*Because we only have a few things that separate us from the animals as it is.... like iphones, Slushies and DVRs.
Then I heard of another type of parenting that made me squint my eyes, scrunch my nose and say "Whaaaaat the...?" A friend told me about lady she knew that used a parenting/teaching "style" that involves no leadership directives from the parent. There is no formal schooling, no discipline and no guidance. The parents take a permissive stance as the young child's naturally curious mind navigates their own specific learning process. The child then asks the parent/teacher about a subject and VIOLA!, learning happens!
You know what also happens? The children HAVE NO DECORUM, thus destroying their surroundings like a pack of rabid dogs. And I know this, because my dogs have no boundaries and they are total assholes. They chase cars, sleep on my furniture, bark aggressively at delivery men and chew through drywall. It's a problem. Also, if I let my children solely map out their entire existence, my five year old would still be wearing a diaper (potty training was seriously worse than labor with that one) while watching SpongeBob Squarepants and my two year old would be pulling his brother's hair and laughing maniacally while he smears chocolate into the couch cushions. And they would eat nothing but Popsicles, chips and chocolate rice milk.
Everyone (that was raised on a horse farm in SE Iowa) knows that, like dogs, children love guidance and boundaries! Right? They CRAVE attention! And what better way is there to give children your attention than to show them some sort of a moral code, let them help you do yard work and teach them to read? Much to my husband's chagrin, sometimes I even guide my children through some stellar song and dance maneuvers, just to let them know that their options in life are unlimited. *jazz hands!*
So when Brock returned home from a long day of work and joined me out by the barn, where I was relaxing with a beer in the red plastic Adirondack chairs that we purchased for 17.99, he told me about this "free range parenting" thing that he heard about on talk radio- I immediately thought of four children climbing the curtains, kicking the cat and knocking over the coffee table and exclaimed "Oh! I HATE that!". Then he went on to talk about this woman letting her 9 year old ride the subway alone and I realized that he was talking about this specific woman and I was talking about something entirely different. I was talking about lazy, checked out people who don't want to parent and therefore shouldn't have kids.
Then we clinked our beer bottles together in honor of our long day ending in a slight buzz and I noticed it was quiet and asked, "By the way, where are OUR children?"
Brock replied, "hmmmm..... In the barn?"
I got up and walked around to the barn door, where I saw my adorable spawn playing noiselessly in the wheelbarrow with shovels and water.
I looked at Brock and said, "They have water and are playing in the wheelbarrow. What was in there?
Brock said, "Once dry bags on concrete. I guess I'll be setting that gate post now."
And then, just like we do at least once a week, we ate a big steaming plate of
Parent on, Mother Truckers,
What style of parenting do you prefer?
What flavor do you add to your humble pie to make it more palatable?