Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Parenting strategies

I may have to adjust my "Parenting Style". I've been thinking, and the things I was taught at home, the issues we dealt with, had quite an impact on my life. Perhaps not the way my mother intended, however...
Growing up, breakfast was a battle. I have never been a morning person, and eating first thing is the day is not appealing to me. Even as an adult, I manage a cup of coffee and a piece of fruit bread, and that's it. My mother felt that a good breakfast was crucial, and it became a major source of tension between us.
Mom gave us each an orange at breakfast every morning, all winter long. I HATED oranges. I hated the pulp, the mess, the skin, everything. It took me forever to eat that orange every day. And now? I will not eat an orange. I don't even like orange juice. I might eat a mandarin at Christmas, but that's it.
Porridge was another staple. I would sit there, watching the grey mass congeal, the milk turn warm, and just gag at every bite. Mom watched like a hawk, making sure it all went down. Why anyone would want to eat a bowl of gooey, chunky, grey mucus is beyond me. I don't even have oatmeal in the house. I have occasionally eaten a packet of the instant stuff, where the first five ingredients are sugar, corn syrup, glucose, sucrose and fructose. But the healthy, rib-sticking porridge from my childhood? Never.
I wasn't allowed to wear make-up as a teen. In fact, I was in my twenties before my mother ever saw me with mascara on. To wear make-up was like announcing "Yes, I am leaving the church to become a prostitute". So of course, I wear the full face every day. Even if I'm not going anywhere, and no one but my family will see me, I wear make-up. My best friend said the surest sign that things were not well after Girl Terror was born was the fact that a week later, I still had a bare face.
I'm sure there are lots of positive things from my childhood, and just as likely many things cannot be blamed on Mom. I probably would have left the church anyway. I like to eat meat. There is alcohol (gasp!) in my house. But I have to wonder, what will my kids reject from their upbringing?
Am I raising kids who will hate books, love TV, and eat ice cream for breakfast?! Are they going to decide I was a nutty old bat, and wear rubber boots year round? Maybe they will insist on eating their french fries first at every meal out. I'm pretty sure I see the signs of "nap rejection" coming on. I better take a good hard look at how I run this house, and hope it's not too late!

5 comments:

J&J'sMom said...

So I take it...you're a rebel? ;0)

Raehan said...

I was just thinking about this very topic today. My parents were strict about strange things too: tv, make-up, etc. But I'm glad they were. I think the only thing you can do is set the limits that you feel deep down in your guts, and they can take them or leave them when they are older. You give em what you have.

SquareSlant said...

I found myself not rejecting my mother's ways...but copying them...she must have done a good job.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

You're probably doing to your kids what I did to mine. And to this very day they will not eat moose blubber.

Jenny said...

You know what? I think it's a balancing act. You do the best you can with what you have and you prepare to forgive your children when they blame you for raising them wrong when they are old enough to make their own choices.

I find that being the limit-setter and example for my kids bites me in the butt all the time. Alas.