Monday, October 27, 2008

Naive, strict, old-fashioned, out of touch - what am I?

I liked how I was raised. I think my parents did a great job and I turned out pretty well. My parents weren't perfect & made plenty of mistakes, but they let me explore my surroundings & gave me a stable foundation in which to build my life. So, I learned from their mistakes, but I try to raise Trinity with the same values I was raised.

However, DH & I seem to be the only ones who subscribe to our parenting style. Not that this bothers me, but I'm wondering if I'm out of touch with how children are raised today. For example, we expect Trinity to have table manners, well actually, manners in general. We follow through with what we say, so if she is misbehaving and we tell her 'x' will happen if she doesn't stop, then 'x' happens. Not sometimes, but every time. We expect her to be quiet during church and not run in stores. She has to hold our hand to cross the street & she only watches age appropriate TV & movies.

It is the TV & movie rule that seems to be criticized the most. My SIL sees nothing wrong with letting her 3 1/2 year old watch Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix. My good friend lets her 7 year old watch Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, etc. I won't even allow Trinity to watch Hannah Montana, because I think high school issues are meant for an older demographic than an almost 5 year old. I don't think the humor in shows like "Back in the Barnyard" & SpongeBob are appropriate for her age either.

So, am I just old-fashioned, out of touch or too strict? I know that I am comfortable with my parenting style & I have no plans to change anything, but I am interested in knowing if I am the only parent who feels this way.


Penny said...

I think entertainment needs to be age appropriate too. Though it is possible that a child might have the ability to cope with something considered for an older child - maturity does differ. I know I was reading books way beyond my "age" groups when I was growing up. But visual entertainment is in a different category I think.

I like my kids to have manners too. And yes, of course one should be held responsible for the consequences of disobedience.

Melissa said...

No, you're not the only one. I'm always amazed at what other people will let their children watch. Even my 8 year old has strict limits on what he can watch.

As far as manners and follow through... I expect my kids to be well behaved, be polite, kind, have good manners and follow the rules. If they don't there are consequences.

So whatever you want to label that style of parenting- I'm okay with it.

Astarte said...

I agree on the manners thing. I hate bad manners worse than anything else. I think they contribute a lot to the general downturn of our society, to tell you the truth.

We have rules about what people can watch, but they are different for Patrick than they were for Josie at his same age. This is partly because it's difficult to enforce rules for one age and not another, generally speaking. There are things that she is allowed to watch that he isn't, and those things are saved for after he has gone upstairs to get ready for bed. Another reason they're different is because they are different children, and can handle different things at different ages. He is ready for Star Wars at 5, but she never would have been.

NedaAnn said...

Thank you for your input. I agree that there is maturity issue at stake, but how much is knowing your child & how much is indifference.

And Astarte, you don't even want to get me started on how poor manners and basic (dis)respect for others is why our society is the way it is today. I could honestly write a book on my feelings towards that.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like this. Sometimes I feel like the TV nazi.

Angela Miller said...

I think that teaching our children respect and manners is one of our main jobs as a parent. If we don't teach it to them where will it come from? We expect Keegan to sit at the table until we excuse him, he knows not to interrupt us if we are in the middle of a conversation (all the basics). We also follow through on our discipline.

I also have a problem on much of the entertainment stuff. This is the one thing that Chris and I differ on, somewhat. He thinks that I am too strict on some of it. Why do they insist on making shows appealing to young children that never should be watched by a young audience?

Ignore what other people say about your parenting. You are not out of touch with how children SHOULD be raised today. Many parents let their children get away with way too much.

Petra said...

Okay, I'm guilty of sponge bob and back at the barnyard.. But as far as the rest goes? I've given up on watching Primeval as much as I want to because it's on when she's up, I tried Dr. Who ONCE when she was up (it's not THAT scary... and then promptly came to my senses)... But, yeah, it is unusual now, which is a HUGE shame. I'm always a little horrified by how many waiters/waitresses are surprised by the fact that we expect Fi to say please and thank you (and don't let her tear around the restaurant like a hellion)... And the number of my friends who are parents that sit there saying "Child, do x" over and over - trying to be friends with their 4 year old!!! :-/

yeah. I'm not as strict on the toons, but in general, right there with you.. Both on the rules *and* on the weird disconnect they cause. Kids don't need friends, they need *parents*

Kaza said...

We have the same standards for our almost-4-year-old, and frankly don't understand why other parents aren't doing the same. We're loving and supportive of her interests, but we believe that it is our job to produce a good citizen of the world and to therefore teach her that the world does not revolve around her wishes and that she must behave appropriately, in public and at home.

We do allow t.v., but pretty much limit it to Noggin and PBS, though she and her daddy like to watch Spongebob together. Other parents are far more restrictive on t.v. time, so I'd say we're in the middle of the spectrum on that. No teenage shows or PG-13 movies though.

So you're not alone, though I know sometimes it seems that way! It's difficult sometimes for us when we have to correct her behavior because she's imitating another child whose parents are more permissive. It comes off as a criticism of the other parents, but what can you do?