Parenting is a serious endeavor. For the theory by which you parent yields the discovery of what and who your child will become.
In fact, some parents, either from insecurity to lead or in their concerted effort to treat children like a newly acquired Gucci bag are in fact engaging in an opaque form of child abuse, the outcome of that unbridled consumerism surfacing later in a child’s life, at a point of mental and medical no return.
Here is a note I had to send to a female blogger to remind her:
You know I love and respect you but I cannot let this article on your site pass by silently. And I am not a mom, so I pass your pre-qualification of advice you take seriously, perhaps. Reading your blog this comment has been on the tip of my tongue for a while.
I see you often describe the struggles of undesired consequences without paying homage to the root-cause connection. And the depravity of reason is the outcome of the confounding of consequence and cause. A depravity perhaps feverishly consumed and subscribed to by parents with the same struggles. And much money can and has been made off the sharing of fears and insecurities of mankind. Religion anyone?
You are the parent of your child, and you are responsible for the leadership (cause) that can and will eradicate many undesired consequences of your child’s behavior, that will also have an impact on your state of mind and well-being. Picky eaters are created by a lack of parental leadership early-on, a laissez-faire (and tired of confrontation) attitude children with a brain are soon to take cunning advantage of. We, humans, are after all mere animals, with a territorial dominance and drive already present at birth.
Whenever my child asks me for something to eat or drink I remind myself of a conversation I had with an eye-doctor who once told me he can look in children’s eyes and see how they are being parented. As the smallest veins in your body will show the early signs of scraping and clotting as a result of the food a child wants to eat, but shouldn’t. Frankly, he stated, letting your child decide on her food intake is long-term child abuse, negatively affecting her health later on in life. My supplement related to your “calming” sessions in her bedroom: your long-term health (and of those around you) is affected when you do not sleep enough. People who do not sleep enough are more prone to diseases like Alzheimer’s, courtesy of your brain not being sufficiently “dish-washed” at night.
So, the consequences you describe on your blog are not as innocent and cute as the lightheartedness of your writing would suggest. And covering consequences with proverbial bandaids disguised as advice by people with the same affliction will not resolve to cause.
The consequences of letting a child decide how they are being raised stem often from deeply rooted yet unresolved parental insecurities, something a strong partner can sometimes compensate for. So to me when I read your blog and with your newfound confidence I would have expected to see you lay down the law a little more and provide the leadership all children need (and crave). And thereby eradicating (not ignoring) some of the undesired consequences that harm you and your baby in the long run.
Leadership is never static and can be relaxed (using trust-but-verify) as the guardrails of acceptable behavior are established and affirmed. The aperture of freedom can over the years gradually be opened to full when they are 18. Only then will they really be responsible for themselves.
I speak from experience, and not because my 11-year old daughter came out of the womb being perfect, no child does. It takes serious and constant work and devotion to apply and adopt a leadership style that does not stifle their freedom too much, but gradually unwraps their own identity of freedom to yield the beautiful, strong and confident creatures humans can be.
Real freedom can only exist with carefully applied paradoxical rules to protect collective freedom. The rules of freedom that also allows parents (and everyone else) to have theirs, even in our children’s presence.
I will really believe in your newfound glory of your personal life when I see you establish the protection of a healthier you first, and then your child’s. Without the need for prescription medicine, as we as humans are designed to live without.
So there, that’s my unsolicited advice to you. Sorry not to automatically join-in on the pageantry of cheap positivity I could never trade my perspective for. Do with it what you must.
Indeed, every parent has the freedom to parent as they wish. But to not realize your leadership as a parent has a significant impact on your child’s health and longevity is a colossal mistake. Despite how hard parenting can be at times, a serious commitment is what you signed up for.