My Four Parenting Truths (You’ll Love to Hate)

The hardest part of parenting is the other parents, myself included. But there are certain principals I live by when it comes to parenting my child that I’m not apologizing for:

I Won’t Talk About My Child in Front of His Face He’s four and he can hear. He understands everything I’m saying (to a shocking degree at times) and I will not throw him under the bus for conversation sake. He does act out from time to time, but we aren’t talking about it at the playground or making small talk about the stunt he pulled the night before. What we say about our children becomes what we believe about our children. Not everyone is for everyone, but that can be a graceful acceptance. If you don’t agree when I say he’s lovely and amazing, please do so quietly because children around you are listening. You’re likely to change their impressions of their friends by talking bad about them in earshot. I won’t talk about your child in front of their face either. Unless I’m complimenting them, which we should all do more of in my opinion. #sorrynotsorry

I Won’t Interrogate My Son He has bad days, as do I. There are times when he is very emotional, aggressive, and even uber hyper. He is a multifaceted human being with a lot of depth, and I will always allow him to be himself. He doesn’t have to mask his emotions with happiness for me or any other adult. The need for our children to be 100% all of the time is just too much pressure for our children and ourselves. When he’s in the middle of a toddler tantrum (or even an entire bad day), I’m not going to interrogate him or try to fix him. He isn’t broken; he’s working through some really big emotions and that’s more important to me that the comfort level of the adults around him. Common courtesy will tell me when it’s time to take him home if we are in public. I want him to trust me, and that means letting him be a human being that makes mistakes and has bad days. I won’t interrogate your child either. #sorrynotsorry

I Will Allow my Son ‘Down Time’ I give him the option to kindly say ‘I would like a break’ or ‘I want to play alone right now’ even during play dates. Having him communicate that he is frustrated is way better than the pent up alternative of tantrum throwing or aggression (a common indication of frustration). Play dates are amazing time for the kids (and parents) to get together and have a blast, but just like they can be over stimulating to adults, they can be to children. I will allow mine to take a break. After all, he isn’t there as a source of entertainment. He is a little person who might be having a tough day. It’s never his intention to hurt anyone’s feelings, but children must have the right to say ‘enough for now’. Some children are naturally more independent, and that just has to be okay. Forcing kids to ‘tough it out’ when they are struggling is a set up on all fronts. It’s not that I allow him to walk away from discomfort, it’s that I allow him to sit, relax, and reassess his mood. During one of his set breaks, I once had another mom tell her son that my son just didn’t want to play with him anymore. Let’s agree as parents not to hurt our children that way. I allow my son a break, but I’ll gladly allow your child to take a break from play as well. #sorrynotsorry

I Won’t Blame My Child I’m not a blamer by nature, but laying blame on children when they are in their formative learning years is cruel. They are learning every second of the day and they are processing so much information at once, topped with big emotions. They make mistakes along the way; they sometimes make big mistakes on purpose. Children do not harness malice and negative intent (I’m referring to toddlers here, I understand that age can change this). So even when a child is allowed to endlessly tattle on mine, I won’t blame him/her. But I won’t be blaming mine either. It’s time to sit down and work things out. There’s no need for finger pointing and discomfort. It takes two to tango and a huge life lesson is learning to work through conflict. So often parents walk away from conflict resolution and their MO is to blame the other parent/child. That’s not what I’ll be teaching my son. There is a solution to every problem in life, and we’re willing to seek that solution together. But not in the name of blame. I won’t blame your child either. #sorrynotsorry

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