Thursday, August 13, 2009

Not A Complete Copycat

I always assumed that most parents got at least part of their parenting skills from their own parents. Of course, these would be modified for generational differences but at least some of all the good as well as not so good practices would filter through. I also thought that perhaps there were people out there who developed their own parenting skills by consciously NOT parenting the way their own parents did. However, even with these people, something of their parents ways must trickle through.

Yesterday, I came across an interesting article. Research conducted by the Ohio State University showed that women do in fact mimic what their own mothers did. So, I was right there. However, it seems that nothing was passed on to the men. (So, maybe dads just make things up as they go along. I had a feeling that was the case anyway!) The study didn't go on to show if men mimicked their own dads.

I know I have partly become my own mother but there has also been a huge chunk of parenting advise from her that I just couldn't follow. Everything about the way Aaron was fed and put to sleep as a baby is completely different and I think it was because I breastfed and she didn't. I'm thankful that she has been open minded enough to see that I had to do things differently to her.

For all the other basic things like, bed time now, limiting TV time, lots of reading, not buying too many toys, not purchasing the toys in front of Aaron, avoiding sugary foods and many many others, I hear her words coming out of my mouth!

As a young child, I LOVED LOVED LOVED stickers. I think all kids do. Unfortunately, my mother thought they were a waste of money. So, the only stickers I got were the freebies in cereal or sometimes inside a loaf of bread or maybe something from a generous friend. I did eventually build up a decent collection that I was proud of.

These days, I've noticed that stickers are unavoidable. If my mom was a mom today, I'd HAVE stickers. All the activity books for young kids come with stickers - cute, colorful, 'educational' stickers. So, both Aaron and I have been enjoying them. What surprised me today is that a part of my mother has still managed to trickle through.

We finished using up all the proper stickers and were left with just the frames. And what thought should enter my head? "What a waste this is. The remaining parts are all stickers too!"

So here's what we did:

I stuck the 'frames' on pieces of paper and they were now apartments. Aaron continued to have fun drawing people and other stuff inside the apartments. The black was night time and the white, day.

That part of my mother (the don't-waste-your-money part) often annoys me because it has permeated all aspects of my life and I find that I refrain from buying a lot of things that I want because of it. There is good and bad to that but at least for today, we saw the good.


Mike said...

The first comment on the article was pretty funny.

John said...

A silly assumption that boys would learn how to be a father (that's what boy parents are) from their mothers!

Anonymous said...

Boys just simply chose NOT TO grow up just like their fathers!

fiona said...

aww.. that was cool, using the frames for 'apartments'. there's creativity!

as for motherhood, i'm one who in many many ways refrain to be like my mum. er-hm.. but she's great not to interfere with my style at all.

to each his own, i guess.

you're certainly one doing a good job. :)