Saturday, November 13, 2010

Parenting like no one but yourself

I have a realization that I think I realized before but it still hits me like a ton of bricks.  I like to spend as much time with my daughter because that's what I had wanted as a little child with my mom.  My mom is an immigrant and as a child, I didn't have the luxury of a mom and dad who could spend a lot of time with me or experience times of discovery with me.  They tried they best they could and went above and beyond to the best of their means.
Now, I'm trying to do the best with my means and I'm trying to hone in on experiences and time together because that's what I wanted as a child.
Plus, I'm am awestruck at times when I see my child discover or use inference or memory to correlate actions, items or thoughts.  It is absolutely amazing to watch a person learn.
My husband was raised where he didn't have the luxury to explore his environment and socialize so all he does is allow our daughter to socialize and explore.
We both think it's important for her to have the freedom to discover using all of her senses.  We don't think she she be placed in an environment where she is meant to feel boxed or restricted. (Both of us had a degree of this in our childhood).  We make it a point to discover and search out places that are child friendly but not over-commercialized or bubble wrapped.  We try to be honest with her and both don't talk to her in a deeming way.  (Kids don't just follow grown up rules.)
We don't use the terms 'good' or 'bad' to describe a chid and this is hard for our parents to understand.  My mom still tells her she's a 'good girl'.  I've decided to just let this slide as she only sees my daughter at most once a month.
We don't press the image of a princess or the stereotype of a weaker sex.  We hope to help her grow in confidence, self reliance and the importance of social justice.  The last one started after reading a million articles about bullying and kindergarten and noticing that my daughter would allow everyone to go down the slide before she would go.  I don't think it was bullying but she wanted to not feel pressure.  Still, we also remind each other the importance of waiting our turn and she's starting saying this to her friends, too.
DH and I are building our parenting based on our desires and wishes from when we were younger.  I guess that's what we all do to some degree.  Parenting is completely personal.