Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Parenting 101" or "Random thoughts of the Day"

Disclaimer: We are not, I repeat not, expecting a child anytime soon (sorry future grandparents).

For now this little guy is the apple of our eye: 

(apple of our eyes? does the idiom encompass a collective "eye"? who knows...)

But, we are talking about the type of parents we want to be when the time comes to add to the Gage family. We both agree that there were a lot of things that our parents did that we want to copy in our own parenting. Go Parents! Your first example of parenting after all, comes from your own parents or the people who are acting in place of parents.

{I secretly live in fear that my children will not obey me in public the way that we did growing up. How did my mom manage that? I don't even remember the option to public...but I digress}

In my newest "big girl" job I work with college students. 
Before this I worked with college students. 
Before that I worked with college students, 
and before that, I was a college student.

Working with college students affords an awesome opportunity to see a variety of parenting up close and personal. I have learned something from every parent encounter I have had, either a point in the kind of parent I hope and want to be some day column, or a point in the 'never in a million years do I hope to end up like this parent' column.

And you get to read awesome articles and books like this one about the parenting of college students. 

The book coins two phrases, "Parenting out of control" and "Parenting with limits". Though I haven't read the book yet, I think I hope to fall somewhere within the two. There are, of course, many different schools of thought and opinions regarding parenting, and there is probably no "one way" to successfully rear children.

{Yes, I did just say "rear children" and I may have thought about Knocked Up while doing it. And I may have left it in for just that reason and the fact that the entire movie made me laugh.out.loud.}

As our friends become parents {continually it seems, I feel like I have seen 120 newborn photos in the last month}, we learn from them too. 

Just the other day I ran into our backyard neighbor, also named Courtney. Her husband is also in the Navy. We chatted for a minute about how I always seem to catch her when I am walking our furry child by and she is trying to wrangle her two kids into the family van. On some mornings, I feel like I am in a movie where I am watching my own future.

She off handedly mentioned that parenting is basically trial by fire. Your friends give you tips and tricks, and you try them. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. You read the books, you employ some of those tips and tricks; some work, some don't. You figure out what works for you and what works for your kids.

So, basically what I have learned from my real world Parenting 101 lately is that parenting is a shoot from the hip sort of pursuit.

That sounds exhausting.

I think I need a nap.


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