I think that everyone has a fun parent and a strict parent. In my case, my mom was both and my dad, when he was around, was the fun parent.
It’s also very funny how different children have different experiences with the same parent. My older siblings tell me that my dad was not the one to play with. I guess he softened up after my little sister and I came around, but that’s besides the point.
I often think about what type of parent I want to be. Parenting has no manual. There’s no right way or wrong way. Of course there are practices that could be detrimental to you and your relationship with your children, but you have to go through periods of trial and error.
My mom and grandmother raised me and I think they did a great job because I turned out pretty okay. My mom worked nights so I was really with my grandmother most of my youth. Growing up in my house was kind of, for lack of better words, stifling. Growing up I feel like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t express myself none of that. It was their way or no way. I remember one time I wanted to stop my piano lessons because I was bored with my teacher. They sat me down and said to be truthful, did I want to stop or did I want to continue. When I said I wanted to stop and try another instrument ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. Shit, if that was the case I definitely would have sucked it up and just went to piano.
I don’t want to be the type of parent that doesn’t listen to what their child wants. As long as its reasonable. nothing about be wanting to try a new instrument was unreasonable. Now, if I said I wanted to quit piano so I could hang out on the streets with my friends, then I would understand.
Let me tell you how that way of parenting has backfired on my mom. I tell her nothing. I don’t tell her my next move or what I think I’m going to do until it’s already done because I don’t want her to talk me out of it or raise hell. She hates that I do this, but in the long run I have to do what’s best for me.
I want to be able to listen to my child, hear them out without passing judgment. I want them to be comfortable coming to me when they’re going through something. I’d rather them come to me, than go to a friend. A friend who might give the wrong advice. I want them to explore what they like and what they don’t like. If they want to try it, I won’t stop them.
If my kids are anything like me, they’ll like school. If for some reason one of my children doesn’t want to go to college, but they have great skill in something else and can profit off of it go for it.
I want to give my kids what I never had…freedom.
If you’re a parent, let me know how you are raising your children different than you were raised, I’d love to hear it.