Rules for Childrearing

When it comes to children, you just have to do the best you can with the resources available to you.

Some people worry that they are not doing everything in their power to keep their children healthy, or they feel the need to tell you that you are not doing everything in your power to keep your children healthy.  Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you, it is absolutely fine if the kid has a dirty face, stained clothing, or they eat off the floor on occasion. It’s not the end of the world if your beautiful newborn baby isn’t taking to the concept of breastfeeding very well; the breast may be best for some but formula is available for the rest.  The healthiest children are happy children.  Forcing a tit in your baby’s mouth over and over when nothing is coming out and you’re getting frustrated with the whole situation and hating yourself for not being able breastfeed isn’t conducive to a happy child.  Screaming at your child because they dropped their food on the floor at mealtime and promptly shoved said food back into their mouth isn’t conducive to a happy child.  Freaking out over every little smudge or stain on their clothing, their bodies, or your furniture isn’t conducive to a happy child.

Some people give themselves migraines over trying to figure out their children’s best education paths.  Deciding between home school or public school or private school is a stage I’m not at yet with my own kids, but it wasn’t that long ago that I was falling through the cracks of my public schooling, only to land in a safety net called Job Corps.  There’s no wrong answer, though. Some children excel in public schooling, some in a home school setting, some in Magnet schools or parochial schools.  I have atheist friends who send their children to parochial schools.  I assume their reasoning is: what better way to help your child decide whether or not they are religious than sticking them in the most religious school setting you can find?

Religion is another big decision people fret over.  Should I take them to my place of worship?  If I don’t have a place of worship should I let them go to places of worship? Should I allow them to explore other places of worship?  Should they be told about Santa Clause?  What if I tell them that my religion is the one they should follow or that Santa is real and people question their beliefs?  All valid questions…there are no right answers.

Robert and I are pagan but we’re not raising our children with any particular set beliefs.  They are being raised with morals, but the beliefs will come later in their own time, whatever paths they choose.  Santa is a marketing ploy as far as we’re concerned.  But I have taken Luna to two different churches so far; family members were going and I was visiting with them.  And I don’t throw away or send back gifts and cards that reference Santa or religion.  I’ll just make sure that my children are able to explore religion without feeling pressured to make any particular decisions at a young age.

I know how I feel my children need to be raised.  I cannot say how your children should be raised.  I have my opinions, which I share through blogging or facebook debates or if friends ask me for advice, but I know that my way of raising my children is not the only way of raising children.

Isn’t it crazy how some people treat every parenting decision as potentially cataclysmic? There are only three rules for parenting: don’t molest, maim, or murder your kids. And it’s not hard to avoid those things. Well…it may seem hard to avoid maiming or murdering them when they erase your hard drive the week of college finals (happened to a friend of mine) or dump a family sized canister of Country Time Lemonade powder all over the boneless beef ribs you’re thawing for dinner (that’s Luna’s handiwork) but you figure out how to deal (those lemonade marinaded ribs were awesome!) and you go on with your life because they are your progeny, your joy, your life, your future.

Kim Wilde–Down town the young ones are going. Down town the young ones are growing. We’re the kids in America. We’re the kids in America. Everybody live for the music-go-round.

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