In talking to other parents, I've come to realize that we all approach parenting with baggage. If your childhood was perfect, maybe you don't. But the rest of us were raised by humans who didn't get quite everything right.
- In households where parents didn't argue, children tell themselves that they will hash things out with their future spouse so that their future children will know how to resolve conflict.
- In households where there were too many children and not enough money, children tell themselves that they won't have a family until all of the education funds are set aside and there is a substanial "emergency" fund. No child of theirs will miss out on one sports activity or summer camp for lack of funds.
- In households where a child was inadequately homeschooled, homeschool isn't an option.
- In households where children had to share a bedroom, bunk beds (and more than 2 children) are strictly forbidden.
I've been trying not to be critical (just observant) of others' parenting convictions even if I want to say, "Oh yeah, well what does the Bible say about that?" Maybe as I listen to others, I will see my own parental baggage and try to moderate it - with God's help.
So I confess.... The first hang-up that comes to mind is my No Sugar Rule. You see, I didn't learn the best eating habits from my family so I want to give my children a good start... that doesn't include an addiction to sugar. I know that I could go to the extreme and forbid birthday cake and popsicles in the summer, but I don't want my children to leave home and binge on M&Ms and Mt Dew because they never learned moderation. I also don't want them to tell my future grandchildren, "Eat all the Cocoa Puffs* you can stand! Would you like some more chocolate milk?"
Have you discovered your hang-ups?
*For the record, I do buy sugar cereals (on sale with a coupon) and we eat it for an occasional treat.