In my first post, I explained what casual parenting is and I mistakenly likened it to “lazy parenting”. Over the course of the last few months, having spent more and more time around other parents and a variety of other parenting styles, I would like to take this time to retract my previous statement and clarify a few things.
Casual parenting is sitting back and letting your kid(s) learn from experience. Like when Connor ran into the side of the couch because he wasn’t looking where he was going. I didn’t jump in the way and stop him, I said “You should look in front of you so you don’t get hurt.” He didn’t get seriously injured, but he looks up (rather than at his feet) when he’s running more now. Lazy parenting is watching your son repeatedly drop food on the ground at a restaurant, do nothing and excuse it by simply say “Oh, he does this all the time.”
Our job as parents is to teach our children to be kind, respectful, honest, and responsible. You can’t really expect them to grow into decent people if you don’t put the work in from day 1. Parenting takes work. It is, by far, the hardest job in the world, and you never really know if you’re doing it “right” until years later.
I’m not a perfect parent for two reasons:
1. I make mistakes. I’m human. I snap when I should just calmly explain. I react when I should take a step back and think it through.
2. There is literally no such thing as the perfect parent. Don’t let those sanctimommies fool you. No one is perfect. We’re all winging it. Trial and error ftw.
That being said, I know that it’s not ok to let your child run over another in a plastic car-coaster. Connor did that. Yes, it was an accident, but I still made sure he apologized and he wasn’t allowed to play with said car-coaster for awhile. He wasn’t being patient or taking turns, despite being told repeatedly to do so. I might have over reacted some, making him apologize, go inside and tell dad what he’d done, then sit in time out for 2 minutes, but it’s a little unsettling when you see your son drive a car over your friend’s son. He cried and fought the time out, but he stayed in the chair (as per usual) and was more willing to share the rest of the time they were over. Granted, he was 2, so sharing was still a struggle, I didn’t have to get on to him as much and there wasn’t anymore physical violence. For several weeks after the car incident occurred, Connor would still bring it up and be visibly sad because he knew he hurt his friend. He definitely learned from that experience and I expect he’ll be more careful with that toy in the future.
Casual parenting is about letting kids learn for themselves. Lazy parenting is about doing as little as possible and wondering why your kid doesn’t do what you want/expect.
Put in the work, people. Raise good humans. Make the world better. We’ll all be happier for it.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community