Not being a fan of children before having N (I’m still reserving judgement on some kids even now), there were a lot of things I’d have been amazed parents let their children do. While I never saw myself with children, I would still think to myself ‘I’d never let that happen’ or ‘no child of mine would do or have that’.
Of course once you have children some things change. Pre-kids I was definitely a Type A personality, a bit of a perfectionist (that’s not really gone away for some things), lateness was abhorrent and everything was organised down to a tee. But now, while I’d say I was still strict and specific about some things, my unexpected parenting style has changed…and many of those things I would never have let my child do, happen.
Things I said I’d never let my child do…
And failed at!
Sit in shopping trolleys
I admit I still hate this – children sitting in the trolley part, not the proper seats. It’s un-hygenic when food shopping. I’m sure it must eventually ruin the trolleys. And it’s just lazy by the parents and child.
However….it’s so much quicker and easier to do shopping and avoid having children grabbing things off shelves and getting them injured from other shopping trolleys.
N’s a pretty good kid. He’ll do what he’s told most of the time, but blimey he would walk slowly when he was younger. And now he just moans all the time when shopping. I try letting him push the trolley, but he’s a little short to see over all the shopping bags so it’s a little wild and woe betide me if I try to steer the trolley to keep it on track. Thankfully he’s better now at pushing them and knows he’s not going in trolleys now. But I hate that I went against my view of not putting children in them.
As for eating in supermarkets – yes, I’ve let him do that before as well, although I do try and get him to eat before or afterwards. I’d never let him eat food we were buying though, only snacks I’d brought with me (and made it really obvious that I’d given him them from my bag not the shelves).
As children we were only ever allowed to eat chocolate and as a treat. I’d have liked to have kept to that, but it’s not quite worked.
For starters, Haribo and parties. There’s just no getting away from them. They’re revolting greasy sweets, and I’m not a fan. Thankfully N doesn’t seem to go hyper on eating sweet things so at least that’s one positive.
But grandparents. Why do Grandparents return from holidays or breaks bringing bags of sweets or chocolates with them for the kids? I wouldn’t mind a small pack of buttons or fudge. But when it’s 2 share bags of jelly babies, it’s a bit silly. Ok, one usually goes in the larder at the farm for him to have one when he’s there, but the other sits at home and he’ll climb, find or get hold of them somehow. He does at least listen when I say 1 or 2 only, so he knows that it’s meant to be a treat, but there’s too much in the way of sweets around. The OH doesn’t seem too worries, and the dentist hasn’t said anything so hopefully lots of water and brushing has helped.
I do have a ban on boiled sweet/lollies. Chewy ones are acceptable, but at the hairdressers they offer chupa chup style lollies and they’re a no.
Watching lots of tv
I am not a fan of kids tv. But N is – he’s a child, of course he is.
Until he was about 4, N wasn’t really that bothered by tv, but since then he would watch way too much given the chance. Even now I think he watches too much and I long for the summer months when he’ll spend time after school outside instead of wanting to watch tv or YouTube.
The evenings aren’t too bad, although we don’t set a good example by going on our laptop and tablet. He can have the tv on for kids shows after school (in reality, that’s from around 5.30) until the OH wants the news on, but he’ll often then grab my tablet and watch it online for an hour if he’s not into his toys.
But mornings are an issue because he’ll often wake up way before me, go downstairs and put the tv on. That can be up to 1.5 hours if he’s up at 6. I’m now saying he has to get dressed and have breakfast before putting the tv on, but if I’m not awake I’m not aware of what he’s got on. Damn children being able to grow up and be able to sort themselves out!
I’m thinking hiding the remotes will be the only way to solve the issue….and my tablet.
There can’t be many people who like guns. Ok, they do a job – being in the countryside on a farm, pest control needs to happen sometimes, and there are plenty of people who enjoy the shooting season. And watching clay shooting and the shooting in the Olympics can be pretty interesting, appreciating a skill.
But I didn’t really anticipate N being near guns so early. In fact, he shot a gun for the first time this year, age 5 with his uncle, shooting at a tin can in the garden.
On the whole N isn’t one of those children who seems obsessed with ‘shooting’ things and playing shooting role play like cops and robbers or cowboys. He knows shooting people is very wrong and he knows the dangers of guns and how they need to be locked up, and people need to take care and follow rules on the shoot. So I’m confident that even at a young age he appreciates them for what they are and how people need to treat them.
He’s not asked to shoot the gun again, so I’m hoping he’ll not be asking until he’s quite a bit older.
Get his own way
While I’m not a total control freak, I do like things done a certain way. I also have expectations that by a certain age, N should be able to do plenty of things himself, like getting dressed, putting on shoes, putting toys away etc.
But actually getting N to do any of these things is an uphill struggle.
I would have thought him being able to do these things would have made him proud and independent. But no. He’s lazy, he takes too long and too many times of asking, so when we’re trying to get out of the door. And my impatience means I will let a lot go that I thought I wouldn’t pre-children.
Does it really matter if there’s a few toys left out? Not really, and they cover up the fluff that I’ve not got rid of with daily weekly when it needs it vacuuming.
Does it matter that he seems to eat permanently from breakfast to lunchtime? Not if he’s eating well balanced food and is moving about enough.
Does it matter if he doesn’t have a bath every night (this is the OH’s insistence)? No, he doesn’t smell, unless he’s been on the farm and got cow muck all over his overalls.
My parenting style is now more bit of a child led, I let things go where ok to. Even the OH (who’s a lot more fussy than I am about housework) is relaxing a bit.
My view is that as long as N still knows when an order or an ask is a no leeway ask, and he’s safe and happy, then things don’t have to be so precise. It would make life a lot easier if he followed it, but having N has certainly meant I’ve had no option to chill out a little bit.
What things did you think you’d never let happen before you had kids, but have done since?
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