~my thoughts about life~

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tough Parenting Decisions

I apologize for being so ranty today, but I am bothered by parents who are not capable of making tough parenting decisions.  We all have to do it.  Every day.  That's why we're parents.

There are the kind of parents who allow their children to scream, run, throw tantrums, and go crazy in public because they don't want to stifle their creativity.  What they're doing is creating a brat.

Other parents allow their children to overeat regularly because they must be hungry if they're still reaching for food.  What they're really doing is adding more fat people to this already obese country.

Some parents allow their children to stay up until 3:00 in the morning because they want to be a fun parent, not a mean one who harps on rules. They say that their child doesn't require as much sleep as other kids or is always fine the next day. But their sleep deprived kid has difficulties focusing in school and will be more likely to get sick from lack of rest.

There are parents who buy their kid the newest and best of everything...from clothes to shoes to electronics.  It may be way beyond their means and they may be thousands of dollars in debt.  They want their child to be popular, in style, and fulfilled.  Instead, they are creating a person who is never satisfied and always looks to things as a way to buy happiness.

Allowing children to make their own decisions in life is bad parenting.  If kids were capable of raising themselves, why would there be parents at all?  It's our JOB!  It's why some people (like me) stay at home all day with their kids in lieu of having an actual paying job.

We've had to make some tough parenting decisions lately and they were hard!  But we still had to talk through them and decide what was the best thing to do.  Hubby and I have agreed that if we get stuck on a parenting decision, that we should just choose the more strict route.  It's always better to be safe than sorry.

For example, I'm almost paranoid when it comes to allowing my children to be alone with adults who aren't family.  That paranoia was earned rightly.  There are more than a couple people in my life who have been guilty of sexually abusing young children.  People you would never suspect.  I can almost guarantee that you personally know someone who has committed sexual abuse against a child.  It's everywhere.  It's someone at your school, it's someone at your church, it's someone you might even be friends with.  But instead of walking around in life suspecting everyone of being a child molester, you can take appropriate actions to ensure your children are safe.  I don't allow my children to spend the night with anyone who isn't immediate family.  There's no reason for it.  Nighttime is made for sleeping anyway, so what are the kids going to do at night that they can't do during the day?  I have picked my kids up at 10:00 at night from sleepovers.  I explain to the parents that my kid can come to the party for a bit but just can't spend the night.  So far, I haven't had anyone end their friendship with me over it.

I also do not allow my children to be alone with an adult, even if it is a distant family member.  A very close family friend offered to teach my son how to swim.  As much as I was anxious for this to happen, I had to decline.  It was a tough parenting decision.  But in the end, my child was not harmed.  I'm not saying he would have been harmed if I would have allowed it, but now there's no question.

Will my kids always love me for making these tough decisions in order to protect them?  No.  In fact, they might even despise me for it at some point (thankfully that hasn't happened yet).  But someday, they will appreciate it.  Call me overprotective if you want.  I have to make the decisions that I think are best for the safety of my kids.  When it's all said and done, I highly doubt that I'll regret being too careful.

What do you think about this rant?  What tough parenting decisions have you had to make lately?  How did your child handle the decision?


Cory said...

Your views echo my own...

imagesisee.blogspot.com said...

Good grief--did I raise you? You sound just like me.

We're dealing with two different families at church right now who don't seem to have a clue about how to discipline, so their (young) kids are ill behaved, cry at the drop of a hat, and don't seem to know what "boundaries" are, let alone proper behavior. It's driving me crazy, as well as many other people in the church.

I'm constantly amazed at how many people think it's okay or "cute" that their children are running their lives instead of them running their children's lives.

I could go on ad nauseum, but I won't. Suffice it to say that I'm beginning to think I should be teaching parenting classes...

Kristy said...

Amen, and amen. I feel the SAME way. Being in public education since I was pregnant with K1- I knew there were many things that I would and would not do with my kids. I did not want them to act like the kids I saw at school. :/