Parenting is hard.
I could totally end this blog post right there and that would be enough. Truth. Parenting is hard. But you know what makes it harder? Finding a middle ground when two parents come from totally different backgrounds. Matt and I were not only raised differently but we have the whole two culture, two countries things going on. Matt is Filipino and his parents are very traditional. His family is loud and boisterous and everyone talks over everyone else. There is never a dull moment when everyone is together. He was raised in the respect your elders Asian culture- very strict.
I was raised by a British mom and a military dad. Can you say strict? My dad had daughters. He didn’t mess around. My first date was met at the door with my dad cleaning his disassembled rifle. Yeah. There was no second date. I cannot imagine why. There was no negotiation in my house- and the penalty for dissent was harsh. I had a great childhood but there were expectations and you were expected to meet or exceed them. Period. I have to give credit though- my work ethic is a direct result of my childhood.
Matt and I had an idea of how we were going to raise our kids before we had them. That sentence makes me laugh now. Then we had kids. Yeah. It’s been a 12 work in progress to mesh our parenting styles into one but we finally have it figured out. We are not strict parents. We are fairly easy going and laid back. We allow our kids some freedom until they prove they can’t handle it. We have house rules and we expect those rules to be respected and obeyed. Matt and I were both smothered and restricted to death as kids and we rebelled. Oh boy did we rebel as teenagers. We’re trying to avoid that happening with our own kids. The mere thought of our kids doing some of the incredibly stupid things we did as teens makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. The one thing we have always made a priority is keeping a united front with the kids. There is no divide and conquer in our house. No way. Mom backs up dad and dad backs up mom. If we disagree, it’s done behind closed doors when we hash out the issue.
That’s not to say the kids don’t see us argue. We argue. They see us argue, they see us resolve it, and they see us move on. That’s life. But we never argue about parenting issues in front of them. Come one people, that’s like waving a bloody stump in front of a hungry shark. Kids can smell indecision. No seriously, they can smell it.
We’re reaching the teen years with Ty and the tween years with Cam and Maia. Attitudes and back talking are starting to happen. I suddenly feel a great deal of remorse for the way I acted as a teen. My poor mom. So we soldier on, adjust rules and consequences as needed, and do the best we can to raise socially well-adjusted kids who will be productive members of society one day.
Have you had to find a way to mesh two different parenting styles? How did you do it?