What do you do when you don’t know whether what you want to do is ‘right’ or not? Or you think it is a good decision, but what if it isn’t? What if people make a judgement/ assumption?
What if it really is wrong, and you cannot see it?
Who do ask for guidance on a parenting decision?
By what measure, or standard do you weigh your parenting decisions against?
And who, if anyone, has the right to judge you? And against what are they weighing and measuring your decisions?
And how much impact is my anxiety disorder having on my ability to make a decision?? 😉
Here is just one example of what I mean.
Master 7 wants to ride/ walk to school. He has asked us, suggested it, and begged us.
This is not academically a big deal to us, since both parental units think it is ok, as long as precautions are met. However, other parents disagree. Even his teacher commented that “Geez, you are brave, I don’t think I could do that.” This has me doubting myself and my son.
Master 7 catches the bus home, is the only child to get off at his stop and then he walks home about 150 metres.
This is the kid who started making his own breakfast in the morning before he was 4. He now makes his and his brothers breakfast if they are up and we are not up yet. This is voluntarily.
He knows our phone numbers, can do some pretty complex problem solving and is that kid, you know? The one who is the sensible one, makes serious decisions, has a great grasp of consequences and risk. He is mature for his age and perceptive too.
Dear Hubby and I both think he can walk/ ride/ scooter to school, its only 1 km. It is where and when other kids will be walking to school. He has travelled this route many times, on foot and on bike with me and his brother. As a boy Dear Hubby walked to school far further, along a far more dangerous route to school at 6!
Indeed, just catching the bus has its dangers, as we learnt unfortunately day 4 of the last school year. Thankfully everything worked out well, but for 1 hour he was missing and it was horrible just the same.
But what if we are wrong, what if this time, instead of underestimating him, as I am wont to do, we are over estimating him….. Or are we judging him by our childhood, which may not be the best measure?
The consequences of being wrong range from minor to catastrophic. This is not a decision like, should he learn a musical instrument, have I put enough sunscreen on him, when did he last eat vegetables?
But how do I know if the decisions we make the right ones for us? I am aware of the individuality of each child, each decision, each situation. Which makes it hard to compare.
And if you have ever had child protection training, for your profession or role as a mandatory reporter, or for your volunteer position, you can find yourself questioning everything you do.
And I have had to make reports, have had to immediately make a child safe, I have seen the effects of abuse, of getting it WRONG, intentionally and despite the best of intentions, personally and professionally, it touches home, and hits a nerve – neglect, emotional abuse, family violence, physical and sexual violence. I have seen it all. Not as much as the front line workers do (and can I give a standing ovation to all the family and community service workers right now) but enough.
On that continuum Dear Hubby and I are winning, we are awesome. Even according a bloke named Maslow, we are winning.
But any given situation, out of context, as judged by an outsider, can be a fail.
And I, as a self-confessed perfectionist hate the idea of failure and as a parent I can barely think about it, because this is one job I simply will not fail at.
Is parenting like being crazy?
You know you are not crazy, if you wonder if you are crazy?
Therefore, you know you are doing a good job as a parent if you worry – “Am I doing a good job as a parent?”