Monday, January 21, 2008


so lately, I feel like I've been exposed to.. in some fashion or another... questionable parenting techniques.

today was a doozie, and I SWORE I was just going to walk away... not say anything. "let it go, let it go...." I told myself.

I went upstairs and folded some laundry. but that got me fired up even MORE, cause I was folding the kids' clothes... so that just made me stew.

so as you may or may not know.. a few weeks ago, I took a parenting survey. sick.. unsettled.. the whole deal. you can read back.. it's only a few posts ago. so TODAY.. I'm reading online about a friend who has a friend who is smoking. while pregnant.

ok... I see isolated cases of stupidity like ALL the time.. most of the cases from myself, as chance would have it.. cause well.. I'm around myself the most. but the smoker apparently admitted to knowing that smoking while pregnant is bad... but JUSTIFIED it by saying that HER mother smoked while she was pregnant with HER, and since SHE turned out ok, that she's going to smoke, too.

right... because APPARENTLY the nicotine exposure she had in her life has had no effect on her cognitive reasoning ability... and since she herself is now not addicted or anything.. she's just CHOOSING to expose her unborn child to nicotine. cause you know.. she's fine and everything.

or you know.. spanking. "my parents spanked ME, and *I* turned out ok!!" Cause I guess bullying, hitting or otherwise ABUSING a CHILD 20-30 years younger than you is considered 'ok' behavior.

I find a cases like these behaviors for someone in my age group to be as equally appalling as racism. I mean SERIOUSLY. That old adage "well it worked for my parents, and *I* turned out ok" is shameful. I mean, UNLESS your parent is like 3 or 5 years older than you... I do not see how ANYONE in my generation could subscribe to that line of thinking.

in 'my parents' day"... yes... they drank a few beers while driving. we as children sat on laps.. or in the back-back with no seat belts. wooden spoons and belts and waiting for fathers coming home were feared. people smoked. indoors. drugs were done and unprotected sex was had. and hey.. we came out ok. right?

but that was then and this is now. I'm not saying that what my folks did or didn't do was right or wrong. what I AM saying is that we're playing a different ballgame now. in the last thirty years... information has become available. research has been done. medical documentation has PROVEN the effects on a fetus of smoking, drinking and/or doing drugs while pregnant. We also have learned that SHAKING a baby to quiet it while screaming can cause brain damage.

I mean.. I'm no doctor.. but some of this shit is SO BASIC and considered common knowledge now that I can't understand how people can say ... "yeah, well.. I'll take my chances".

For whatever parenting techniques my parents might have employed that I do or do not agree with... I do so because I'm making my choices based on the information available to me... as in right here and now. just like they did thirty years ago. (ok.. thirty PLUS years ago) I do not in any way fault my parents for anything they may have done "wrong' by today's standards. They did the best they could based on the knowledge, resources, and history available to them at the time. SHIT.. there's things that I do differently with Danny because shit changed over the 2 years that passed between his and rhena's birth.

Were my parents WRONG for pulling a britney and having me on their lap while they drove to get their cheetos fix at a local store? NO. they didn't even HAVE car seats back then. SO why was the media so agog at Brit-Brit's choice to go without the car seat? I mean.. hey.. SHE turned out ok, right?

And listen.. I know my argument of things working for parents etc doesn't hold up in ALL categories. I feel that my parents did A SHITLOAD of things right... and many many many are behaviors I chose to expose my children to. But being a sensible adult now.. being a parent myself now.. I feel it is my DUTY... for the sake of the innocent humans I brought into this world.. to make the best decisions based on information available to me... and not just press play and repeat.


Susie said...

Well said...I can actually remember riding on the ARMRESTS for the FRONT seat BETWEEN my two parents. NICE! My mother and father also smoked through pregnancy and while they can't say for sure that's why I came out with some minor repair work needed, but they can't say that it didn't either. Some people live charmed lives full of justifications for their choices... so charmed becaues they actually believe themselves.

I don't think I'm a perfect parent but I do believe there are some choices parents face that require sacrifices. But when people make the selfish choice to bring children into the world they need to make such sacrifices.


Liza said...

i too rode on the armrest in the front seat and on my dad's lap while he was driving when I was little. My mom didn't have a carseat for my sister when she was born. Things have changed.

Marianna said...

I remember riding on the back ledge of my Mom's car. The area where the window meets the back seat. I never wore a seatbelt either. Now? I can't imagine going without it!

Britney ~ I honestly feel sorry for her. It's bad enough the media is all over her every single move. But having a mental illness as bad as being bipolar is hard enough without having photographs taken at every move. Granted, I'm not sure how much is a result of her being bipolar & her being just plain stupid.


Christi said...

Ummm, my dad is three years older than me...does that mean anything?

Okay, okay, he's my stepdad, but still...just wanted to throw some shock value in there!