It is mothering Sunday tomorrow-and I reflect on the way I raise my children. According to them and some of their friends, I must be the strictest mum on this planet! Does that make me feel bad? I am not sure to be honest. I am not a parenting expect but what I do know is that Children are more likely to grow into well-adjusted adults if their parents are firm disciplinarians. Being a multicultural family, with my husband being British from a middle class family and I coming from the other side of the world, Seychelles to be precise, from a very traditional and religious Seychellois family, I always knew that parenting was going to be ‘tricky’. We are living in the UK and I am bringing my children up the way I was brought up in Seychelles. Probably one will say “wrong location and cultural environment”… Is that so wrong? When love crosses borders things are not always that simply.My husband is quite laid back and apart from making sure the children are polite and respectful to others he is very strict on how the children sit at the table, hold their fork and knife…sometimes I laugh about it because when I was growing up I ate on a bench, with my plate balancing on my knees and using a spoon to eat everything and I mean everything! I did not have the luxury of sitting at a fancy dinner table with knife and fork ( That came much later in my life) . I was brought up in more of an outdoor settings -free spirited and adventurous instead of watching lots of television so there is a lot of restriction on TV in our house. When it comes to discipline, my husband is a little bit more relaxed and feels really bad after dishing out his punishment for bad behaviour…ME; well, my children think I am too hard on them. I firmly believe that traditional ‘authoritative’ parenting, with high expectations of behaviour with warmth and sensitivity will lead to more ‘competent’ children. I do not believe that I am doing any harm just because my style of parenting is different to the other mothers at my Children’s school. They both seems to be happy children, very bright and well behave so I must be doing something right.
- No sleepover is allowed-their friends can come and sleep over but they are not allowed to go over. Maybe when they are teenagers but I told them not to hold their breath! I will not be able to forgive myself if something happen to my children under the responsibility of another parent.
- No TV during the week-they are only allowed TV during the weekend (starting Friday evening and there is a limit)
- Time restriction on XBox and other gadgets-They have all the modern gadgets, such as XBox, DS, Play station, Tablets and Kindle. They get no more than 3 hours per day (Saturday, Sunday and holidays). how they spread the time is entirely up to them. There is no limit on Kindle because they use it for reading!
- My 11-year-old daughter said her friends think she is weird because she has not seen Hunger Games (whatever that is!) If she has not seen it then it is because she is not old enough. There is a reason why there is a certification on films!
- NO they do not have a phone even if all their friends do. What can a 11 year old girl and 9 year old boy need a phone for? We drop them to school, we pick them up and if they are not well the school call us. If their friends want to call we do have a house phone…am I being unreasonable?
- They do have an e-mail address each because we have done some traveling and they have friends overseas. Obviously I have the passwords! They can Skype using my account. They do have access to social media even if mum use it a lot!
- There is parental lock on all the devices from TV to computer.
- We have a time-table in the house (only for the week) so my children knows exactly what they are doing at any given time of a day-again their friends think it’s weird!!! It works for us because we all have things going on after work and school so once we are home, a strict schedule is followed.
- There is no negotiation on bedtime-sometimes I get the odd ‘if looks could kill’ stare especially during the weekend when I say “it’s bedtime”
- My daughter is not allowed to go shopping with her friends on the high street-SHE IS ONLY 11! When she is older she will.
- Oh…and birthday parties; they are not allowed to go to more than 10 parties in a given school year! I believe in buying quality meaningful gifts for their friends and I will go bankrupt if they were to go to every single party they are invited to!
- They have to earn their pocket money-I do not just give them money. They both have chores and if chores are not done then they are not paid!
- And yes I do make threat-If you ever swear I will wash your mouth with soapy water 🙂
- The biggest consequence of misbehaviour is that all their privileges will be taken a way-depending on Mummy’s mood , it can be for a week or a month! My daughter once told me “you are so unpredictable Mummy”-My reaction-smile-why?-she knows the meaning of the word!
Now, does that make me sound like a super strict parent?
Anyway forget about rules and restrictions, as a mother this is what I hope for my children: (see previous post)
I love my job as a mother and this sums it up: (see previous post)
Happy mother’s day!
Much love LBS