Friday, September 6, 2013

Parenting Then vs Parenting Now

Things about my childhood that would probably be considered "neglectful parenting" now...

1. Walking to school alone at what I'd consider a crazy freaking young age (elementary school).
2. Going anywhere without my parents in general. Not coming home until dinner/dark, whichever came first.
3. Helmets just didn't happen. I rode my bike  e v e r y w h e r e  and totally alone.
4. Taking sips of beer from family members.
5. Lots and lots of processed food. Spaghetti-os were a totally justifiable meal. I did not get a Pinterest style meal. There was no food shaped into scenes/objects/things.
6. Riding in the back of pick-up trucks was great if you had a bunch of kids at once.
7. In fact, I rode up front lots of times in the car because I was the oldest and it was just one of the perks.
8. Seat belts? Just lay down and take a nap during long drives. Or just stand while the car is moving. No bigs.
9. I would call my mom collect, leave a quick message, and hang up so she wouldn't be charged. I'd do this just to let her know where I was. MOMI'MATASHLEY'SBEBACKBYDINNERKBYE. I had no money, she gave me no money. Cellphone? HA.
10. Watch TV all day! There wasn't any weirdness about kids watching TV. Just go watch and stop whining!
11. Soda. Soda. Soda. I remember just not being allowed to drink diet, and that was from my step-mom who was much younger (and knew that it was super not good for you). I don't think my mom even gave it a thought.
12. My parents did not coddle me. I didn't go to museums and theme parks. I knew kids who did and it was only for vacations. I was a poor kid though so that stuff literally almost never happened. I just played outside. This might not be the norm for other people who grew up at that time, but it was for me and most of my circles.
13. My mom taught me how to do chores at an early age. At 9, I was doing my own laundry and taking it to the laundry mat (across the street), making dinners (my specialty was chopped salad or using the stove to make spaghetti-os), using cleaning products, and getting my sisters up and ready most mornings for school (although that started happening in middle school).
14. Spending entire summer's at friend's houses. Their poor, poor parents. I would sleep over for days at a time and no one really cared.
15. Impromptu swimming in lakes and rivers. I was a country girl though, so maybe not everyone's norm. I think about how dangerous that is now. I could of drowned.... :::shudder::::

I'm sure I could go on and on, but I was just thinking about my kid's childhood so far compared to mine. While most of the things above I haven't even dealt with yet, I can't imagine them really happening with Wyatt. Parenting has changed dramatically and probably for the better if we're being honest, but something about how independent we were all raised is appealing. I hope I can somehow find a balance of teaching my son to be independent and not risking his life... heh.

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