Such a Mean Old Man
Sorry for stealing more lyrics…they fit.
I was raised by parents who had very different parenting styles. My mother’s parents were authoritarian, very much concerned with behavior and appearance, while my Father was raised by parents who at times could seem distant and uninterested.
My mother determined to be a different parent than hers, but she still raised us with a set of rules and expectations, while my father decided to be as laid back as possible.
Sometimes the two styles would clash and I am certain I was not the only of my siblings to take advantage of my fathers willingness to allow most things asking him first, when I knew my mother would not approve or allow something.
I always feel I have more of my father’s traits than my mother’s. Imagine my surprise when after becoming a parent, I am much more like her.
I demand a great deal from my children. They will do better in high school than I, getting excellent grades. Education was important in my home and I never doubted my parents wanted me to get good grades. I am just more determined to make sure my kids accomplish it.
I am surprised by the behavior I refuse to tolerate, what noises bother me, what punishments I invent for certain situations. I am actually pretty hardcore, it seems. Sheryl tells me that the boys are sometimes afraid to ask me for things, which makes me laugh and saddens me at the same time. I would never hit my kids, but apparently, my disappointed voice and my bothered expression are enough to inspire fear.
I tell them all the time what I want for them. I want them to know what they think matters. I want them to learn, experience things, make their own decisions. At the same time, I expect more from them because of that freedom. If they make mistakes, I let them know. I don’t hold them over their heads like weights, but it is important to me they see their errors, accept them and learn to be better.
If that means they are a bit frightened of me, or worry about letting me down, I guess I can accept that, mean old man that I am…