Your thoughts on Child-Centric Parenting?
Most Fridays you can catch me giving my opinions on various issues on CTV Ottawa Morning Live’s Top Talkers. The subject of our latest discussion is something I’ve been teased over and even criticized for. Putting your children’s needs above your own or what some call child-centric parenting. As with most issues in life, perception is everything. A new study is touting the benefits of child-centric parenting suggesting that it creates more happiness for those of us who take that approach.
Given the variable threads missing from the article and lack of TV time to dive into a lengthy conversation that happens repeatedly with friends and family, please allow me to share these thoughts.
Is it child-centric to budget your household around what you value? If I have a certain amount of money to spend on entertainment, I am going to choose quality family programming over a personal indulgence. I am creating a lasting family memory which is where I feel happiest. I have never regretted money or time spent wisely on my children.
Time is something I value dearly and I want to invest that with the people who give me the greatest joy to be around, my two daughters top that list. Does that make me a kid-centric parent?
I chose to be at home more than not until both my children were in school full time. As a single Mother I made financial sacrifices to allow myself that opportunity. I have also chosen to turn down career opportunities in other cities to be more available to my family and keep them close to their Father. His roots are here in Ottawa. Mine are in New Brunswick. I also gave up an opportunity to take a job in my hometown where it would be far less expensive to live and I would have had a lot more help with my children. I am doing my best to do what’s best for my children. This is what I feel is good for our family.
Do I feel that women who don’t do these kinds of things are bad parents? No. We all must find the balance that works for us and our families. Judging one another helps no one for we will never truly know the complete experience of someone else’s life and making assumptions is a dangerous game.
I recognize what I need to be a well rounded mentally, emotionally and physically healthy individual. I do my best to keep that balance in check.
I admit that I mess up a lot. I do my best to apologize when I do and get back on track. I can feel very overwhelmed with life and the balancing act and when I do sit on the doorstep and cry from time to time, it’s not because of my kids. It’s because I need to check my priorities and see where I am overdrawn on the relationship bank account and who I am allowing to get away without making deposits.
Our relationships mirror the issues we need to deal with in life and that includes the relationships we have with our children. I would never blame them for creating stress in my life. Just like in any line of work, you’re responsible for figuring out how to do it most effectively. Same applies to parenting. We make it stressful or not. So can we lose the labels? Lol.