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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Over-thinking parenting?

This is not really a rant. This is just me TUI - Typing Under the Influence - tapping away at my keyboard under the influence of certain thoughts that visit me on and off. I try to shut the door on them, but the door sticks once or twice leaving me feeling defiant when there is nothing to defy. I resign and try to work through them while laying in bed thinking about the things I have to do for work the next day, for home the next day, things I'd like to do for myself, for Ana the next day...

My mom didn't really read to me or my brother when we were Ana's age, D's parents didn't really engage him constantly when he was Ana's age, but, we all turned out fine. Despite? or, As A Result Of?

That is my nagging thought.

Does recognizing some potential and encouraging it equate to providing a rich development environment with a variety of activities and steady nurturing, while cutting out all other influences we might consider negative in some way?

It was never a no-TV rule for Ana, but, only DVD shows approved by both parents after serious consideration, especially when we feel there is some educational value in it.

We let her watch baby DVDs like Underwater Adventures with manatees and sting rays and sea horses - things that were exotic to me when I was little - and when we took her to the Newport Aquarium, she was thrilled to see a few sea creatures head-on, after having seen them on TV.

The good news is that we don't have CableTV or DirecTV or SatelliteTV or anything.

We didn't own a TV when I was little, but, D watched quite a bit of TV as a kid. He is the most creative guy I know (well, OK, I might be biased there). But, the fact is, despite all the TV-watching, he turned out alright.

So, I don't fret too much when D turns on the TV/DVD on weekends when Ana is around. She is probably one of the handful of 2-yr olds who recognizes (vaguely) the Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

I don't remember my mom or my aunts ever sitting down with us 3-4-yr-olds (when we were little, I mean) trying to do crafts projects, read to us daily, or provide some structured learning activities for us.  My cousins and I, in our own way, are keen on arts and crafts, and are (despite my modesty protesting) fairly well-read.

However, one common thread I noticed among my friends and cousins and me is that our moms and dads happen to be wonderful role-models. I have not seen my mom without a book/magazine, or some craft project she is working on, when I was growing up. Not to mention all the wonderful cooking she always does. They listened when we really needed to say something, they responded with proper support and guidance, they let us be and yet drew the boundaries...

I am convinced that Ana will turn out fine, Despite (even if not As A Result Of), all the things we throw at her as fledgling parents, well-intentioned, of course.

I don't belong to any Mommy group. I have never had a play-date for Ana. I don't have many friends close-by who have toddlers Ana's age to arrange any sort of social activities. Ana goes to daycare. Has fun. Comes home. Has fun. For the most part. We try to arrange field trips as often as possible, but, not too often. Am I depriving her of anything as a result?

Is it possible that I am over-thinking parenting, trying to micromanage and fine-tune every detail of her life in the hope that that would give her an edge as she grows up?



At 4:37 AM, Blogger Jayarama Krishnan said...

When in doubt, agree with hubby. That's a funda which would work well for both ;)

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Hullo. Hopped over from Poppin's Mom's blog.

I do agree with what you say about over-analysing it. I started out doing but my son managed to get me back to a more rational parenting. (It was either that or go mad trying to keep him 'stimulated'.)

I love your template, btw. I've been looking for a new one myself. Hate the one I'm using right now. :)


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