Contractual Parenting – your thoughts

So, I was sent over to a new blog (or new to me) today – Clover Lane and after reading the post I was forwarded too, I started going back and reading other posts (something pretty typical for me when I like what I see even a little) and I found this post here about “vintage parenting” where she talks about the frustrations of today’s parents (and probably the parents of the past as well but with different stuff) and their kids wanting cell phones, iPods, violent video games, to see movies rated outside their view age etc. Granted Inara is only two, this is something Chris and I have already talked about frequently (at least on some of these topics) and I’ve thought about on my own considerably!

To some degree I’d like to fool myself into thinking that because we plan to homeschool our kids and most of their friends will be from families in our church we may not have to deal with as much. But I know (even if it’s only in the deep dark recesses of my mind) that every family is going to approch things differantly and a lot of the people I know and am friendly with won’t be as strict with what they allow their kids to have/watch/do.

I mean even already I have problems with Inara because she sees older kids doing things that she knows she shouldn’t. It’s really HOT here already, and I like to take Inara to McDonalds or Chick-fil-a at least once a week so she can go burn off some steam, run around, be a little crazy, but not be subjected to the 100+ degree heat that we have outside already. However, to a degree, I’ve given up this practice because now that school is out there are a lot more families there doing the same thing with older kids. I don’t let my daughter climb the support poles, scream, or climb on the FURNTATURE (I swear this really happened, there were kids climbing on the table I was SITTING AT!) but when there are swarms of other kids there doing just that and their parents aren’t doing anything about it (may not even be around in most casses) it’s really difficult to tell Inara no and make her understand she can’t when the other kids are and no one is telling them to stop.

There are some things that I know will be firm house rules already even though the issues won’t be around for a while (I hope). For instance: no daiting till 16 (possibly with group dates only till 18). No body peircings till 18 or older and ear lobes only once she is old enough to care for them and we can find a real profesional peircer willing to pierce her at that age (usualy this isn’t till 16 with parental concent in most upstanding shops though but some will do ears earlier). We don’t have cable TV or a converter box, so TV won’t be an issue. We also don’t have a game system (even though I would really like a Wii – but we probably won’t ever be getting one anyway) so that won’t be an issue. Dress will be modest, there is no room for debate on that. It will also be age appropriate and inexpensive (no designer labels etc.) until they can afford to buy their own. Our kids will help around the house, they live here they can work here too just like we do. They won’t recive money for good grades and will also probably have to figure out their own way to pay for college I also see no point and don’t understand an “allowance”, but these are things that have yet to be talked about between Chris and I. Cell phones and computer time are a heavily discussed and debated topic in our house – especially considering Chris’ profession and the fact that we are both gadget lovers (speaking of which iPhone 3.0 software today, it’s nice!!) so I know our kids are going to want to be like us.

I know some of you out there teach (or did) and some have older kids, so you’re in the thick of it and have a more “realistic” view of it than I do. Some of my good friends have older kids and I don’t understand some of the desitions they make regarding the way the riase them, but thats the way it’ll always be and I do my best not to say a thing about it because I’ve always hated it when people try and tell me what works best in my own family. We are all unique and differant, come from differant upbringings and backgrounds and have differant factors that influance the way we bring up our kids.

I don’t know the answers or even all the problems and in 6-10-16 years who knows the struggles and challanges we’ll be facing with Inara and any other kids we may have at that point. All I know is that I already think she’s growing up too fast, I can’t imagine 8 going on 18!

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2 thoughts on “Contractual Parenting – your thoughts

  1. I don't have any answers either. I often think about many of the things you wrote about. I recently saw a mom and her three daughters talking about their Coach purses. Nothing wrong with that…but one of the daughters couldn't be much older than 5!! Luckily David is a guy and won't feel the need to fit in with a Coach purse! But now that I am a parent I am more aware of so many things that I wish I could sheild him (and our future kids) from.

  2. I was reading an article the other day that was saying that kids that got money for good grades did much better than those that didn't receive money for good grades…FYI.

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