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Old 10-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #43
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

Originally Posted by dissidentdad View Post
I've been able to see where I made my mistake in attempting to explain a style of parenting. My parenting style is not about the individual choices I make as a parent, my style is in relation to how I came to make those choices. I'm not even suggesting that using my method of making those choices would come to the same conclusions given the circumstance of the individual situation.

Raising a person, as I call it, rather than raising a child means that you attempt to work backwards from the adult you are trying to create to decide the method in which you use to nurture that person. I imagine my son being an adult and having an imaginary conversation with that person. I ask him questions about what he would like me to do when it came to the varying issues that we as parents have to deal with. For example when it came to discipline I asked him "When you do something that I disagree with or find socially unacceptable how would you like me to teach you that this is not acceptable?" Then I imagine my imaginary grown son's answer. However I think that person would respond is how I make my choice on what to do in relation to that situation.

My post was never about the many individual topics of raising a child, it was how I came to those conclusions. If when you imagine your child and ask the adult that will be him/her would you "want me to do this, would you want me to do that" and you feel that they would agree with your choices then you agree with me 100%, as our children will be different people so will their answers. As an adult now I personally would have chosen to never be hit by my parents, I would have preferred that they used a different method. I have met adults that have said that they deserved to be hit and it is the only thing that kept them in line and that without it they would not have made it out of childhood.

Once again my post was never about my individual choices. It is about how I came to those conclusions.
I think many parents do the bolded in many different ways. A few years ago I read a book that was just about this concept, except it was written from a Christian point of view. When this author addressed physical punishment, he basically said, "It's not about how you get there, it's about where there is." This sounds a lot like what you are saying.

Just to play devil's advocate, what if your child grows up and chooses a religion that compels him to do the very things that you purposely avoided? Let's include his own children (your grand children) as well. Would he still be saying, "Thanks for letting me choose my own path." Or would it be "Why didn't you do these things for me? I feel so behind and lacking."

Some parents struggle with sports like this. Will the kids really grow up and say, "Thanks for making me play soccer all those years. It taught me perserverance, discipline, etc." Or will they say, "All that wasted time I spent playing a sport I hated when I could have been spending time with my family or learning about something I really love."

We as parents don't have a crystal ball, so we choose what we think is best based on our own adult perceptions and goals. That means that we will greatly influence our children to become the way we are or would like to be. Not because we are trying to make copies or extensions of ourselves, but because we live in our own heads and no one else's.

We also live in the present, so we have to parent in the moment and trust that it is the best for the future. I remember being bewildered at the many different sequences of solid food introduction 10 years ago as a first time parent. I sought advice from a pediatrician about it. His answer, "When there isn't a complete and total consensus on it, it probably just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things."
Melissa-Wife, mother to DS 4/02 and DD 4/07, DS 7/08 DD 7/13
ISO: my lost shaker of salt
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