Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I am a "Second Best" kind of parent

 
I am certain that when my children were placed on my chest for the first time,
I uttered "I want the best for you".
 
I am certain that when I was struggling to feed them at the same time on a routine,
I uttered "I want you to be happy".
 
I am certain that when I sleep trained them at 10 weeks (them howling & screaming their lungs out in their bedroom) and me being shattered into a zillion pieces,
I uttered "I love you sooo much".
 
Now, wanting the best for my children isn't wrong but if wanting the best for them means they may perceive that being second best is crap, then I am going to abandon the first sentiment and simply concentrate on the latter. Them being happy and loved. That's not to say I will raise them with abandonment. It simply means, I will do my best in ensuring that I equip them with what it takes to be happy and know that they are always loved.
 
As such, I have embraced the 'second best' school of parenting. It's a school that's easy to get into, impossible to be expelled from and attracts a crowd that's heaps more fun than the "only the best will do" school.
 
I come across "only the best" parents sometimes and thankfully, they are not friends whom I hang out with. Perhaps secretly, they are thankful that they don't normally hang out with people like me.
 
Problem is, I never get to talk to them properly because they are too busy going to various "educational" appointments or racing from one activity to another. Even I get exhausted just hearing them show off rant about their "busy days". Evidently, it's more than a full-time job!
 
I say, why don't you send your daughter to the gymnasium closer to home? and my acquaintance would say, "I would but the one at Cleveland is so much better. The Head Coach was at the Institute."
 
It's on the tip of my tongue to tell her that she belongs to an institute, but I don't. It's none of my business and I am not the one driving a 40km round trip for a four year old's gym class.
 
Thus, I have summarised the main points of Second Best Parenting:
 
There is no need for your child to be dressed better than you
Unless you want to look like his / her maid and don't mind ironing all his / her clothes. Please do not dress your child in white (unless the occasion calls for it e.g. Baptism). Really, what were you thinking?! I am sure that outfit looked splendid on a mannequin. Remember, mannequins do not eat-drink-pee-poo-run-jump-vomit-spit-drool-spill.....
 
The child has a 4G iPhone
Why?! So that you can both Face Time across the table?
 
A MASSIVE TV
Is this so that the characters in the Wiggles will look more life like? Do you realise that the bigger the TV, the more annoying those children's TV programmes are?
 
Organic Everything on a plate
I am certain that organic food is great for a growing person but I think a sausage with mash potatoes, peas and gravy is pretty grand too especially when there isn't any leftovers on the plate. No wastage = no money flushed down the toilet. At least it's not a Golden Arches Happy Meal.
 
The best way for a young child to read
No doubt is on a parent's lap but if the parent is cooking or needs to go to the toilet, the child can either read on their own OR get the older sibling to do it. If they are anything like my children, they choose to sit on my lap while I hold the book (when I am on the toilet). Whatever works!
 
I think being satisfied with second best from my kids is quite different to expecting second best from them. It's important that they try their hardest, use their best manners, do what they believe is right and be KIND & COMPASSIONATE. A ho-hum effort on an essay or a half-arsed job of tidying their play area won't cut it. I have standards, reasonable ones.
 
The happiest families I know are the ones with the most relaxed parents. Happy parents = Happy children = Happy families.
 
What about you? Which school of parenting do you belong to?
 
Enquiringly,
 


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