do you parent by the book or how your grandma did ?

Helen - posted on 03/18/2012 ( 42 moms have responded )

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how do you parent ? do you follow every tip of a book or do you do the tried and tested methods of your grandmothers ? i personally parent the old way seeing as my mother and my self grew up to be nice respectable people the whole saying if it aint broke dont fix it !!

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I suppose I fall into the "New School" category. I don't have any parents or grandparents to learn the "old school" philosophies from, so books are all I have.



That said, I don't follow every thing I read--some of it is clearly crap, and if you read enough (and I read a lot) you start to see that a lot of them outright contradict each other, so you have to use your own experience and logic to decide which is better for your child.



I've gotten some outside advice from some of the "Old School" camp, but most of it has been contradictory to what works with my son (perhaps because I never got to see it in action). I do like being a stay at home mom though, and I think that's pretty "Old School" so I do take that from their camp.

Johnny - posted on 03/20/2012

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Ditto Jenni. I'd say I go more with authoritative, Thank you for clearing that up Brittney. Although I would still say that Baumrind's anaylsis is rather simplistic and out-of-date.



Shawnn, I would argue that what you are describing is more an effect of helicopter parenting and coddling than permissive vs. authoritarian vs. authoritative. I fail to see a connection between not hitting your children and them turning into immature, whiny, coddled college students. An authoritarian parent can still be trying to control their adult child's environment and existance just the same as a permissive parent might. In fact, wouldn't the permissive parents be less likely to be overly concerned about what their kids are doing at college?



I hear all about these schools where no one fails, these games where there are no losers, but I've never seen this in action. Perhaps this is outside of my local culture. Children here still receive grades, still get held back when they fail, and still lose at soccer. Some manage to still be whiny brats and expect the world to serve them, and others get off their ass and make something of themselves.



I think some of it has to be chalked up to individuals as well as parenting style. Looking the four young men who grew up next door to me, one has been very successful and owns his own business, one is a drug addict who lives with mommy and contribute nothing to the world, another lives with mommy while working part-time as an extra and wating for Hollywood to discover him (waiting tables would be too much to ask!) and the last one is in college doing his masters on a scholarship and volunteers with Search and Rescue. They're all 2 years apart. All the same parenting style. Wildly different results.



You can find whiny, lazy, self-entitled people in any generation. It's not a recent phenomena.



"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for

authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer

rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,

chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their

legs, and are tyrants over their teachers." ~Plato

Brittney - posted on 03/20/2012

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Sorry, I was simply trying to explain what permissive meant.



1950's is my parents' and 1920's is my grandmothers...they just used common sense (best form of parenting, I think)



The main types are:

Authoritative, Like authoritarian parents, those with an authoritative parenting style establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. However, this parenting style is much more democratic. Authoritative parents are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. When children fail to meet the expectations, these parents are more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. Baumrind suggests that these parents "monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative" (1991).



Permissive, Permissive parents, sometimes referred to as indulgent parents, have very few demands to make of their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control. According to Baumrind, permissive parents "are more responsive than they are demanding. They are nontraditional and lenient, do not require mature behavior, allow considerable self-regulation, and avoid confrontation" (1991). Permissive parents are generally nurturing and communicative with their children, often taking on the status of a friend more than that of a parent.



Authoritarian, In this style of parenting, children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents. Failure to follow such rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents fail to explain the reasoning behind these rules. If asked to explain, the parent might simply reply, "Because I said so." These parents have high demands, but are not responsive to their children. According to Baumrind, these parents "are obedience- and status-oriented, and expect their orders to be obeyed without explanation" (1991).



Un Involved, An uninvolved parenting style is characterized by few demands, low responsiveness and little communication. While these parents fulfill the child's basic needs, they are generally detached from their child's life. In extreme cases, these parents may even reject or neglect the needs of their children.

Jenni - posted on 03/19/2012

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Even my 75 year old grandmother isn't old fashioned in parenting. She had 4 boys and circumcised them all and now she is against it based on new research. She regrets her decision and now feels it's an unnecessary procedure. My mother is the same way. Science is advancing, knowledge, safety measures etc.



The instances of SIDS has been reduced by over 50% since we started laying our infants on their backs. Formula was toted back in my grandmother's time and actually believed to be better for infants than breast milk.



I also use positive discipline. I am a huge believer in natural consequences and don't believe in bubble wrapping my children. Or helicoptering over my children. I also try not to coddle, my children are expected to do chores at a very young age (around 2 years old they start helping around the house), they help me prepare meals, help with the gardening and yard work. They have to earn privileges through helping and good behaviour. So I guess that'd be considered a mix of old and new?



I do not understand why anyone would risk certain parenting methods that have been observed over an extended period of time to be detrimental or in worst cases cause deaths and injuries. Why risk it when there are proven safer practices out there?



Basically when it comes to parenting I don't follow books. I haven't looked at a parenting book since I was pregnant with my first. I use a critical thinking approach to parenting, trial and error, bouncing ideas off other parents, but I certainly don't mindlessly follow the ways of the old *or* the ways of the new. I research, I use experience, I ask family, friends, other moms, I use instinct, critical thinking, weighing risks and benefits. etc. Pretty much any resource at my disposal to try my best to make informed parenting choices.

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2012

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"As long as you have expectations of your children, have taught them manners, right from wrong, good moral ethics, and HOW TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL, how to do things for themselves, then, to me that's "Old" parenting style."



I think the OP was referring to people who practice new methods of parenting as "new style" parenting. Which yes, I'll use my example of discipline again. I don't spank, I use positive discipline (a new style) but I still raise my children with expectations, rules, responsibilities etc.



I do not impart "everyone's a winner" mentality (personally have never heard of that where I live). I do not give into my children's whims, I do expect them to do chores to earn privileges. But I'm also up to date on progressive parenting methods and current medical information/recommendations. Saying new style parents are the cause of all the negatives you listed is quite the generalization.

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Amanda - posted on 03/25/2012

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I listen to other parents advice - whether it be my parents, my grandparents or friends, plus take advice from books, plus just instinct. I kinda wing it based on everything. Some advice I use and some I dont. Every child is different, and every generation is different. I figure out what works and run with it. But I do consider all forms of parenting advice. You have to go with what works for your children. I have twin girls, so alot of advice I got was just for a single baby. I really had to wing raising / parenting twins b/c its alot different than just having one baby.

Sonya - posted on 03/22/2012

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me and my husband both have different methods my husband does not like to give spankings at all he will sit there and let our kids talk to him in anyway that they want. Not me I will give them spankings because they need to learn to be respectful to people and I dont want them to whind up in jail when they get older.

Pamela - posted on 03/21/2012

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Neither way, but rather a combination of things I learned from my Mom (who was also a registered nurse), parenting classes I took when my oldest was 3 and I was a single Mom going to school full time to get my bachelor's degree and from my own experiences with organic and natural foods and medicines.



As for a grandma.....all of my grandparents had made their transitions before I was born.

Keri - posted on 03/20/2012

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Honestly, there's no such thing as a "parenting book" no matter how many are on the shelves at Barnes & Noble! My husband and I use a mix of methods, including how our parents and grandparents raised us as well as methods that we've found work best with our son. I get lots of awkward stares when I casually say I spanked (butt-smacked) my son for some LEGITIMATE reason, and now he even sends himself to his room!

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2012

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Ah ok. Thanks Brittney. According to Baumrind's classification, I imagine I'd fall more under Authoritative than any of the other groupings.

Brittney - posted on 03/20/2012

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That makes a lot of sense, thank you for clearing that up, Shawnn Lively!

Shawnn - posted on 03/20/2012

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Well, this isn't actual "evidence" in the form that Pearl may want it, but I invite you to interact with students on a college campus sometime. Students between the ages of 19 and 25 in particular. Follow them, watch them.



Listen to them whine about how "Unfair" it is to have to take a test at 8 am, or how the office staff should "automatically" do something FOR them, rather than giving the student the tools to do it for themselves. Or, and this one is my favorite, listen to the PARENTS of these people, wanting me to violate federal privacy laws because "hes my son, and I HAVE to register him for his classes, or get him out of this class, or find out what his grade is, because he won't tell me".







For me, those kids have been raised under the "new" guidelines...You know the ones, those that came out of Washington in the late '80s telling us that we couldn't touch our kids in a disciplinary manner, that if we didn't hold their hands until adulthood, they'd be poor souls who were misunderstood.



These are the same "everyone is a winner" standards that have brought the public school system in the US to its knees because they cannot hold a student back for not meeting benchmarks, they simply hold the rest of the class back to make the one student feel "better". Or the youth leagues that no longer keep score at games because "everyone should win".



Those kids grow up to think that they should get everything they want, because they've never been told NO. That, to me, is the definition of the "new" parenting style.



As long as you have expectations of your children, have taught them manners, right from wrong, good moral ethics, and HOW TO BE AN INDIVIDUAL, how to do things for themselves, then, to me that's "Old" parenting style.



ETA...I would call my style Authoritative.

Johnny - posted on 03/20/2012

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If Baumrind was writing this in 1966, I'd say he was doing an assessment of our grandparent's parenting methods, not our parent's or ours. Which might suggest that this isn't so much about "old-fashioned" parenting and "new style" parenting, but about a difference in style.



I would consider myself more "new style" than "old-fashioned", but I place expectations upon my child and certainly would not consider myself permissive. My own parents were not authoritarian, but they were very strict and placed high expectations on my behaviour.



I think it is a very flawed analysis. In fact, I can not begin to list the ways in which I would pick it apart without taking up an entire page. To begin with, the very idea that there are just two or four types of parents who follow a set of general principles is completely laughable. That is a stereotype, not a sociological assessment. Your post also skips from the first two parenting "types" to a fourth "uninvolved" parent. What happened to the third type?



And exactly what evidence is there that there are more permissive parents today or that "new style" parents are actually permissive at all. These things are not necessarity connected in any way.

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2012

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Personally I prefer a balanced approach; there are negatives involved with being both overly permissive and overly authoritative parenting. I don't want to raise little anarchists but I don't want to raise children that mindlessly follow any authority figure and can't think for themselves.

Jenni - posted on 03/20/2012

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I'd also be considered "new style" when it comes to discipline then. Respect for others and personal responsibility are very high values in my home. Teaching manners, respect, responsibility are of high concentration. However, I do allow my children to engage in age appropriate behaviours as long as it does no harm, while teaching them proper conduct.



Permissiveness does not go hand in hand with positive discipline and occurs on both sides of the fence in "old" and "new" parenting methods.

Brittney - posted on 03/20/2012

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They just mean to say that parents are way more permissive than they used to be.



Permissive parents—also called “indulgent” parents—reject the whole notion of keeping their kids under control.



As Baumrind notes, permissive parents share some similarities with authoritative parents. Both types of parent are emotionally supportive and responsive to their children’s needs and wishes—which is a good thing. Both types consult kids about policy decisions, which can be a good thing, too.



But unlike authoritative parents, permissive parents aren’t demanding. They don’t assign their kids many responsibilities and they don’t encourage kids to meet adult-imposed behavior standards. Instead, they allow—as much as possible—kids to regulate themselves.



Permissive parents don’t present themselves as authority figures or role models. They might use reason or manipulation to get what they want. But they avoid exercising overt power (Baumrind 1966).



A fourth parenting style—“uninvolved” parenting—is a bit like permissive parenting in that parents don’t enforce standards of conduct. But the resemblance ends there. Permissive parents are warm and nurturing.

Johnny - posted on 03/20/2012

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"Something else that our children have lost through new parenting style is respect for others

-manners and obligations"




Hmm... I'd consider myself more "new style" parent, at least in terms of not being authoritarian, not using punishment rather than discipline and not insisting that my child be seen and not heard. However, I have never read a book nor heard anyone ("expert" or every day parent) suggesting that children should not have respect for others, manners, or obligations. Perhaps that can be considered a parenting fail that occurs to parents of many different styles. It can definitely be a problem. But I would disagree that it is unique to "new style" parents. I certainly expect and demand that my child be polite, well-mannered, respectful and take on appropriate responsibilities.

Brittney - posted on 03/20/2012

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@Pearl



-Punishment is out of fashion.

-“Children are meant to be seen not heard” is outdated.

-disallow any immature behavior in the company of other adults

- parents always consider the family’s situation before they consider the children’s situation when making a decision

-Something else that our children have lost through new parenting style is respect for others

-manners and obligations

-"Authoritarian parenting"





New parenting styles involve positive discipline, calm and asserted parenting, no corporal punishment, happiest baby or toddler on the block and so much more.

Johnny - posted on 03/20/2012

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I'm wondering.... what does parenting the "old-fashioned" way mean exactly? I keep seeing people say this, but it isn't really defined. Wouldn't it matter which culture you come from? What type of family you grew up in? What economic background you are from? And how old is OLD fashioned?



For example, the way my maternal grandmother grew up, parenting the old-fashioned way meant leaving your children to be raised by a governess and then for the girls, being sent to finishing school and for the boys being sent to officer's school. Not actually having regulary daily contact with their children until they reach adulthood. I'm guessing that's not what people mean.

Kate CP - posted on 03/20/2012

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I follow my gut. If I need help I ask my mom and read up on it then do what I think in my heart is best for my kids. Nothing wrong with getting a different perspective, but I parent my own way.

Chrystal - posted on 03/20/2012

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I use my own family more as a what not to do guide; my mother loved us but she felt that just because she didn't run away like her own mother did that made her a good parent which I'm sorry not leaving doesn't make a good parent. I turned out so well more in spite of her parenting than because of it which was a be their friend put your crap on them style. I find most of my parenting is seeing the flaws from my own childhood and using common sense and parenting books to find the answer that makes sense to me. Even though I don't use my families old ways my style is still probably old school in that I firmly believe in strong discipline (not physical discipline), structure, working for what they want, etc.

Stifler's - posted on 03/19/2012

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Neither. I parent by common sense and up to date medical knowledge.

Terrie - posted on 03/19/2012

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When you have an autistic child your ideal of parenting is pretty much shot.

Sherri - posted on 03/19/2012

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I parent with how I feel fit. I don't do anything by a book. I do do a lot of things my mom did and a lot of things she didn't. For us it is all trial and error.

Sylvia - posted on 03/19/2012

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Um, neither. I think to do either one of those exclusively, you'd have to be parenting with blinkers on.



My grandmothers did some things right; they also screwed up big-time in some ways. As parents, they had both advantages and disadvantages that I don't have. Should I have formula-fed DD just because in 1941, a poorly informed doctor told my maternal grandmother that she shouldn't bother trying to nurse my mom because formula was easier and probably better anyway? Should I whack her with a paddle because people did that in the 1930s, when my paternal grandmother was raising my dad? Should I ignore all the high-quality research that says carseats and seatbelts matter, kangaroo care works, babies should be fed when they're hungry and not on a schedule, there are lots of more effective and less violent ways to parent than spanking your kids, and so on?



A lot of useful stuff comes from research. I'm not going to follow a book blindly (especially if its advice is totally not working for me), but I have a healthy respect for guidance based on research and wide experience. A lot of parenting advice we get these days is stupid (particularly all the flavours of "If you ever leave your child unsupervised for ONE SECOND, you are a TERRIBLE PARENT!!!!" -- I get really sick of that one), but that doesn't mean all of it is stupid -- and stupid parenting advice was rampant when our parents were kids, too, I'm afraid ("Babies only need to be fed every four hours!" "Babies need to cry for at least 20 minutes a day to expand their lungs!" "I don't care if you're full, you're not leaving the table until your plate is clean!" "No, you may not write with your left hand! We'll tie it behind your back if we have to!" ... you get the idea :P)



I do my best to parent in ways that work for my DD, my DH, and me. Sometimes I screw up, but at least I'm trying to parent the kid I have, not the kids in the books or some other kid I wish I had.

Elfrieda - posted on 03/19/2012

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I love reading. I read lots of books in general, and I read lots of parenting books. Now I'm reading "Families where Grace is in Place". I think the main thing is not to treat any one book as rules, but more suggestions and insights. I can't think of all these things by myself, why not benefit from other people's thoughts?

Lady Heather - posted on 03/19/2012

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I parent by instinct. I'm not sure what "the old way" is, but I'm sure there has always been some variation. I sure don't put baby to sleep on her tummy or feed her solids before she can hold up her head or stick my kids in the back seat with no car seat or seat belts. We all survived crap like that too but I don't think we should always do what was done just because we lived to tell the tale.



I've never read a parenting book. If we are talking discipline I just do what comes natural which involves a lot of positive role modeling. I have no interest in yelling or hitting my kid and it isn't because of a book. Can't stand to read too much about patenting because most things I see (like in articles on here) just make people feel like they are going to ruin their kids. I don't like feeling guilty.

[deleted account]

I parent by myself and my kids. I have read many parenting books or listened to advice from friends and family members that have been there. Then I take what I feel would work for our family and apply it. If it doesn't work... back to the drawing board. NO ONE knows your kid better than you and kids are not a 'one size fits all' kind of deal.

[deleted account]

I do understand that books and clinical research are not the end-all-be-all on raising children, but I do think that many parents these days discount them a little too quickly.

Should you blindly follow the advice of a book or implications of a clinical trial? No, but you should not blindly follow the advice of your elders or superficial observations either.



I do feel that the books I read helped me to gain perspective and insight into my son that I would not have had without them. They helped me to understand situations from his perspective, which I notice a lot of today's parents neglecting to do in an effort to be more firm and consistent than our own parents were. (not that there is anything wrong with being firm and consistent, but it can easily backfire with rebellion if the child's perspective is never considered).

Patricia - posted on 03/19/2012

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I think that my husband and I learned a little from everyone and not alot from books. My husband and I were raised very differently but were around the military for quite a while so we are very strict. I still feel that the docs that tell you when you leave the hospital not to listen to your mom or grandma are morons because every situation is different, my grandma is awesome and I turn to her for just about everything!

Brittney - posted on 03/19/2012

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I go by the advice: 'the best advice I've ever heard is don't listen to other peoples advice on your children.' 'You know your children better than anyone else or any book.'

Shawnn - posted on 03/19/2012

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I do it my way. When I had my grandma around for advice, medically, then I'd ask her before taking them in to the doctor, because she'd been a nurse.



Otherwise, I never saw ANYTHING in a book that made sense, much less anything that didn't change within 2-3 years, and that was even before I had kids. So, I decided that, since they can't make up their minds anyway, I'm doing it my way.



I have done everything wrong, according to the books, but have done everything right according to my kids doctors, teachers, and mentors. I did NOT spare the rod. My kids were disciplined, and spanked if appropriate. I do NOT helicopter. I cannot abide the young adults that I have to deal with on a daily basis assuming that I'm going to do everything for them, because that's how everyone has always done it. My kids are more independent and able to take care of their business at 14 & 17 than most 20-25 year olds today.



I take great offense to women assuming that (because they've either raised kids or are raising them now) they know better than I do about my kids. Those women who are so self righteous because they think they are the perfect parent...They just make me laugh.



I know better than to assume that i"m doing it all correctly, or that I'm the a #1 perfect mom. I am doing the best I can, and from what I've seen so far, my kids are OK.

Elfrieda - posted on 03/19/2012

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I certainly don't parent the way my mom's parents did. My mother worked very hard not to pass any of that bad stuff on to me and my sister. She did a really good job, but of course made some mistakes, because she's human and because she didn't have very good role models. I figure that she worked so hard so that even if I just revert to "what I grew up with" I'll still be a pretty good mom, but one thing she showed me was to do better for your kids than was done to you. So I'll go with that. :)



As for health issues, I totally call my mom and grandma and aunts for advice on what to do for injuries and teething. I take their advice a little more seriously than the panic-stricken advice of nurses these days. Example: my son burned his hand on a cookie sheet straight from the oven. I called my mom, I called my mother-in-law, they were both not home, I called my sister-in-law and she asked some questions and told me not to worry too much. Run it under cold water and smear some aloe vera on and put him down for a nap (all of which I had already done). I think if I had called Telehealth (a wonderful program here where you get to talk to a nurse over the telephone) they would have told me to go into emergency, just because they don't know me, they don't know my son, and they just want to be on the safe side. But constantly doing things "to be on the safe side" could drive you insane.



edited to add: I make it sound like my grandparents were terrible, but actually they loved their (six) kids and made the decision to move to Canada in order for their kids to get a better education, they were just too quick with the belt and the punishing.

Brittney - posted on 03/19/2012

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I read a few books just to see where she is in her development, I call my mom and grandma if my daughter is sick. My grandma had 3 kids and my mom had 5, so I figured if I don't know whats wrong, ask them. I have a book from the 70's on parenting and it works for me, this new stuff doesn't always work.

Amy - posted on 03/19/2012

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I would like to think I'm doing it my way. I haven't read many books on raising my kids. I take some of my parents philosophies, afterall they did a good job with my brother and I. I talk to other parents who have gotten through some of the things we've encountered, we use our pediatrician as a trusted resource as well. I guess I'm a mom who takes a combination of everything that works for my family.

Amanda - posted on 03/19/2012

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I am old school, look at 20 year olds now, new school clearly isnt working.

Johnny - posted on 03/18/2012

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No, it is not always the case at all. I was very fortunate to have been raised by two loving, committed, caring parents. But even they will admit that even though I turned out well, there are things they would have done differently in hindsight, and they have even admitted the occasional regret. Just this week my mother mentioned how she wished she had dealt with me being bullied by a boy on our street in a different way (it came up when we saw his mugshot in the newspaper, lol).



I have no doubt that by the time my children are parents there will be new ways of doing things. It is wise to look at the past and look at what is new, then make a decision upon which course is likely to yield the best results. Sticking to what was done in the past without considering the potential for improvement is not something I agree with, in parenting or in any other part of our lives. We must learn and move forward. I am very grateful that both of my parents did that. It gave me a great childhood.

Helen - posted on 03/18/2012

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aww bless you sorry to hear bout the past ect doesnt sound to good i promise you not always the case tho

Johnny - posted on 03/18/2012

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A combination of the things my parents did right, things I have learned from observing other families, and stuff from books. Pretty much nothing my grandmother did. She would openly admit that she was NOT a good mother and the mental issues all of her children have is a testament to that. That is my mother's mom. My father's mother did not want to have children, but birth control was not readily available back then so she ended up with two. She worked long hours and let my great-grandmother raise them. So I'm not entirely impressed by "the old ways". I think a lot of them were broken and I think most committed and involved parents today are doing a heck of a lot better job than our grandparents did. Some of those books and experts everyone likes to malign have helped. I certainly don't read them all, and definitely don't believe in following every new trend, but I'd like to hope that most people have the common sense to figure out what new ideas might be improvements over the old ways. Which are sorely needed.

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