One Thing I've Come to Realize

Thursday, September 23, 2010
Recently Paige had a playdate with a school friend of hers that she had never before.  This meant me getting to know the parents better.  This friend is very sweet and quieter than Paige and I was curious as to what their household was like.

I've come to realize that it is very hard to assemble a confident idea about whether parents parent like myself or not.  For example, this mother drives her kids to school when there is a bus service available -for the reason of avoiding throwing her daughter "to the sharks."  I thought that line of reasoning was a little overprotective, but can understand it to a point.  But then this is contradicted by the girl's 5 year old brother having a bin FULL of play guns of all kinds and my learning that both this friend and her little brother have TVs in their own room.  What?  Officially confused. 

This is when it came to me that it would be great if it were totally acceptable and expected to hand out parent questionnaires to other parents to get a good feel for the household atmosphere.  It would include questions like: how do you treat bedtimes in your house?  What is your view of family meals?  And what type of rules do you have regarding TV watching?  Things like that.  Not that I wouldn't allow my kids to go to those houses whose answers would be vastly different from mine...just that it would be really nice to have a feel for what type of environment my kids are visiting when they do. 

And that brings up the subject of protecting your child in general.  I've come to the conclusion that more important than preventing harmful messages / ideas / experiences for your kids (though that is a good first line of defense) it is also important to teach your kids how to deal with those things if / when they are faced with them. 

For example, today in the grocery check out line I was appalled at the headline messages on popular magazines.  I was also thankful that my avid reader, Paige, was not with me and the boys.  The word s*x was in bold 4 different times on different magazines as were other words that go along with the topic that NO DOUBT would have sparked questions that I SHOULD NOT HAVE to answer.  In my opinion, a magazine advertising feature stories with such gusto on their covers belong cellophane-wrapped on the top shelf along with the other smut, NOT at elementary school aged kids' eye level, thank you very much, Cosmopolitan.


heresthediehl said...

you know i love the parenting survey idea :)

and ditto on the magazines...please. i've turned really inappropriate covers around in the checkout lane when the boys are with me. yep. i'm that mom.

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