How do you balance your parents' viewpoints about childrearing with your own when you're a parent?
I want to respect their advice but have my own ideas about raising my kids....
A parent has ultimate responsibility for establishing and enforcing the rules and theories that apply to their children. Just as your parents did with you.
That said, a grandparent has many years of general experience and specific experience with you. You can evaluate their experience (and success or failure) by taking a look at yourself and remembering their parenting and what it meant and how it worked.
If you take the things they did that made you feel loved, worthwhile, valued and good and use them, or some version of them, in your own parenting then you can blend it in wtih your own style. (Be certain to exclude any of their parenting that made you feel bad, worthless or unloved.)
So, in a nutshell, you have the advantage of personally having seen your own parents (and those of your friends) in action. Take the best and merge it with your own approach. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.
Be flexible enough to reassess and make changes if warranted. In the end, however, you are the final authority on your children.
It depends on whether or not their viewpoints undermine the values you are trying to instill in your children. It is probably good for your children to adjust to different standards of different people, they will adjust better in the real world. It is good for kids to feel secure with other family members so they would not feel completely abandoned if something happened to you. If possible, I recommend telling your children how you expect them to behave around you, and in your absence, they need to respect your parents. I am assuming your parents are not teaching your children things that are immoral, illlegal or unethical. It is good for children to be exposed to different viewpoints. In a perfect world, it makes them better critical thinkers.
When I had my first child, my mother gave me some great advice. She said to remember what I liked about growing up but also to change what I didn't like-- that we are an evolving species and it starts with what we teach our children.
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