As far as parents go, I have to say I'm pretty damn lucky. I have a mom who
is was all up in my business, and a dad who still teaches taught me about the "real world". From her I learned how to stay strong when my babes are playing every card they have hoping I will cave, and from him I learned to question authority, even if I had to follow the rules. Between the two of them, I learned what kind of mom I was going to be. A delicate mix of authoritarian and friend, caregiver and teacher. It's what I know, and I have never, ever, questioned it.
But, as I have come to learn, and more importantly understand, all of my babes have a healthy dose of The Chef in them. Although I see more of me in some than I do the others, they are not copies of me. What worked for my parents in raising me, isn't always going to work with my babes. I never was 100% satisfied with the job I was doing as their parent. It felt as if something was missing from the core skill set that had been ingrained in my being from my own childhood. I could never quite put my finger on what was "wrong", so I consequently dismissed it as the baggage that all parents carry with them.
Then, while doing something completely different, I stumbled across this video. Watch the first 45 seconds or so if you don't want to watch the entire thing (The video is 8 mins, but worth it).
You own you. No one else owns you.
This struck a chord inside of me, and although I had accepted my (perhaps imagined) shortcomings as a parent, a thousand light bulbs were suddenly turned on.
Even though I had not meant to treat my babes as "lesser" entities, I had been. I had been treating them like they were an extension of both The Chef and I, and not the individuals that they are. I had been treating them as possessions. I had always known that they were their own people, but now I understand that they are their own people...
... and it has changed the way I parent them.
For instance: not that I was ever free with my hand across their bum for a spanking, but I would be lying if I said that I never did it, (and click this link for an explanation of why/how I did it) I doubt very seriously that I will ever raise my hand to Pineapple. Even at her tender age of 22 months, I do not own her.
I never thought that parenting was static. I believed that certain fundamentals would always exist, but being awakened the way that I have been, has filled me with equanimity, and that is something that has been missing for far too many years.
(End Note: I know what the video is. It describes the Philosophy of Liberty as defined by the Libertarian Party (and just in case you didn't know, I am a Libertarian). You can find out more about Libertarians HERE and the Libertarian Party HERE).