I freely admit that I think I know every thing. I also like to think of myself as diplomatic. And then there was that time my tap shoes became combat boots... Which is probably one of the reasons why, at 6, my mother told me, "No one wants to be your friend because you're so bossy." Thanks, Mom!
At 30, I was flying by the seat of my pants, trying to raise two intelligent children without damaging their psyches too much. Lord knows I tried my best, but I'm sure they carry scars all over their feelings.
I read all the T. Berry Brazelton books on child-rearing. I even poured over Dr. Benjamin Spock's books. His advice seemed antiquated by that time, but I wanted every bit of advice I could get. My best takeaway from Dr. Spock was that I should take my children to the playground, everyday. So I did.
But seriously? I had no clue what I was doing. My Mom did her best with me, but was not a parenting model I wanted to replicate. Fast-forward 28 years. I have no data to back up my strong opinions. But I do know a few things. They're mostly intuitive. They may be wrong.
Please refer to the first sentence of this post.
At 58, I have instincts that I consider wisdom. So, where did I get the idea my adult children want or care to hear my child-rearing wisdom? And why can't I keep my opinions to myself?
I must be as bossy as my Mom said!
Here's what I know now: When a child hits the terrible 2's, don't ask if they want to do something when they really have no choice. If they really do have the option to choose, then give them that power.
If they must get into their car seat or have a bath, don't dangle the option of choice in front of them. Life is challenging enough at 2. When they can't communicate well enough to be understood, don't tempt them with an option, when it doesn't exist.
I remember reading that older parents are better parents. They're calmer and wiser. I'm pretty sure they were referring to parents in their thirties or forties vs twenties. But in my opinion, late 50 wisdom has it all beat!
Again, refer to the first sentence.
Mom, I hear you now, saying I'm being bossy. And you may be right.
Hindsight is always 20/20. We all do the best we can with what we have available at the time. My grown children are intelligent, loving, parents who will do the best they can. I just wish they'd listen to some of my unsolicited advice.
I plan to be my grandson's favorite person in the world. I want to be that wise person he feels safe enough to come to with any question. I want him to know he can always tell me any and everything.
Now, if I can only keep my opinions to myself about child-rearing, my children may continue to allow me to visit him.