Conventional "American" Parenting

Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users Curl Neophyte
At one point I took several Early Childhood Development Classes. I was torn about what I wanted to do "when I grew up" and have always had an urge to work with younger children. During that time, the early 90s, Attachment Theory was discussed in my ECD and Psychology Classes. This is not the same as Attachment Parenting but 20+ years ago Dr. Sears was also a house hold name. One thing I have noticed while looking at different forums, and watching parenting styles change & grow, is that it has become a huge social norm to follow/promote one style. This was not always the case before the interweb. I see many speak of Conventional (American) Parenting with distain. This strikes me as odd because I don't think it really exists. To give an example, some say think of Madonna as a parent and you have CP. By that definition, it's fairly new (and we are all former Catholics). I think many include letting your age appropriate child take a walk to the park, cross the road, etc, along with The Extinction Method (letting a child cry for hours upon hours/"sleep training"/never checking on or soothing them. I know no one who has does this aside from parents of babies wih colic, and they will cry anyway). Some would also put that in the camp of Disciplinary or Neglectful parenting, which is what CP has come to symbolize for many while AP seems to be the only method where a parent uses instinct and connects/listens to their child. Whatever did the parents do before "child experts"?? (No such thing).

I was born in 75. My mom read no books on parenting theories (let's keep it real, they are all nothing more than a theory) with all 3 of her children.. She listened to herself and to her children and made choices based on the normal history of parenting in our area. She used cloth diapers on all 3 of us, because they were used on my parents who were born in the 40's, and cheaper. She breastfed. People here still required milk cows in the 50s & 60/ because you couldn't always run to the store for milk or formula, and because it's cheaper. She returned to work soon after delivering both my bro's but had 4 year period between jobs with me. She fed them as long as she could and breastfed me for a year. Like many parents in European countries, she had no hang ups about me watching programing of a sexual nature (but only if it was me & her. no dad or man children around). She hated horror movies/lots of violence but my dad loved them. That was his thing and became our common intrest. I'm not emotionally damaged from either. They both believed in discipline. My dad spanked while my mom used swithes. Point being... One could intertwine every parenting style in the book with so called CAP. Imo, it's all based on economics, areas you lived/what was common, religious background and where your families orinignally came to America from. Do you agree or disagree? Do you think it honestly exists? No biggie. I'm just curious.
When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

Comments

  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I will say that I think it was far more common to tell your kids to go play, allow them to do things w/o adult supervision, allow them to cross roads on their own, ride bikes around the neighborhood, so on & so forth than it is now. I see many come to the automatic assumption that parents do not judge the childs maturity level, just push them out, never teach them anything, and let them run wild/put them in danger. It has became so uncommon to see a child out and about playing that people normally assume the worst and automatically call the police. It's not because times have changed. Not in reality at least. The percieved danger far out weighs the actual danger itself. It just seems like more parents teach their children theorem and skip the practicum portion of the program. They rarely allow them to put the (crosswalk, bike riding, safe play, sleep overs with others, cutting of ones food, etc) education to use. They remain attached at the hip until no longer possible. *All while telling their child they can do or be anything they want. "No you can't have a sleep over at your friends house!! You are only 13!! That is crazy talk!! Yes you can be astronaut and go into deep space one day."
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,813Registered Users Curl Virtuoso
    My kids are very different from each other so that, more than anything, has shaped how I relate to them. The first one was an unplanned surprise, so I had not given much thought to which parenting style or whatever I would use prior to the pregnancy. I just went on instinct and he (ex-husband) followed my lead...and yes, we made some mistakes along the way. The second one was planned (right down to the day of conception) but ex-husband and I split up when that baby was a year old, so all of my theories and expectations and lessons learned from the first one went right out of the window.

    Parenting IRL is a lot different than how I thought it would be...bc kids really are all different. When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time reading up on topics like getting babies to sleep thru the night and breastfeeding and delaying solid food for as long as possible. But who knew ...both kids would be great sleepers from day 1 and the first baby nursed so hard we were both quickly covered in blood...and then to add "insult" to "injury," the pediatrician told me i'd have to add a few ounces of oatmeal to every bottle and cut the nipple open bc she couldn't keep liquids down. So pretty much all that I had read was useless.

    And so was the Lamaze class......

    Even labor and delivery went way different than expected despite what I had read and prepared for and wanted.

    So I am pretty dismissive of all these schools of thought and high-minded ideas of child-raising (tho I don't knock other parents for trying them). They often just don't work or don't apply. I think just common sense and love work best, even tho they may come in many different forms.

    Raising kids (even in utero) is tricky and I get aggravated w/ ppl (especially childless ppl) being judgmental and overly vocal in their criticism.

    I remember when my daughter was 18 months, I took her to Target to buy her first pack of Pull-Ups (which, in my experience are totally useless...but other mothers might say differently). And she wanted to get out of the cart and run thru the aisles and climb the shelves (would not have been the first time). So I told her no and she started crying. Hysterically. She wasn't hungry or scared or cold. She just wanted out of that cart; I was positive of that. So after the Pull-Ups, I remembered I had to get a couple of other things. And I wasn't giving in to her; I was telling her no and she was going to have to accept no. But then this busybody came up to me and told me I was a bad mother for neglecting my child...and why didn't I see what was wrong with her. I told her to mind her business. And then she wanted to fight me. I mean she was standing in the front of the store, screaming at me, threatening me, and calling me names, waiting for me to walk out to the parking lot. And it almost came down to that once I got to the parking lot, if her boyfriend hadn't pulled her away from me. That was 8 yrs ago and I still think "REALLY????" Why was that woman taking it so personally? Seems insane to me. My child was healthy, appropriately-dressed for the weather, supervised, safe, but that moron was yelling she was going to kick my ass, etc., but other women are selling their toddler's virginity to the dope man and no one blinks an eye.

    So I think if ppl aren't willing to push up their sleeves and help in some way (when needed), then they need to keep their opinions to themselves.

    ***

    I was born in the 70s also and my parents read Dr. Spock.

    ***

    I do have a book called Catholic Parenting or something. But I never read it. I'm not sure how religion really factors in, other than taking the kids to church and doing the religious rituals like baptism and bris, etc. I go to catholic mass every week and I never hear anything about acceptable and unacceptable ways to raise a child. The Bible says discipline them but not harshly, teach them right from wrong, allow them to know God, etc.:?:

  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Kids are incredibly different! I think many parents start out with general thoughts or feelings about what they would or would not like to do but no one knows how that will actually go. That's why I don't see a point in strictly trying to follow or push one style. It may not be remotely possible. I've known so many moms who wanted to breast feed but couldn't for several different reasons. If you can't do it at all or could only do it for a few months... No worries. We have formula! As long as your baby is eating, who cares? That is why I do not understand birth plans either. I see so many requesting that expectant parents take bith plans to the hospital with them. All that can go out the window in a second and I do not see a reason why someone should feel disappointed or upset that they couldn't follow it. All of these followings (when you look at forums it is like the church of parenting styles). lead to let downs in so many people. Not having the options that we have today that lead to death of so many children. If your baby would not take the things you had... You were out luck. All of them have value.


    The woman you tangled with sounds like a Scantimommy. I have seen many of those on line jumping all over people who do not give into their childs tantrums or let them cry here and there. You would think kids crying was new fangled thing frought with danger, abuse and neglect (and apparently brain damage). The thing is, most of the people who hold this idea get it from somw completely mangled studies that were conducted on lab rats and truly neglected and orphaned children. Children that had addicts and abusers for parents, children with no parents at all, children in state ran orphanages where employees hardly touch them or talk to them. *Like the infamous Romanian Orphans of the 80s & 90s that Oprah told the masses about. They were not done on children of everyday parents who get their child into the habit of sleeping in their own room, say no to a toy, or follow different methods than your own. The fights people get into and the attitudes some take toward other parents, as far as cussing them out and making a spectacle of a strangers "bad parenting", in public blow my mind. Some parents and former parents (as in they have an adult "child" of their own somewhere but are medsling in a strangers life) became hyper critical, and completely absorbed in fear, to the point of getting the law involved for no real reason.

    ETA: I don't think Religion plays a huge part for many parents. There are parents out there who will spank a kid and do not believe in God and those who follow spare the rod, spoil the child. There are religious parents who don't spank. I think religion does play a larger part for some groups.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Don't get me wrong on the former parents thing. I always loved the elders in a community who would tell kids to stop running, what would your mom think if you were doing that?, or even jerk you up or call your parents if you were way out of line. I had much respect for them. I have no respect for the ones who call the cops and hide in bushes, waiting and watching, when a parent runs into the store- leaving a kid who can walk in the car for no more than 5 min. Or those who walk 7 feet from the car while their infant is locked inside and are only gone for seconds. They are dishonest a**holes who let their kids run all over the place and then take legal actions against some that sets a precedent that makes parents feel like they can't even go to the bathroom in their own house without taking their child with them. *That is the magic question. Do you take your 5 year old to the bathroom with you everytime you have to ****? Do you take your 5 year old into the store with you to grab a loaf of bread and some milk? They are behind locked doors and something could happen in both situations.

    ETA: I've spent some time wondering exactly what is going on in a lot of the above situations (and reading about it) since it is become more common place and pervasive in our society. You are seeing more and more about about the anxiety side of PPD. For a long time people only associated depression and thoughts of harming your child, not anxiety and never ending thoughts, flashes, visions, what some call premonitions of your child being in danger or being hurt. Often times mothers who are going thru this spend all their time searching for negative news stories about things that happen to children. Lets face it, you don't have to search hard because our media shows 99.999% negative stories, puts a huge spin on them and presents them as if they are the absolute norm as opposed to a minority. Mothers suffering from from the anxiety end of PPD get so out of whack that they won't let their child go stay with anyone else, won't let them out of their sight, think they will never come home even when they are with their fathers, assume everyone else is neglectful/abusive/might hurt their child, always go to worst case first, and have huge consuming phobias ranging from abduction to their child scraping their knee and everything in between. Fathers are absolutely able to suffer from Post Natal Depression/Anxiety too. I would not doubt that my father did on top of his PTSD from Vietnam. It's never a good thing when it really starts messing with the quality of your life and of your childs life. So, I can get that explination but I can't get it when it relates to the people who gave birth 30+ years ago, and several other members of our society, who are all consumed with thinking about the worst case first and then proceeding as if it will actually happen, even in ridiculous situations like a mother leaving her 7 year old deeply engrossed in a library book (in the kids section at the library) as she runs to the bathroom. Nothing happened but the police may be called or you may be chastised for being so neglectful and thoughtless because you left your child who had been out of your sight at public school all day for 3 minutes in the public library.

    Berkeley Parents Network: Fear of Child being Harmed

    I don't think getting crazy over parenting theories (some fear/anxiety based) or buying into a lot of the needless safety/health monitoring products for perfectly healthy children helps this either. *PS- Not saying anxiety in parents is not common or that America has not been over the top child-centric and anxious since the 70s. That's when the NEVER LET YOUR CHILD OUT OF YOUR SIGHT FOR A SECOND!! NOT FOR ONE SECOND!! Mantra started, but most parents realized that is not humanly possible. Mean while, parents in countries with abduction rates similar to ours park their newborns outside of restaurants, on the street, while they eat. They know abduction happens but do not let that fear consume them. I can't think of anything freakier than having a tiny human to care for, but I'm speaking along the lines of letting your head run away and those truly believing a bit of crying = brain damage, or people like my co worker who has never allowed her 8th & 10th graders to have a sleep overs somewhere else because she fears they will be molested or hurt by another parent. She's had that phobia since day 1 and always put it first rather than dealing with or working thru it.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I have to give kudo's to the parents in the link I shared that are trying to convince others that they are not having "premonitions". The parent says, "I keep having these premonitions about my child getting hurt/abducted/being dead/being sucked out of a car door as we are driving down the road/being molested in preschool... But they never happen." Then it is not a premonition. I'd never undermind a parents 6th sense about things (I believe it!) but it normally happens the exact moment something has happened to a loved one or you know it was a premonition b/c it actually takes place. In other words, it still happens most of the time. Calling chronic anxiety or OCD premonitions is giving yourself permission to keep up with the "what if" game and restricting your child/act as if there is a large chance it will happen. Rather than saying it is an invasive thought (that these parents happen to have every single day, complete with day dreams about it). You can't avoid schools, cars, other human beings, field trips, sleep overs, college, etc. *It gets sad when you see the parents talking about their child being in therapy because they are picking up on their fears, being afraid of everything, thinking something is wrong with/is constantly going to happen to them OR thinking something is wrong with mom or dad and they will get hurt. Some say they get so worked up by the thoughts in their head that they run to their toddler, sobbing, asking them to hold them and make them feel better. I can sympathize with kids on some of that, but I decided early on that my dad was slightly bat isht (he went thru a lot in his life) and learned to calm him down. He still let me do things, learn and grow.

    Break over. Back to the topic...
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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