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What/who inspired your parenting style? (Today I realized I'm "Mama Bear")  RSS feed

 
master steward
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Growing up, I had a LARGE collection of Berenstain Bears. Having an older brother, I always identified with "Sister Bear." But, my dad was not like Papa Bear (Papa Bear was always a bit childish, in both good ways and bad ways, and my father was always very responsible), nor my mother very much like Mama Bear. They're parenting styles and personalities are very different.

Today, I pulled out my Berenstain Bears books to read with my kids. My 2 year old daughter instantly identified with Sister Bear, pointing at the pictures and saying her name. And my son identified with Brother Bear. They even call them by their own names!

...And then I realized I'm no longer Sister Bear, I'm Mama Bear!

... And then I realized I parent a whole lot like Mama Bear

Here's me telling my husband and kids to get away from the computer/video game screen to go do something more worthwhile. Oh wait, that's Mama Bear turning off the TV for the very same reasons.



And here's me cleaning up after my children and then threatening to throw the junk away while my children sob.




It makes me wonder if, all that time I spent reading these books had me internalize some of the parenting techniques/reactions, without even realizing it. I try to emulate my own mother, who was always calm and unfazed when I parent, but Mama Bear seems to be my default parenting technique.


Anyway, where do YOU get your parenting techniques from?
 
pollinator
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It makes sense that you would pick up traits from what was seen, no matter example, books, etc.

I have no parenting skills, so I am not a parent.  As my sister says, anyone who can raise cute, tiny, fuzzy chicks and then kill and eat them cant be normal. I like not being normal😀

I like reading parenting tips on permies. It gives me tips to permie-infect the poor innocent kids who cant avoid me in their lives. My nephews want to learn to help with the chickens, so its working (insert evil laugh).
 
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My dad says that before he had kids, he knew exactly how to raise them.  After raising 6, he says he no longer has any idea of the best way.

Raising kids is a subtle business, varying with the child and adult personalities and situations, so each child is a little different.  Don't try to be what you aint.  If you are the mother bear, be a mother bear.  Just be a good mother bear.  Each style has good and bad ways to implement it.  All of them though, require the adult to actually act like an adult.  If you are so focused on your own troubles that you can't focus on your kids, they will end up raising you,  and kids aren't good at that.  

People get all wound up on corporal punishment, quality time, and other extraneous stuff.  You need to be in control.  You need to have some 'give' and reasonableness in your control.  You need to put in the time!  Quality time just happens way more often than it can be scheduled and controlled.  Kids need to know there are limits, they are loved, and that they can become capable.

One of the things that every teenager (and parent of teenagers) goes through is the 'self righteous phase'  when kids realize that their parents screw up sometimes (sometimes it is a screw up, sometimes it's just the kids expectations are higher than a normal human can consistantly sustain).  It's painful for everyone.

I personally took my parents style, mixed it with my grandparents style, adjusted to agree with my wifes families style, and adjusted for things I learned at church and new legal norms, etc.  My wife and I have different relationships with our kids.  It works for us.   I'm a bit of a grandstander, like being the center of attention.  It shows in my parenting style.  My wife plans things meticulously, that is her style.  I can't do that.  I work off the cuff, but is seems to work well, for me.  

The final thing I will say is that both parents need to be on the same page and support each other.  Kids can smell fear or disunity and will take advantage of it for their own nefarious ends, to the whole families detriment.  
 
pollinator
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I came from a very mixed-up background, running from an incredibly loving, nurturing base, on my dad's side, to an equally multifaceted abusive one, on my mom's side. The commonality was the strictness. My ideology was to incorporate all but the abuses, in parenting my own (I'd like to think I was 'channeling' my grandma's wisdom, with my dad's strength). The resulting playful/strict/consistent mingled with as much fairness-as-each-situation-&/or-child-could-be-mustered version of mama bear seemed to work pretty well, though as teenagers, my kids weren't exactly thrilled.

I look back with no delusions. Sometimes, I did it right. Other times, I flat-out mucked it up. Monumentally. The key for me, was that they all knew, beyond doubt, that no matter how angry I was in the moment, my love for them never wavered, never would, and 'This too, shall pass'. No meant NO. Maybe meant maybe, maybe not. And a promise was a promise (so few were ever made). They've actually all come back and thanked me for being 'the mean mom', instead of their best buddy.

So, my dad, and my paternal grandma. I hope they can look down and be proud of their grandkids, while forgiving me for being such a... pita.
 
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