Things I Don’t Subscribe to as a Parent

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Girl mom and writer sharing my journey of cultivating inner peace & finding moments of joy in the day-to-day. Passionate about empowering women to see and believe in their greatness.

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Hi, I'm Ilse

The amount of unsolicited advice you receive when family and friends find out you are expecting can feel overwhelming. I remember having a conversation with a family friend that quickly took a turn when, after non-stop probing, I let them know we would not be sharing our baby’s name until she was born. To me, it was a way to keep a little something special between my husband and I, but to this particular person, it felt like a personal attack.

This encounter quickly taught me that parenting advice and expectations are not a judgement-free zone. I learned that while many have all the best intentions, it is ultimately my husband and I who get to decide what’s best for our children.

Today I’m sharing four things I don’t subscribe to as a parent. Most of these were things expected from me growing up. They were – and many still are – things society expects from children, are considered “normal,” or big no-no’s.

Demand they share

Waiting until the person is done is our “sharing.” If someone wants to play with a toy already in use, I typically present the idea to play together or wait their turn. I’ll suggest other activities they can do in the meantime to give them choices and a sense of control.

Taking a toy from one of my kids to give to the other only lets them know their needs and wants are not important. I wouldn’t give my phone to someone in the middle of using it because they want it and I don’t expect my kids to do the same with their toys. Instead, I’ll often model sharing when the opportunity comes up. I’ll say something like, “Oh I see you really want one of my cookies. Here, you can have one. I love sharing with you.” My hope is that slowly they’ll start to see things from others’ perspectives and naturally and intrinsically develop empathy.

Never doing screentime

We do screentime. Some days a lot; others not at all. What’s more important to me is what they’re watching. I’m big on screening everything and like researching educational, inclusive, yet fun shows and movies. I also block a lot. We’re big fans of Sesame Street (HBO Max), Trash Truck (Netflix), The Adventures of Paddington (Nick Jr.), and Puffin Rock (Netflix). Now, that’s not to say they don’t watch Cocomelon or Paw Patrol; they sure do. And sometimes that’s the only way I’m getting dinner on the table. But I try to be as intentional as possible and while I’m aware of the studies that are out there, T.V. time works for us.

Saying a child is a “good girl” or “good boy”

I don’t know about you, but one of my least favorite things to hear someone say to a child is that they’re a “good girl” or “good boy” – it reminds me of praising a dog. In my opinion, praising what the child is doing or simply narrating what you see is a much more effective way to communicate to them you’re proud of them – and they should feel proud of themselves too.

Straying from nap schedules

I wish we were “go with the flow” parents when it comes to this but we’re 100% not. Our girls thrive on routine. We will leave a party early, come home for nap time if we’re out, or plan their naps to coincide with driving time. It’s just what’s worked for us and any time we’ve tried to do things otherwise, we’ve regretted it instantly *que all the meltdowns*. We simply remind ourselves (a lot) this is the season of life we’re in and it won’t be forever. One day, naps will be a thing of the past and we’ll probably miss them.

I would love to know what things you don’t subscribe to as a parent and if any of the one’s I mentioned resonated with you?

And before I sign off, I have to do my disclaimer by saying I’m not a perfect parent. That’s an illusive thing. If you do any of the things I’ve mentioned (or don’t), do you. You know what’s best for your family and the development of your children. As always, I welcome constructive, productive discussions in the comments section.

Should I do a part two?

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I'm Ilse Inzunza. A writer and mom sharing my journey of cultivating inner peace & finding moments of beauty and joy in the day-to-day. 

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