Thursday, August 30, 2007

Parenting matters

I was flicking through our newspaper yesterday when my eye was caught by this interview with Dr Tanya Byron, about why she no longer wants to make TV programmes about parenting.

I have to admit that I have enjoyed watching some of her programmes such as House of Tiny Tearaways, as she has always struck me as a professional with a lot of common sense and empathy. But at the same time I can see the point that some parenting programmes can become rather voyeuristic, in the same manner as shows like those of Jeremy Kyle or Jerry Springer.

Of course there have always been childcare mother was led by Dr Benjamin Spock, I had books by Penelope Leach and Dr Miriam Stoppard. But the amount of parenting advice that is out there now seems excessive. I'm sure there are far more parenting magazines than there were ten years ago and when you add in TV programmes is it any wonder that parents get confused?

Personally, I believe that successful parenting comes from a mix of common sense and listening to your own instincts. There can be no overall rules, because every child is different and every family has different dynamics. You just have to work out what suits your own circumstances.

Of course I am not a perfect parent myself, but at least I think we can honestly say we have found our own way to raise our children, influenced perhaps by our own upbringings. We try to set a good example in the way that we ourselves behave and the bottom line is that we put the children's needs first.

As simple as that.

Three notable things:

1. Son 1 has spent the whole day out with friends.

2. Son 2 enjoyed his last day at playscheme for this holiday.

3. I did some work today ( just not the bits I was supposed to be doing...)


john said...

I think its good that parents aren't perfect. that would just put pressure on children to try and be perfect all the time as well. Parents are human and make mistakes and it can be a good lesson for a child to learn how to cope with mistakes when they happen.

so maybe a good parent isn't perfect?

Anonymous said...

What does perfect mean anyway? It's probably different for all of us. I do get wound up by the 'perfect' looking families in celeb magazines giving off the vibes that they do everything the right way and how marvellous life is. If only.

I always think of the saying 'behaviour breeds behaviour' and Thumper out of Bambi. You know "if you can't say something nice don't say nothing at all", but I use that with actions too. If you wouldn't like it done to you then don't do it to someone else.

And I avoid the playground cliques. I can't bear the comparisons.

Jackie Luben said...

I don't think I ever aspired to be the perfect parent, and I wasn't. However I did hope that my children wouldn't turn into tearaways and rob, cheat, murder or harm anyone or go on any other sort of rampage. And they haven't.

I regret the shouting I did, but not the fact that I said 'No.' on lots of occasions. And I tried very hard to keep lines of communication open.