Your thoughts on Child-Centric Parenting?

| April 17, 2013 | 4 Comments

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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.

Read more on Canada.com: Parents who put their kids’ needs above their own are happier, finds study

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.

Photo credit: Theophilos / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Category: Dads, Kids, Moms, Relationships

About the Author ()

How do you rebuild your life after family trauma and during mental health challenges when you feel your grip on hope is slipping? Katherine Dines is on the infinite journey of happiness and learning to thrive with forgiveness & gratitude. Katherine Dines is a Mother and voice actor, based in Canada's Capital, with international credits on projects including Hasbro's Tropical Tycoon Monopoly & Warner Brothers' Friends DVD Trivia Game. Juggling the demands of single parenting since 2002, Katherine is currently sharing her passions on the airwaves of Majic 100.3 FM Radio while navigating opportunities to express through film, tv & internet projects. Love, laughter & inspiring music rank at the top with love for her daughters motivating her enthusiasm for self discovery and healing.

Comments (4)

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  1. Mel says:

    Your style of parenting sounds normal to me! I also commend you for wanting what’s best in regards to your children and their father. It’s not easy co-parenting with an ex. I wish my husband’s ex had the same attitude you so about staying close to their dad. She first moved 2 hours away to attend school and then she moved across the country to further her education. Needless to say, that affects the relationship my husband has with his children.

  2. Ron says:

    In reading this, Katherine, I think to myself ‘it’s not forever’. We will always and forever be there for our children, no matter what or where but there is a time that will come when you, as a parent, can take a step back and let them ride on their own…ready to catch them if they fall. Koodos to you for arranging your life to make theirs more balanced with two parents. I too am a single parent, part time dad who praises my daughters mother on Mother’s and Father’s day.

    You’re doing great for your daughters and for yourself.

  3. kathy downey says:

    When my kids were small I always put myself last and made sure they had what they need,they are adults now and I can have the extras I want

  4. kathy downey says:

    shared on FB thought it was a great read for some of my friends !

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