Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Really Good Read

One of my very favorite adoption blogs is written by a funny, thoughtful, purposeful momma known to the bloggy world as Tonggu Momma. She's articulate, well-read, and excellent at sharing with her readers the great resources she finds in the adoption community. I've learned so much from her writings and her links. But I've also thoroughly enjoyed learning from her. Her point of view, her wisdom and her life experiences all blend together when telling a story. She keeps me completely engaged and I always walk away with a new idea to ponder. And usually with a grin on my face, too. The antics she relates about her Little Tongginator are priceless.

Today, she's written a post that totally resonates with me. It's a parenting issue that I think and talk about frequently in my circle of friends. It seems to me that it's a bit more poignant for those of us who are parenting girls in this culture, given the extreme focus on the outer trappings of beauty and popularity that start infecting our children's lives earlier and earlier every year. But as the mom of three boys, I definitely have strong feelings and opinions about how my sons should be navigating this journey also.

Please, head over there and read it. Give Tonggu Momma some bloggy love and share your thoughts. But get yourself back over here and chat me up with your thoughts on the topic also. I really want to hear from the other "Mean Moms" on the block. And if you don't think you are a "Mean Mom" (or Dad, for you Aus!), I do want to hear from you too. I love sharing ideas and hearing your experiences.

*Edited in the afternoon:
Additional rumination
and resonating by the author
has occurred in the comments :)


Salzwedel Family said...

LOVED her post - thanks for sharing. I am a mean mom too. The fact that my 8th grader has to be in bed by 9:30 is absolutely repulsive to the vast majority of her friends. I think tonnggu mom is right - too many people are parenting out of fatigue/stress and their desire to be their kids friend. Not my style at all. Yes, I get stressed, but I can't base the majority of my parenting decisions out of that.

Darcy said...

Ooo! Another "mean mom" stepping up to the plate. My 10 year old goes to bed at 8:30. No cable here, either. I do allow printing on shirts...but, appropriate printing. In general, no cartoon characters on the clothing - I did break down and buy a Bam/Bam shirt and Tinkerbell shirt for my son and daughter. No writing on the bottoms either. I do not apologize to anyone for standing firm and do not allow "the world" to influence my parenting. I love that she addressed this topic!! You go, girl! ;o)
Mean Mom in KY!!

pups n horses said...

Very interesting topic…….and yet very personal to each. I am on the other end of the parenting rainbow. Bed time is usually pretty late 10 – 11 pm. Pretty open about what he wears but not allowed to wear shirts and such with skulls etc… I don’t believe there is any wrong or right way to raise a child as each family, and each child is so very different. Just because people do things differently does not mean they are under the influence of the world around them in a negative way. I remember a mom at our church approaching me and suggesting that I take the group study on parenting because I needed it. At first it was a slight punch to the stomach but then I have stand back and know that I am the only one that knows and truly understands the way my child works. Yes we do things differently but don’t count us out, and don’t think we are any less a Christian than those around us. I have two friends that chose to raise their children under what I would consider to be the helicopter method. The children are now grown, and boy oh boy did these moms have a tough time once these kids hit 18 and graduated. They watched their children so closely, and monitored every move that they took away the freedom from their children to make choices. And also took away the chance for the kids to be who they were meant to be. There are good and bad sides to each method of parenting. I will be the first to admit that I don’t have a clue about raising an 11 year old boy but I am doing the best that I know how to do. The moms that have strict rules about bedtimes and such -- I say go for it. You are not “mean moms”, you are just moms.

The Gang's Momma said...

An added note: I think it's important to point out that no one here is calling into question anyone's Christianity. Parenting with boundaries is tricky to navigate. I'm just thankful I have the benefit of a solid starting point for our family's identity: The Word.

Additionally, it's equally important to point out that parenting has seasons and SHOULD be based firstly on the Word. That never changes. Our intentions, visions for family identity, decisions, and styles of parenting can then flow out of that. Down the list in priority comes one's individual knowledge of the child.

I prefer to think that our home is less about the RULES and more about the intention of the heart. More about who we desire to become as a family. Keeping one's heart and mind pure early on lessens the need to go back and create rules for an unruly home or an unruly heart. Boundaries and principles of character are not the same as rules.

I was gonna say that in the original post but ran out of time to sit and think it through!

Our Journey to Rachel said...

I am so a mean mom and honestly, I don't care. Just the other day, I saw a very young girl with a word smacked across her rear and thought to myself, why would a parent allow attention to be brought to her bottom. I do think we need to monitor such clothes.

As for bedtime, we do have a schedule during the week, but I don't get upset if we are off a little. I'm flexible and try to enjoy the time with them, especially since I work full-time.

Aus said...

Well - shame on you for linking to another blog that I've had to add to my read list....but what's a little sleep between friends - right?

Yeah - if you ask my older kids when they were high school age - there would have been times you were told that I suck as a parent. I considered it high praise and always followed it up with a "Yeah I do - and I love you too!"

We're mean (except maybe over food), and while we have 'target bed times' - there are frequently 'living life issues' that will cause some flexibility on that (30 - 45 minutes a couple times a week) - but pretty much never after 9!

Look at the older 3 - As the kids got older - in particular being a high tech crime investigator - we had hard and fast restrictions on computers / online chat / and didn't get cell phones until they were out of high school! Yeah they were 'loosers' in school too. (Ideas on tech and kids at )How'd it turn out?

25 YO biomedical engineer and Phd candidate at WSU.
24 YO high school teacher, in her 2nd year of teaching was appointed chair of the science dept of the school. Masters degree BTW.
20 YO college student in pre-pharm who took the PCAT's a year early and feels pretty confident he did well - "It really was pretty easy".

The younger 3? Still wild cards.

All 6 of them (at least the 5 we have home) are happy, maintain the highest ethical standards, and have integrity. I'm good with that!

In your comments both in defense and rebuttal to "pups" - I'll agree with you 100% that the parent is really the only one who 'knows' how to manage the child and I'll defend a parent's 'right' to raise their kids how they think is right! But I'd be remiss if I didn't say that there IS a wrong way to raise children. IMHO raising children to be self-centered, selfish, and young adults long before their years, raising them without a moral compass (Christian works for me - but regardless of your faith structure), that does both a dis-service to the kids and to the world!

I'll get off the soap box now - GREAT POST - and yeah - I'm with you!

hugs and a load of love and support -

aus and co.

Cindi Campbell said...

Well, mean mom here too! Very well written and we agree on most points. After raising 3 children to adulthood I think I can add something here I don't think parents are considering and that is the friend factor vs time spent with parents. I see it in parents all the time ( and it is fine for our children to have friends) but not at the expense of time spent with family. I know that I myself failed in this area on occasions and it is the one thing I wish I had done insist on the family get together over the friend party/get together .

We also will not have suggestive words on my girls behinds and they are going to be children as long as possible. LOL . Even now we are dealing with "I'm not a baby , mom" My typical statement "You have a long time to be an adult , but a short time to be a child, so don't be in such a hurry to grow up"