several things)
I feel bad that my 3 and half year old doesn't know letters, can't spell her name, can only count to 10. And sadly I don't think I do much to encourage her in this area. Though I heard somewhere that by the time a child is going to school you should have read a thousand books to them. I think I read a thousand books a year to them. I hope this is enough. One of the few people who have calmed my fears in this area is my neighbour who is Swiss. She said in Switzerland children don't learn that type of stuff until 6-7 years of age. She didn't do anything formal until then with her daughter. Before that it is all outdoor play and imagination play.
Mothers comparing report cards. It's hard not to trump when your kids do good. But what does it mean in relation to life. My eldest daughter gets majority A's with a couple of B's. Second daughter gets B's with a couple of A's. That makes me happy, but what does it mean? That I have done good? That they were already bright kids, regardless? That I let them be? I honestly don't know. Plenty of smart people fail in life and plenty of not so smart succeed and do well.
Sometimes I want to keep them at home from extra curricular activities so the best thing they can learn is to rely on eachother. What's the good of having 3 sisters if you can't rely on them. I don't mind if they fight and push boundries with eachother but I want them to be friends. So I can know when I am gone - they will love eachother, respect eachother and lean on one another and have FUN together.
Our activities are eating together, playing together, watching movies together.
That's enough isn't it?
I should write a book - Raising Mediochre children. Though I'll have to change the title - Mediocre has such bad connotations. Regular, Middle, Plain, Relaxed, Mean Median Mode - you know all those words that mean the middle. lol.
Words you read won’t transform your life. Words I write won’t transform my life. Only one thing transforms my life: practice ~ Karen Maezen Miller
I'm making my practice list of how I can be a better mother, as I type this. Seriously.