Everyone parents their children differently, whether it is from their own upbringing or from learning what didn’t work and improving from there. It’s what makes everyone unique and their own person. There is no book that says ‘This is the right way to raise all children’ cause if there was, I guarantee you, my way of parenting would not be in that book.
I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve been told how I handle a situation was the best way to handle said situation. As a non-disciplinary parent, some may view that as being a lazy parent. Is it because I had my son at a younger age, maybe? Is it my personality, also maybe?
I honestly think the way I raise my son has a ton to do with how I was raised. Being forced to go somewhere constantly made me never want to go anywhere. Choices were never given to me. I followed the rules and did as I was told. This turned into me hiding things from my parents, sitting in my car or outside instead of going into evening mass, the list goes on.
Never wanting to have my son hide things from me, I have an open communication relationship with him. He has a phone, he has most of the social media apps, he is on Find Me so I can see where he is if needed. I do not monitor his phone. He knows that having all of those things is a privilege, and as soon as he breaks my trust, those privileges will go away.
Privacy is a very big thing for me. My son will have his and I will respect that. I read somewhere that a kid slammed their door so the parent took the door off. Having a door is not a privilege. Should the child have slammed the door? Absolutely not, but taking their privacy away like that is only going to turn your child away from you. They will then seek answers elsewhere, and I’ll be damned if someone else misinforms my child.
Trust is earned both ways. Why would you want your child to not come to you when they are hurting, or have questions about sensitive topics? My son knows he can come to me for anything, and I will answer him as honestly as I can. I don’t sugarcoat anything. If he asks me questions regarding sexual health, he will get the answer he is searching for. He is 14 now and I remember being so ignorant to all of it because it just wasn’t discussed, and I didn’t feel like I could go to my parents and have them answer these questions. My son has tampons in his backpack in case a fellow student needs it; he is not embarrassed about it because we have discussed it. It is natural and the more we show that, the better in my opinion.
Laid back parenting, gentle parenting, or just parenting, you can call it whatever you want, we are all learning as we go, there is no shame in how you feel you should raise your children. There is no right way or wrong way. You can bet your sweet butt my son is respectful, kind, funny, and just a great kid. Am I doing this parenting thing right? Who the hell knows; all we can hope for is that we don’t screw them up too much and they make good and honest members of our community.