I have a 17 year old and a 14 year old. I’ve been in Parenting 101 since the moment the first was conceived. Okay, maybe not that moment…but from the moment of the viewing of the double blue line on the pregnancy test for Thing One.
I have worked hard to be a good mother. I have read and researched (after all, it’s what I do naturally as a librarian). I have listened to the wisdom of my elders. I have lifted prayers and grounded myself with meditation.
And I still don’t have it figured out.
I wonder if I ever will.
Recently, I’ve had my parenting style questioned. I am not a drill sergeant style parent. I just am not that kind of person to begin with. I have managed to guide my children to be some of the most respectful kids on the playground, helpful at home, grateful for what they have, and willing to talk to me. All without an iron fist.
And yet, there are those who question my methods. They think I’m too soft. They suggest that any issue my child will have is because I “spared the rod and spoiled the child.”
My children are not perfect. I have never claimed that they are.
I have known kids who lived in the strictest homes who left the nest only to return six months later pregnant, addicted, and lost.
I have known kids whose parents excuse every thing they do with an “oh, they’re just kids” attitude.
I have known kids who are respectful, kind and responsible even though their parents were absent, disinterested or distracted.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know this.
I know my kids. I listen to them. I get to the root of the problem, or at least I try. I hold them to a decent (not perfect) standard and above all, I insist that our home is a place of love and acceptance.
Even if they make mistakes.
Even if I do.
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