Monday, 18 June 2012
I look at different parents around me and cannot stop and ask myself: What makes someone a good parent?
My parents had a lot of problems in their relationship but stayed together from the beginning and tried to raise me and my brother "equally" or so it seems. I had a very tight upbringing, where my dad was not scared to smack me around if I "misbehaved". Quite honestly the worst thing I ever did was come home half an hour late once and told my dad to stop yelling at me. For this I got smacked across the face. Maybe I was worse then I remember, I did have hot temper (and still do).
My grades had to be always A's nothing lower, or else. It was either my mom's and dad's way or the highway. Arguing with them was useless, no matter what I said or expressed I was wrong. I wanted to take art classes because I loved art, but they refused since "its not a career". I had to dwell into sciences and mathematics. I'm a science teacher now with a decent salary at 23, married to a wonderful young man, owning our own two bedroom apartment and expecting a little boy this October. So I guess I turned out well. My brother who is still 16, gets a lot more leverage then I ever did. Maybe because my parents are older now, who knows. But he gets mostly B's and C's and although they argue with him over grades my dad never hits him. My brother smeared feces all over the school bathroom his freshmen year, and although consequences were severe in school, at home he was grounded for a week and then they bought him a new Mac computer for 1500$! They didn't buy me a computer until I was in my third year of college! Not fair? I don't know how my brother will turn out as an adult, but it seems to me that he is being very spoiled.
My husband's parents separated when he was 17 years old. They fought a lot, and had financial problems although his dad owned his own electrical company. The mother spent a lot of money on Bloomingdale's purchases. My husband and his sister grew up with very laid back parents who allowed them to do pretty much what they want. My husband at the age of 12 would go to bars (he only drank juice though) and stay out until 1am and his sister started smoking pot at 10. I guess they grew out of it, because my husband (who lost his virginity to me at 21) doesn't smoke or drink, works full time as an electrician and is finishing his last year of law school. His sister, graduated as electrical engineer and now works as a partner with her father in his company. She traveled around the world and is well off.
With the impending motherhood, I worry what kind of parent am I going to be? I don't see myself as a laid back parent that allows the kids do what ever the hell they want and hope they turn out well. But I don't know if I can handle being a super strict parent and have my child hate me. I parenting something that we have to prepare for, take courses, learn or is it something that comes natural to us? I wonder, what makes someone a good parent? Is it the strictness and rules or is it the absence of rules, allowing the child explore his or her possibilities and talents? Or is it something in the middle?