Old school v New

 

Is this generation of mothers more enlightened than their predecessors? 

 

 

‘It amazes me how little knowledge my mother has concerning theories and techniques for raising children. It’s a miracle I survived my own childhood (ha ha ha).’ (anon)

Well in response, we did more than survive it we thrived to become resilient and capable adults, so our parents must have done something right. However, this fact is overlooked as we nit-pick through every minute detail of our childhood and identify apparent shortfalls. Then we smugly and with a condescending tone excuse our parents ‘failures’ because parenting wasn’t as evolved back then. REALLY!?? Are we better parents and are our kids guaranteed to be successful people because of the abundance of expert information that is now at hand?

 

 

‘What school of thought do you subscribe to?’

 

It quite often appears that unless you follow a prescribed ‘modern’ parenting style then you are somehow ‘doing it wrong’. I’ve heard some mothers describe their parenting theory from the latest parenting guru with such conviction that it’s hard to question their unshakable faith. The longer I’ve been a mother the more I have begun to realise that these ‘new techniques’ are actually often old ‘tried and true’ ones that have been merely repackaged into a new shiny contemporary format. Many mothers who have been there and got the shirt often say: ‘Yeah we did that too with our babies but we didn’t call it anything or read books about raising our kids. We just asked our mothers or grandmothers for help.’

 

Why do we put so much trust in ‘experts’ and forget to listen to our mothers or grandmothers?

 

Perhaps it has a lot to do with our pride and  the way in which the advice is heaped on us when we are still rather sensitive about our parenting skills. Taking advice from a book may make us feel more empowered and conversely, arms us with knowledge which we can then use to rebuke the often unsolicited advice (even if well-intentioned). Thus we prove that we are capable of raising our kids and thanks to the good education that we have received, we can ‘utilise’ all this revolutionary advice that they (older parents) just can’t comprehend.

 

‘Have you heard about the latest APP for toilet training your toddler?’

 

All these experts, theories and techniques completely overwhelmed me when I first became a mother. However, once I opened my mind to the advice that was being offered to me from more experienced mothers it then seemed less mysterious. More often than not, the advice being dished out stems from the mistakes and lessons they have learnt from their experience. Experts can prove very insightful and I don’t question the validity of the ‘true’ experts (shout out to Jo Frost aka ‘Super Nanny). BALANCE! I guess it’s about picking and choosing what suits your parenting goals. Listen to everyone with an open-mind and that includes the older-generation whose wisdom shouldn’t be underestimated.

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Domestic soldier

 Hi. I'm a mother of three rambunctious children and have been a stay-at-home mother for over 8 years. This experience has been an emotional roller-coaster ride with many highs and lows. My aim with this site is to share my journey as a mother and to express my thoughts. I refer to myself as a 'domestic soldier' and not a 'domestic goddess' as I believe the latter conjures up unobtainable ideals. Being 'Imperfect' shouldn't be frowned upon but celebrated as we try to be less critical of ourselves and others. I welcome all who would like to contribute their ideas to this site. Cheers!

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