Google+ Authentic Parenting: It Works

Monday, July 25, 2011

It Works

I have written about my grandmother a couple of times, of how she views our parenting style as permissive, and how I would live to regret this one day, and how she defends her own abusive post war parenting style, even though the results aren't pretty. I could fill books about how her visions of parenting clash with what we are doing.
Don't get me wrong, I deeply love my grandmother, and I have inherited a lot of her character.
On trait we have in common is our stubbornness.

Image: Stephan Ullman
This holiday, we went to visit her, with our daughter, as we try to do every time we're in Belgium. Generally, we have lunch, a coffee and a chat, and by 3 we're out of the door again. Generally, my husband falls asleep on the couch after lunch (must be the restful environment). This time was no different.
Luckily, my daughter had taken a tiny nap on the way. And she was hungry.
She ate two plates of soup, finished a plate of peas and meat and asked for more, and then topped this off with one and half frangipane cake.
You can imagine my grandmother was on cloud nine, as for that generation 'eating good' (read finishing your plate and having a big appetite) is a big deal.
The whole time, my daughter was on her best behavior, playing calmly, taking a tour of the apartment without any mayhem. Drawing together with Oma...

After this visit, my Oma got on the phone with my mother and told her she had to take back what she previously had said about our parenting, because it obviously works. Yep, the same stubborn grandmother admitting that the fruit of our labor isn't rotten after all... Not bad at all!

Note: I have to admit that I as a bit surprised by my daughters angelic behavior. This is not every day! I think that she is just intelligent enough to understand what is expected of her, and 'gets' how to adapt her behavior depending on who she's with, and this at the age of three!



  1. Doesn't it feel great to get that validation here and there? It's not like I parent for anyone's approval (aside from my child's), but it still feels darn good to see the evidence that things are working! Glad you had a nice visit, too :)

  2. I always breathe a sigh of relief when we've had a "good" visit with my parents--they haven't outright said it as a whole set, but their attitudes towards what we do (cosleeping with preschooler, nursing a non-infant, not doing timeouts, listening and not always just commanding/demanding at preschooler) are overly permissive and spoiling our kids. When the stars align (rested, hungry, calm, etc.) as you describe here, it's validating but also feels a little fake since that "performance" isn't necessarily the norm. :)


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