Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Theory to Reality?

Welcome to the June 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting:

Parenting in Theory vs. in Reality

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants are sharing how their ideas and methods of parenting have changed.


I made promises to the ether as a kid and even got specific ideas regarding parenting in my head as I became an adult. I like to think I've held true to my own ideals, regardless of what others (especially family members) might have said or thought of my parenting.

Jorje (about 15yo) bakes with a friend.

  • Let my kids eat batter... check!
  • Be honest with kids about previous drug use... check!
  • Answer sex questions honestly, without adding extra embarrassment... check!
  • Don't limit language (cursing, when used in proper context)... check!
  • Let my kids taste alcohol at home so they're not tempted to do so elsewhere... check!

I have, however, had a harder time since having Sasha (my #3). She is my most strong-willed child (thus far). I don't want to explode, but sometimes I do. I don't want to punish, but sometimes I feel like the "options" I offer include a punishment.

AFFILIATE LINK: Your Three-Year-Old; Friend or EnemyAFFILIATE LINK: Your Three-Year-Old; Friend or EnemyI'm trying to research and gain a better understanding of my 3½ year old and how to take a gentle approach. (See affiliate link / book suggestion to the right.) We feel pretty lost much of the time. I was lost for awhile with my teenager, too (she is a special case), but I think we're doing pretty well now there.

How has your parenting style differed from what you expected?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • My little gastronomes — "I'll never cook a separate meal for my children," Maud at Awfully Chipper vowed before she had children; but things didn't turn out quite as she'd imagined.
  • Know Better, Do Better. Except When I Don't. — Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy was able to settle in her parenting choices before her children arrived, but that doesn't mean she always lives up to them.
  • Judgments Made Before Motherhood — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks back on her views of parents she came in contact with before she became a mother and how much her worldview of parenting has changed!
  • A Bend in The Road — Lyndsay at ourfeministplayschool writes about how her visions of homeschooling her son during the elementary school years have changed drastically in the last year - because HE wants to go to school.
  • I Wish Children Came with Instruction Manuals — While Dionna at Code Name: Mama loves reading about parenting, she's not found any one book that counts as an instruction manual. Every child is different, every family is different, every dynamic is different. No single parenting method or style is the be-all end-all. Still, wouldn't it be nice if parenting were like troubleshooting?
  • The Mistakes I've Made — Kate at Here Now Brown Cow laments the choices she made with her first child and explains how ditching her preconceived ideas on parenting is helping her to grow a happy family.
  • I Only Expected to Love... — Kellie at Our Mindful Life went into parenting expecting to not have all the answers. It turns out, she was right!
  • They See Me Wearin', They Hatin' — Erin Yuki at And Now, for Something Completely Different contemplates putting her babywearing aspirations into practice, and discussed how she deals with "babywearing haters."
  • Parenting Human BeingsErika Gebhardt lists her parenting "mistakes," and the one concept that has revolutionized her parenting.
  • Doing it right: what I knew before I had kids... — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud, guest posting at Natural Parents Network realises that the number one game in town, when it comes to parenting, is judgement about doing it right. But "doing it right" looks different to everybody.
  • The Great Breastfeeding Debacle — In Lisa at The Squishable Baby's mind, breastfeeding would be easy.
  • A synopsis of our reality as first time parents — Amanda at My Life in a Nut Shell summarizes the struggles she went through to get pregnant, and how her daughter's high needs paved the way for her and her husband to become natural parents.
  • Theory to Reality? — Jorje compares her original pre-kid ideas (some from her own childhood) to her personal parenting realities on MommaJorje.com.
  • The Princess Paradigm — Laura at Pug in the Kitchen had planned to raise her daughter in a sparkly, princess-free home, but in turn has found herself embracing the glitz.
  • Healthy Eating With Kids: Ideal vs. Real — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs had definite ideas about what healthy eating was going to look like in her family before she had kids. Little did she realize that her kids would have something to say about it.


  1. Ha - I remember many of those promises made to the ether, most made as a teenager ;) I wish I would have written those down - if only to just get back in my teen head when the time is right.

  2. As someone who is navigating this parenting thing for the first time I love the idea of staying true with what you set out for yourself as a youngster! The road of parenting is long and winding with no set path...I'm sure you'll find your discipline approach when you least expect it.

  3. I love your list of resolutions that you've met! I doubt there's a magic way through parenting a strong-willed three-year-old for anyone. There's just the trying, failing, and trying again (don't I know it).

  4. I remember silently judging someone I knew who had a strong willed 3 year old before I had kids. If only she this or if only she that. Wow, have I had to eat my thoughts with my 2nd and 3rd daughters.

    I wish I had parenting ideals from my teen years to compare to but at the time I was never going to have kids, haha! I love your list. My three year old has started a parenting do and don't list and number one is "Never be as mean as you!"

  5. They are all special in their own way and we all lose it sometimes...

    I wasn't going to say to my kids some of the things my parents said to me. I am doing pretty well overall, but sometimes I sound exactly as my mum.

  6. Three year olds are hard enough, I can't imagine having the strength and wisdom to cope with a 3 year old AND a teenager at the same time!! You rock!


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