Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Trading Influences

The kids did the dishes and I went off to fold laundry. Two boring minutes later, I remembered my son's iPod. "Hey! There are a lot of good songs on here!" Of course. I had loaded it for him with all my favorite songs from my favorite cd's. Heavy on the rock and light on the folk for him...

One of my guilty pleasures is the show, "Trading Spouses" where they send a parent to live with a different family for two weeks. Even though the show is a production, and the families seem mixed for maximum conflict, and edited for emphasis, and some of the scenes are as real as wrestling, I never fail to learn something. It's fascinating the different levels of intensity vs. laid-backness, or different values that surround each family.

Last week the "new mom" confronted the father about indoctrinating his kids with the evangelical Christian lifestyle. He basically said yes, indeed.

And so I've indoctrinated my children with my taste in music? (It happened to me, Roger Whitaker was funny!) And TV, must watch NOVA, must watch Jeopardy, must watch Nature. And food, my husband eats what I cook. (Or mostly, I eat what he cooks.) And talking to each other, we form a consensus. Or stick to our differences which we can tease each other about. (Or use as alternate solutions.)

It's like a house is a very tiny little world. (It's got all the best people, the ones whose faces make or break your day.)

Funniest thing I saw today: This little turtle is a cute overload!


Sue said...

I never quite developed the taste for Trading Spouses. But I like your point! Besides I think that is what parenting is for, to "indoctrinate" our kids into the values, attitudes and tastes that we think are important. What makes the good parent (and you really seem to be one of these) is to accept that there will be other influences in their lives, and to accept differences and negotiate through them.

Qaro said...

Oh, yay, you are so nice! And my son just read it too and said "Thank you for training me. I'd be smart but I wouldn't be _as_ funny or _as_ smart without you."

Truth be told I don't actually know what I am doing. (My family was hit by the divorce epidemic of the 70's and my mom left when I was 8 or 9.)

I have found at home and at work that there is a hell of a lot of power in not knowing what you are doing.

Sue said...

My mother, whose own mother died when she was 8, had no idea how to deal with an infant and raise children. Consequently she decided that she was not going to allow this to happen to me, and started me babysitting at age 10. At first I babysat at neighbors on the same block within view of my own front door (so I could call for help easily). By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I had thousands of hours of experience caring for children from 2 weeks old to 12 years, including three monts as a full-time nanny/au pair; on top of that I'd taken courses in child development in college. The kicker is that I never did get a chance to be a mother--I didn't marry the first time until age 33, and then nature wouldn't cooperate. The thing is, that I'm not at all sure that I would have been any better at childrearing than my mother was. I think there is a thing as too much knowledge, because every child and every family is unique.

I definitely agree that there is power in not knowing what you are doing! I think I was a lot better teacher when I first began than I am now!

Qaro said...

Wow, I never babysat, well once, but the father didn't leave and suggested we all play hide and seek so I left and I didn't think it was a good idea to ever go back... Don't think that counts.

I am lucky to have friends who tell it like it is who helped me. "Do you know you're supposed to wash his hair?" "Oh really, this young? Won't his head get wet?" : ) So I read the book about how to take care of a baby and followed it.

I can't decide if there is such a thing as too much knowledge... I would definitely change your perspective.

The power in not knowing what you're doing is that you don't know what's not possible. : )