My History Shapes My Parenting

I’ve been contemplating all the parents yesterday commenting on the lasting impact from their own childhoods.  There are many ways my family history has shaped my parenting, here are a few for starters.

– My mom stayed home until my brother and I were both in grade school.  Then she worked fulltime and managed to also be home with us.  She was an elementary school nurse so she worked during school hours and had most of the summers off.  I knew her work was important to her but I also felt like I had a stay at home mom.  I had my first child middle of the second year of a doctoral program and my second child end of third year while wrapping up coursework and finishing comps.  Somewhere in between the school years and babies, I also opened my first office.  While I wasn’t fully at home, my husband and I juggled our schedules and stayed commited to using sitters just 15 hours a week.  Seven years and a second office later, we have stayed to this maximum amount of sitter time.  Most days I feel I have more than a fulltime job and find myself working at odd hours around the clock but my girls feel like I am home.  I work around their school drop-off and pick-up, am home in the afternoons for homework and early dinners and schedule evening and weekend workshops when my husband can be home.

-My parents were ahead of their time with positive discipline.  I remember my dad saying “if you spank a child, you may win the battle but you are losing the war.”  Their approach was heavy in logic and reasoning.  While there are new techniques and some differences, my approach to positive discipline is firmly rooted in how they raised us.

-My brother and I got along well.  I expect my children to do the same and likely take it for granted that they do.

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