Childrearing

If You’re Worried About Your Parenting Choices, You’re Probably A Pretty Good Mom

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At that point, I thought about all the parents I know who really care about what their kids see on television. I thought about all the parenting books lining the bottom shelf of my bookcase. I know I am not alone in hoarding an insane about of mommy advice books. I thought about all of our readers who obviously care quite a bit about parenting, mommyhood, and the choices that go along with it. Whatever answer we come up with, don’t you think that all of our children will turn out alright? If we’re all talking about and analyzing how we parent, doesn’t that show that we care enough to be pretty decent parents, no matter what?

Moms online are so hard on each other. And yet, the fact that we’re discussing mothering at all shows that we’re competent ones. It’s not like we couldn’t spend our internet hours debating The Real Housewives or politics. We have plenty of things to talk about outside of the minors we’re responsible for. We discuss our kids because they’re important to us. And by virtue of being a priority in our lives, those kids are going to get the best we have to offer on most occasions.

The Atlantic recently ran a piece called, “The Real Problem With Helicopter Parents: There Aren’t Enough Of Them.” It discussed a parenting engagement gap between those who care very much about parenthood and those who choose to sit back and simply provide basic necessities to children and let them grow naturally. The divide between these parents was evident not just in their approach, but in the time the family spent together. It broke down mostly along parental education lines. College graduates spent more time with their kids and “made a deliberate and sustained effort to stimulate children’s development and to cultivate their cognitive and social skills.”

This piece isn’t about helicopter parenting. It was simply about being an involved and thoughtful parent, no matter what specific ideology you ascribe to. And even more than that, the people who are reading books by Dr. Drinka or Atlantic articles about parenting, they’re the parents who are engaged. They’re the parents who are active. They’re the parents commenting online and engaging in debate.

The very act of reading about and debating parenthood tends to show that this mother or father cares. So maybe we should all stop throwing around the “bad parent” labels so easily. No matter what hot button parenting topic you come across, the proponents on both sides are arguing because they care. That care goes a really long way towards raising great kids.

When it comes to motherhood, I think there really is an “A” for “Effort.” We should remember that next time we start talking about parenting fails.

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