Spectrum Parenting: What I Do Differently

GE DIGITAL CAMERASpectrum Parenting is the term I use for the spread of child-rearing I have going on: Kids from one end to the other.

Consistency in parenting is key, but change is consistent so here are some things I do differently with Little Sir:

Sweet Dreams of Hot Rides: With one of my kids, he would bring toys in to bed all the time and it really bugged me. He was supposed to be sleeping in there! I could probably think up enough reasons why, but none that make a lot of sense to me now. Little Sir’s bed doubles as a used car lot with all the hot wheels he stores there. If we’re looking for cars, look between the covers.

The King’s Speech: With Gorgeous Gal, I was convinced baby words or allowing her to mispronounce words for the cute factor would warp her development and cause long lasting impediments. But, with Little Sir, I admit I don’t say anything when he says “froggy” for foggy or “wiggly coke” for regular coke.

This Too Shall Pass: In general, I think I was much more uptight with the other kids. I don’t know if they wore me down or I am wiser (probably both), but I approach things differently with Little Sir. I have always liked the phrase “choose your battles” and used it for all my parenting choices. But I find the ones I choose with Little Sir are different.  I am not so much lenient but just find there are different battles to choose and more ways to avoid the actual battling and still “win”. I know the day to say “no” to a bribe at the grocery store and the day to say “yes” so we can just get through the line with minimum fuss. There are still strong boundaries, but like the maps of Europe, they can be fluid too.

Regrets are for…Parents: I really try to avoid regrets. It is oftent eh single reason I will choose something risky, I don’t want to have regrets. But I do find myself at the end of the spectrum with Little Sir looking back at the beginning with Gorgeous Gal. When Gorgeous Gal was younger, I had this idea that I could protect her from the ills and pain of the world (or more of it) by preparing her for the realities. There were times I was tough so she would be tough. I was big into “natural consequences”. I now find myself wanting to model the way the world should be. The world will knock them down, I want to be a soft place to land. I want to be a refuge from what can be a harsh reality. I made a lot of mistakes in parenting and was just plain wrong, but mostly I really did the best I could with the what I had in knowledge and general wherewithal. But I do wish I had been…more gentle earlier in this journey.

One of the best things about Spectrum Parenting is with the span of the spectrum, I have PERSPECTIVE. I have seen what worked out and what needs some tweaking. I can hear about a new parenting fad/tool/theory and embrace it.

Or dismiss it.

And I know, if all else fails, save for the therapy fund.