Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Blog party: mom talk

OK, this blog party is pumping now. Right about halfway through. And like in other parties, around this time, someone starts up a quasi-intellectual discussion. Like:

- Do you personally feel you have obtained self-actualization as described in Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs? Or do you disagree we can be self-actualized? Maybe you don't even care ...?

- Does ecotourism really help the environment by educating tourists and by creating awareness, or does it just invite the hoards to trample pristine wilderness areas?

- Who really let the dogs out?

I was reading a magazine I confessed to grabbing from my pediatrician's office and found an article that gave the mag some surprising substance for all its style. A mother detailed what it's like for her daughter to grow up in Manhattan, where the family lives 75% of the time, and what it's like when they are living in Maine the rest of the time. She points out parenting styles are vastly different in these two locations, and (from what I gathered) she tends to follow suit wherever they are living at the time. For example: Maine folks don't fuss over their kids when they fall down or are kicked by farm animals -- it might even be good for them -- while in Manhattan, if a child falls out of her stroller onto the pavement, a crowd forms and starts pointing fingers. Or something like that. The article asks, "Should kids be totally safe and bored, or slightly bruised and amused?"

I'd like to say, of course, I would parent my way no matter where I was living, no matter who was around me and what other parents might say. But maybe it's not always going to be so cut and dried? Will circumstances sometimes make me "fall in line" with the thinking of the other parents around me? Will I {gulp} be a sheep? A lemming?!

And so I wonder, happy party bloggers, what do you think? Is it better to play it safe and follow the parenting trends where you live? Or do you dare to refute the commonly/locally held thoughts about the best/right ways to raise a child?

Hmm....

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11 Comments:

Blogger Kristi said...

Hmmm... that's a good question. Given the way my entended family is (offering heaps of unsolicited advice about how best to raise Isabella and telling me everything I'm doing wrong and my reaction to it, which is massive annoyance), I think I would buck the regional practices and go with what I thought was right.

I think parenting is a lot like politics and religion, in that to strongly advocate one way of doing it over another is to get yourself into a pickle you might not be able to get out of.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I tend to feel more peer pressure from family then from local moms.

4:13 PM  
Blogger groovyoldlady said...

whoa...I was just thinking that we needed some quasi intellectual discussions.

Let's see.
1. I am actually me.
2. I think all those ecotourists should go home so my husband and I can hike in peace.
3. Bad dog doesn't NEED anyone to let her out. She just escapes at will and then comes to visit our house where she torments and teases everyone until they give up and quit chasing her. THEN she goes home and her owner is too pooped to whap her.
4. We parent the way we feel God wants us to, no matter where we are. And yes, we've been critisicized (sp) because of it.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

I go with my gut, and can't imagine there is any way that I parent that would get me in trouble... and I think consistency is so important so I don't think it would work to change the way I parent depending on where we lived. My views conflict with a lot of my friends' views, but we are all different ... I am all for informed parenting- then make your choices for what is best for your family.

Yeah- deep party talk finally!

4:53 PM  
Anonymous chelle said...

Since I am slightly crunchy, I tend to be on the fringes of all the "groups" so I am cool with going my own way.

I would be cursed in New York though. I am all about getting dirty and being a happier, healthier kid for it. Have fun explore the environment!

That being said, each to their own in my books. You have to be pretty bad to be considered a "bad" parent in my books ...

6:09 PM  
Blogger Guinevere Meadow said...

Hmmm. Very thought-provoking. (Did you write this before or after we went to the park today? Did the vultures and big men on kid's bikes influence your thinking?? lol!)

Here are my answers.
1. Yes, I think I have, although I also have to say that self-actualization is an ever-changing aspect of one's being. What might be self-actualization on one day might not be what I need the next. It's quite an evolutionary principle.

2. I think it helps! The only "down side" to it would be the people who don't pay attention and remember what they learned from the education the ecotourism "industry" puts out.

3. I did!! It was me!!! They were clawing at my furniture, drinking out of the toilet bowl, and peeing everywhere. Ha!

4. The parenting question- I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to be a parent, so everyone else can just get out of the way. :)

6:28 PM  
Blogger Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

hmmm- i am pretty much stuck in my own ways. pretty protective and paranoid - but I still let my boy be a boy - (ie even though my twin cringes - I let him sword fight with sticks. Come on? He is a boy!!!)

3:12 AM  
Blogger Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

PS - my inlaws are WAY more relaxed than I am and they think I am NUTS and it doesn't change me AT ALL!!! Whatever! I am just trying to keep my kid alive!

3:13 AM  
Blogger h&b said...

I'm Maine.

Although I loved visiting NYC, i'm not into the whole Woody Allen thing, and I know people that have lived and raised there, and they ALL get involved with psycho-babble ( says she who trained in the field ! ) .. so i'm all for the odd scratch or kick ..

5:37 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

It's funny because I've never really paid attention to the parenting styles of those around me, probably because everyone is pretty laid back. So I'd say just go with what works for you!

7:07 AM  
Blogger Marketing Mommy said...

Maybe it's because I work full time so I'm not in the Mommy-playground trenches, but it seems like my parenting attitudes are pretty similar to those of my friends--we're all pretty laid back.

My in-laws have never given me a word of advice (I know, I'm lucky) and my Mom has backed off significantly. Both of them are so taken with their granddaughter that they figure my husband and I are doing something right.

I've got a thought-provoking (I hope) question up on my blog. If you've got a minute, I'd love your take on cause marketing.

10:17 AM  

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