I talked in the last blog about Co-existing in the garden, now my thoughts are turning to Co-existing in the nursery. My thoughts on parenting are still evolving, and I might feel differently when I'm dealing with a 16 year old instead of a 3 3/4 year old.
I am starting to believe, and this has been a slow evolution for me, that kids are just small adults without the life experience. They are not here to be molded by us, but rather for us to safely guide and protect them while they're having their own life experiences to gain knowledge. I'm not saying that we should let our kids do what they want and be out of control or rude, but I do think we should have the same respect for them as we do for adults. Here are some examples.
How often do we tell our children not to interrupt, but then interrupt them or not let them finish a sentence? Why do we expect our kids to immediately stop what they're doing and go do something we've asked them to do, when we hate to have our projects interrupted? (Try to remember the last time you jumped up immediately when your spouse asked you to do something). Why do we expect our kids to always use a sweet tone of voice, when most of what we say to them is a curt command? Why do we feel it's ok to walk over and turn the tv off in the middle of their program, when we would have a fit if someone did that to us? Why do we tell our children it is not ok to hit a friend, and then when they do it anyway correct them with a spanking? Co-exist.
I am currently facing my own challenges with these philosophies. My son is starting to exhibit some of the notorious disrespectful behavior of a four year old. My husband and I have slightly different ways of dealing with this. He prefers the drill sergeant method, I prefer the "ask nicely first, and then lose privileges" method. We'll see which works out best. It's something we are all working on, as we learn to - Co-exist.
I know child rearing is a touchy subject. It seems that we all think we know the right way to parent, and everyone else is ruining their children. Some of you will completely disagree with what I've written, and think that family life is a dictatorship and not a democracy. Children are not mini adults, and respect should be a one way street from child to parent. That's ok if you feel that way, but let's agree to disagree. Co-exist.