Thursday, June 4, 2009

The "No" Parent

Each family has a parent that is known as the "no" parent, I think. The parent that no matter what you ask, the answer is always no. I guess now that I have been raising my kids for the last 12 years (almost), I cannot honestly remember which of my parents that we went to first, the parent that was most likely to say yes. According to Belle, I have become the no parent and in some ways I have. I often find myself saying,

"No, you can't ride your bike around the block by yourself."

"No, you can't do that because they're doing it."

"No, you can't ride a four-wheeler with another 10-year old even if you go slow and are both wearing helmets."

What I'm not finishing up with is more information.

"No, you can't ride your bike around the block because there's a registered sex offender that lives down the street."

"No, you can't do that because they're doing it because their mother needs to be slapped for letting them do it."

"No, you can't ride the four-wheeler because it's a matter of time before her sixteen year old brother runs into her with the other one and she gets hurt."

Regardless of my reasoning for not letting them do things, Hubby feels that I'm too limiting, too over-bearing, too strict because he was allowed to much more than I was growing up. He also feels that the kids are going to rebel hard against me because I don't allow them to do everything they want to. He had a three-wheeler when he was their age. He ran the neighborhood because there was kids everywhere. I'm not saying they can't ride an atv, but with a trusted adult, not another child. I wouldn't mind having one myself. I had one in high school and I used to walk the streets with my neighbor. But times are different. There wasn't a constant stream of news where some adult assaulted/kidnapped some kid for various reasons. Hubby shot his sister with a b.b. gun growing up so am I supposed to line Belle up and just let the boys have at it because he did?

Exactly. Nothing is black or white and I am not going to be responsible for putting them in the position that allowed them to get hurt. I will stand my ground about the bike riding. I will stand my ground about the four wheeler and I will stand my ground about things kids are allowed to do today to get them out of their parents hair. I can't protect them from everything, that I know, but I'm not about to turn a blind eye to a situation and let them play with fire just because they want to do it. My feelings are that I didn't rebel that badly against my parents when I was growing up because of what I wasn't allowed to do and that maybe because I wasn't allowed to do more, what I did do wasn't that bad. Does that make sense?

My question is where is that parenting handbook that I've heard so much about? The one people say they've heard could be out there but they've never seen. Am I really too overprotective of my children or am I looking at this realistically?

1 comment:

Ladybird said...

My mom was the "no" parent. I always asked my dad first...and then he would always go say, "Ask your mom." LOL!