“What is done in love is done well.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
This post is not getting me brownie points with anyone that’s for sure. It’s so hard when you don’t agree with someone else’s parenting. It’s even harder when your kids really want to play with their kids. So what do you do when it’s not the kids fault?
It’s tragic! I don’t want to take it out on a child. I don’t want to tell my children that I don’t want them playing with certain kids, but I also don’t want to feed them sorry excuses about why we aren’t having playdates with some of their friends. The truth is, it isn’t always the kid’s fault or their parents.
We all parent differently. I’m a little more strict and more disciplined with my kids than some parents I know. I don’t want my daughters thinking it’s Ok to behave the way some of their friends do, or that it’s an injustice that they aren’t allowed to do the same things their friends are.
Let Them Be Little
I take pride in how I choose to raise my children. Most parents do. I don’t want them growing up too fast. I don’t let them roam neighborhoods alone, and I like knowing where they are. I don’t let them choose all the clothes I buy them because I don’t always think they are making the right choices. I remind them (constantly) to be polite and respectful. It’s not that I’m not giving them room to express themselves, but I don’t think coloring their hair, or wearing 1/2 shirts, or dangly earrings, is how they need to express themselves. I also don’t think it’s my right to judge parents who do allow these things. Again, we have different parenting styles which make things even more tricky.
My daughter recently asked why she couldn’t do something a few of her friends were doing. I told her it was because I didn’t agree with it. I said it’s just not something I want you doing. She’s relentless, though. For days, she hasn’t quit asking me if she could do what her friends did. For days, I have said no. I don’t think the parents who allowed this are bad parents, and I don’t think they are in the wrong. It’s just not something I want my daughters to do. That’s what makes these situations so hard. I never want to limit the people my girls spend time with, but when they are with other kids whose parents views are much different from your own, sometimes it’s just easier to say no to playdates.
I want my girls to be strong, and I want them to be fierce, and confident. I know in my heart that what will make them that way has nothing to do with the choices I make for them now about petty things like the clothes they wear. Saying no to them wearing a short skirt is not going to stop my girls from being successful in life. It’s simply teaching them that there are boundaries in life, and until they make their own money, can support themselves, and are able to make good decisions on their own, I will be part of the decision-making. It may not always be what they want, or on their terms, but I want only the best for them.
What I won’t control is what’s inside them; Their creativity, willingness to learn, their thoughts, and of course, their opinions.
I made an oath to myself when I had my children. The oath was to protect them the best I could, take care of them, provide for them, love them wholeheartedly and make sure I taught them all I could in life and guided them the best way possible until it was time to set them free. Until then, I will continue to guide them the way I see fit because first, I am their parent, and at age 7 and 8, they don’t always know if the decisions they are making for themselves are right or wrong.