There are things my husband and I do that probably marks us as the weird parents. Or over-the-top parents. Or even strict parents (although I will argue that we’re not). For instance:
- LO doesn’t eat junk food or sweets.
- LO sleeps by 7:30 almost every night, even if this means we can’t attend family parties in the evening such as Christmas.
- LO doesn’t watch TV.
- Along the same lines, LO doesn’t know media characters, save for a few sesame street and blues clues books.
- LO isn’t baptized or raised religiously.
- We find other ways to say “no” to LO (using positive language, e.g. “walk slowly” as opposed to negative language “don’t run”).
- We’re only now posting photos of LO on Facebook and restrict it to a few friends.
All of these unorthodox parenting probably earned us the title of being weird parents. I don’t think we’re strict parents; to me strict parents are like the dad in the movie Dead Poets Society where he controls everything his son does and his son has no free choice and is so scared of him.
I also don’t think any of the things we do is factually right. Instead, it’s right because it’s what works for LO based on our values, what we’ve learned about parenting, and trial and error. Actually, another parent will do the exact opposite of what we do and say the same thing: they do it because it works for them, it’s based on their values and trial and error. And if we were to ever have another kid, we may have to approach things differently from what works with LO. That’s why it’s not entirely fair to criticize other parents (I mean unless they’re beating the kids or something crazy like that!).
Sometimes it bothers me to know that others may think we’re weird and talk about it. In the end though, what’s important is that we do what we feel is best for LO; what others think is not the top priority.