The Key to Good Parenting- Where Is It?

I was a cute child wasn’t I hehe
I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I am one of six children (it’s something I am very proud of!) and we are all very close still despite having grown up, married, got jobs, had kids etc. I can honestly say we were very lucky in that we had a loving and stable upbringing and as a result I think we all have all grown up quite sensible, levelheaded (for the mainpart lol) and all enjoy a good laugh and cherish family. Well done Mum & Dad! Seriously though, I do cherish my childhood memories and wouldn’t change them for anything.

As a Mum now (of nearly 2 boys!), looking back to growing up isn’t just about nostalgia, but there is also a sense of wonderment. Seriously – six of us, how did we not send our parents up the wall? (Ok I’m sure we had our moments, particularly throughout our tender teenage years), but we didn’t ever get into big trouble, all did pretty well in school, all have decent jobs we enjoy, and all treat others with respect and fairness.

So…. how do do it? If I raise Kieran and No2 as well as my folks raised us I will be one very proud Mum, and I know Roy feels the same. I can’t remember my Mum ever running around the house, looking like she wanted to kill someone after one of her darlings thought they’d make soup and mix expensive face cream and antidandruff shampoo together, don’t remember Dad with steam almost literally coming out of his ears having found a beautiful biro drawing on the wallpaper behind one of our armchairs, and I can’t imagine Mum slumping into a chair at the end of the day, shaking her head and wondering whether or not she was doing this all “right”.
I believe a lot of it is generational. Don’t get me wrong, Kieran doesn’t run wild, we have a structured home routine-wise, promote independance, good manners, and the other core values we were raised with, we support his educational needs but all look to make sure he gets enough creativity and fun thrown into the mixture. He is turning out ok, but booooooy can it be knackering… and this is just one child! Copying the model set by my Mum and Dad -imagination is behind a lot of Kieran’s play, he doesn’t watch loads of tv, doesn’t have his own computer/console/set of gadgets, but gets plenty of fresh air, is booted outside when weather permits and dirty, muddy play is fine by me. I think I’m doing it right, pretty convinced that he’ll turn out much like our lot did, but how do you KNOW?

So rather than trying to unravel the wonder that is my fab up-bringing where everything just seemed to fall into place and work fantastically, I ask you…. is traditional parenting the key to raising a child? By this I mean encouraging values, making sure the kids understand the importance of earning what they have (even at 4yrs Kieran has his own set of chores etc and gets “treats” only when these are all achieved). What do you think? Is it how we parent? Is how our kids turn out as adults genetic? Are there environmental factors that determine the type of person they will be, or is it just “them” and predetermined?

A bit of a heavy one for me, which smacks a little of the Nature vs Nuture debate but I’d love to hear your views! I do worry how what I do now will affect Kieran and Bubs 2 later and suspect there isn’t a magical formula really but would love to hear other people’s take on all this?
Oh and seriously…. Mum & Dad….how? Six of us!? You really are both truly amazing 🙂

Mummy worries – he will be fine…. but will I?

Half way through the summer hols and my sanity is still intact.

This is Kieran’s first “summer holiday off” as he has been at preschool for the past year and starts “big school” in September. I was initially very worried at how I would cope with keeping him entertained when clearly I do not have the saint-like enthusiasm the preschool teachers have, and mindful that I have more work now that I did before end of term AND that I am getting increasingly huge (pregnancy, not comfort eating!), I expected to be tearing my hair out by now. However…. I am loving it! There is little locally to entertain Kieran and the weather has been either so hot even he wants to stay indoors near the fan or so wet and windy we daren’t venture out for fear of being caught in a monsoon! Despite this, we have absolutely revelled in each other’s company – be it baking, doing crafts, jigsaw or games galore, visiting family, walking to the train station to train spot, bus trips out, play dates and lots of local walks collecting leaves, looking at bugs etc or just doing our own thing and enjoying our own time, it has worked wonderfully.

So what am I going to in September when he is gone all day?? He can’t wait (little traitor!) but I am increasingly aware that I am going to miss him terribly. The long-suffering hubby has promised to paint the nursery for baby2 the last weekend in August so that when I am faced with a very empty house all day long I can throw myself into getting everything ready for baby and working (with the radio on loud…… very loud!) to occupy myself. Is this empty nest syndrome? Ok it’s not empty for long – just between 8.50am and 3.45pm Monday – Friday but still I am not used to, and I know I should be grateful of the break to myself as baby2 is due in early December but I am really struggling with the idea of my firstborn baby (and he is still my baby says a very precious Mummy!) being away all day and I suspect more so not needing me. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to keep him at home either, I know he needs more and am sure he will thrive at school, but it’s very harrowing.

So come on Mums and Dads – is this pregnancy hormones, am I being precious or is this a common thing, mourning the end of an era. If anyone has any wise words or coping strategies I’m all ears!