Parenting style discussion
Hello Ladies! The hubby and I got into a deep conversation yesterday about parenting styles and I thought this would be a good place to keep the discussion going.
My husband was raised very differently then I was. He was born in Korea but came to the US by an adoptive family when he was 8 months old. Unfortunately, that family never completed the adoption and he was put back into foster care at 2.5 yrs old. When his parents accepted him into their home they were very cautious about keeping him comfortable. They had already adopted 4 year old from Korea (who was 8 by the time DH was adopted) and struggled a lot in the beginning to help her feel like part of the family. They didn't want him to go through that. It makes sense, but they never really got over that. They never pushed him out of his comfort zone. If he didn't like something or was scared to try it he just didn't have to do it. They made excuses for him or just ignored the issue all together. This affected everything from potty training to getting his drivers license. Today he says that while he knows his parents were trying to help him feel secure it really backfired. By telling him that he didn't have to leave his comfort zone he felt like they didn't think he could handle it. He doesn't feel like they believed in his ability to overcome those obstacles. In-turn, he really struggles to believe in himself.
I was raised almost completely opposite. The combination of my parents divorce and my mother's emotional issues pushed me to grow up fast. I constantly had to tackle things outside my comfort zone. If I complained or got stressed out by something my parents would instantly chastise me for it. They'd laugh and say I was being silly, that it was no big deal. It was easy for them (as adults) so it seemed silly for me to be afraid of whatever it was. They never really saw me as a child, or they would at least forget frequently. The good news is that I am very independent. I do believe that I can handle pretty much anything if I work hard and think it through. The downside is that I grew up very stressed out and now I'm often too hard on myself. I don't ask for help because I'm worried people will think less of me like my parents did.
So I guess the discussion is whether we should or shouldn't push our kids. Personally, I believe there is a perfect balance in there somewhere. It's just a very fine line and if you fall to either side you could end up with kids who don't believe in their own abilities or are stressed out perfectionists.
Where do you fall?
I also struggle with this myself when it comes to my kids. I have one who is neurotypical but has learning issues. The other is not neurotypical, however he has no learning issues at all. I really think I try to deal with their individual needs and in turn maybe don't push them hard enough in some areas. But I also have high expectations in the areas I know they can be strong in. So it's a balancing act, but man it can be a hard act to deal with at times.