Recently, I was told by another parent I was not a helicopter parent and therefore they did not feel comfortable having their child spend the night with my child. (Reread that sentence.)
Let that marinate for a minute. Me. They were talking to me- a mother who has grown son who is productive, smart, kind, and overall a great kid. I have over 19 years of experience raising a child. NINETEEN! I THINK I KNOW WHAT I AM DOING. ( Yes, I am screaming.)
To say that irked me was an understatement, but as I unpacked it more I realized people take my leisurely attitude towards parenting as a bad thing. *shrugs*
Let me explain.
No, I am not the type of parent to give my child my full attention all the time. No, I am not the type of parent who watches their child’s lessons intently and tells their coaches what to do. No, I am not the type of parent to hover over my child constantly. I’m just not that parent. *shrugs again*
You know why I’m not that type of parent? Because I know when to be hands on and when to let them lead. WOW! What a concept, right?
So, let me tell you the type of parent I am.
I AM the type of parent that knows each of their child’s abilities and their quirks like the back of my hand. I know what type of educational environment they will thrive in and adjust accordingly. I am the type of parent who let’s my children make decisions for themselves but will course correct. I am the type of parent other parents come to for advice about their little ones. I am the type of parent who clearly understands my children are borrowed and therefore I should be cultivating a richer relationship with my spouse so we don’t end up divorced once the kids get grown.
You see our role as a parent will change over the years. We will go from having to do everything for them to vying for a spot in their lives- but we will still need to be hands-on and support them. The way one parent defines how that will work for them is none of anyone’s business. Especially if the child is thriving and there is no harm being done. Why make unnecessary comments to other parents about what works FOR THEM? Seriously.
I get so tired of people having opinions about things that don’t really affect them. Do you. On 10. That is my mantra. If you like it, I love it.
Has anyone ever critiqued your parenting style? I will be honest. I critique people all day in my mind, but I have tact. I don’t say everything on my mind. I don’t judge people or correct them. Many things in life can be done in more than one way and that is how I approach life. What works for me won’t always work for someone else.
So, the next time you are tempted to turn your lips up and make a comment about a parent, I need you to do the following things:
First be a parent. Not an aunt or a friend, but A REAL PARENT. A good one at that.
Ask yourself if you would want to be the recipient of whatever you are going to say.
Don’t say what you were going to say. Instead, shut up and sit down. Have several seats in fact.
Go ahead. Challenge me. But remember...