Thursday, March 03, 2011

How Far Do You Go?

Today is far different then when we were growing up.
My Mom was always saying, "Stand up straight, shoulders back, elbows off the table, chew with your mouth closed, don't talk with food in your mouth, cross your legs when you're wearing a skirt,...."
My poor Mom.

I would imagine she grew tired of the constant parade of "this this and this." Did she ever question why in goods grace we didn't "get it?" Or did I actually get it? I'll have to ask her about that one.

Here, in our home we have me, the Mom, and bigdog, the Dad that were raised in two completely different types of homes. Neither home was better (MINE!MINE!!MINE!!), but it's far more apparent when we come to certain crossroads when it comes to expectations of our sons.

It might not necessarily be because of where we were raised, or what religion our parents are, I don't know. That's why I'm asking you.

Could it be the reason Brian sees "nagging the nerves out of the kids," due to the fact that he was raised by a single parent? Or perhaps because when his parents were married, they both worked? Is it in fact due to the location where he was raised?

Me, the burbs of Chicago.
Him, straight south and just a beach away from SouthBeach.
Miami, for those of you not around during the Crockett and Tubbs days.

When he and I start to see certain things differently, it's actually sort of a fun experience, experiment?
What a twisted little girl I am. How can difference actually be fun? After all, you're talking about the girl that cringes when conflict is around. My neck will flush, my ears will burn red and I just hope that time will pass to where conflict resolves without too much hurt from either parties.

He feels as though we shouldn't have to keep telling our boys to sit up straight, elbows off the table. That by now they "should get it." Naturally, it's as exhausting for me to be the scratched up DVD, but I also know that they won't get it. Matter of fact, some grow up to not get it.

True story.

He feels as though we're doing something wrong. I'm not writing this to create drama with him, and he'll agree that he and I do have a different approach to raising our children.

Is his approach because he didn't have a Dad growing up? (or should I say, his daddy played a really long game of hide and seek.) Is it because he's a guy? Is it because he only has one sibling, a younger sister about a year younger then me?

Is it okay to be a bad cop and good cop when it comes to parenting? Which way is better? The Dad being the strict one and the Mom, the lovie?

If you were a fly in this house, I'm lovie, but in a commander's uniform. He's fun. Maybe it's because we have boys? Could it be that reason? Or perhaps because of the type of person I am?

It's hard because we don't know which way is the best. We don't know if we're helping one but harming another by nagging them with the same things.

I agree with him that I need to loosen up. That is so true.
Parenting has turned me into a scaredy cat.
I'm not a big fan of that.
Parenting has turned me into a happy homebody.
I'm okay with that.

But, is it common to have to constantly tell your sons, each night, the same thing over and over again?
I eventually drew up a chart with pictures (to help my 4year old), so they could reference the chart and all I'd have to say was, "don't forget to check the chart check list."

That helps.
But not during dinner.
Are you kidding me? They'd jump at the chance to get down from their seat to reference the dinner table chart on proper skills and manners.

Why is it such a big deal if they get down from the table? Do you think I'm asking too much of them when I tell them to not only clear their dinner plates, after asking to be excused from the table, but to also take ours to the sink, scrape the food, rinse and place in dishwasher?

This is the difference from Brian and I.
Brian grew up with a housekeeper.
His Mom was busy working, to support him and his sister. She didn't spend too much time on the manners at the table, when he was growing up. Does he have bad manners at the table? No, not unless it's involving celery, but that's my sensitive ears for you.

Is it slave like to ask our sons to clean up not just their settings, but ours as well?
We don't pay them allowance yet-I don't think they're old enough for that.

The way I see it, is this: Brian is far more open with the movies and TV and entertainment they watch. He's okay with video games. Fine. Like I said, having a difference of an opinion is fun because you get to tweak your own personality and learn a new way.

The boys were given game systems from Brian's family, when Jackson was only 5!

So, the way I see it is this: If they're old enough to play certain games on XBOX, then they're old enough to clear and clean up my dinner plate.

Or am I just an old school ninny stuck on the "Andy Griffith street?"


kristi said...

I think my hubby is more strict than me. I was one of 6, and he was an only child for 11 years.

Happyone :-) said...

I think men and woman have different ideas about how to raise kids, just because we are different. I think both CAN work well together.
I think its why we need both a mom and a dad.

Palm Springs Savant said...

It's very important to teach both boys and girls the basic skills and manners of such matters. I also think both should know how to cook, clean, do laundry and take care of themselves. Makes for self sufficient adults down the road!