A new viral thing on social media is to share what you do as a parent that other people find crazy.
I have a lot of stuff on this list but number one is that I don’t limit my kid’s access to sweets or use them as a reward or punishment.
I put candy and cookies on the table or leave them on a lower shelf in the pantry so she can access them easily. She can have as much as she wants. I had severe gestational diabetes in pregnancy, so she’s at risk for diabetes. I’m terrified of that, which means I can’t play games with sweets.
As a result, my kid loves broccoli and literally tears it out of my mouth after finishing her portion. Her favorite foods are soup and salad. She eats tons of fresh vegetables. At Halloween, she lost her basket of candy immediately upon returning home because candy isn’t special to her. And still people look at me in horror when they see my approach.
But there’s a lot of other stuff. I let her roam outside the house alone and wade the little creek in the backyard. I encourage her to get extremely dirty on the playground. I don’t supervise her during playdates at our house. She had a six-hour playdate a couple of weeks ago and the only times I saw them is when I fed them. The other mom kept texting me to ask what they were doing, like I’m supposed to know. And guess what? Everything went great. They cleaned up after themselves with no prompting. I think they fought once or twice, judging by the sounds but then figured it out themselves.
I don’t mask her. I don’t assign chores, which results her in fighting me for the right to make my bed in the morning, organize her dresser, and fold laundry. I don’t teach languages to her. I don’t really teach anything, to be honest, which for people in my circle is shocking. I let her climb anything she wants. Now it’s not unusual but you should have seen people on the playground when she was 2. I take her out in any weather that isn’t pouring rain. I don’t teach her to ride a bike because she says she doesn’t want to. I let her draw, play, or run around in the back at church, which made one babushka want to get into it with me but that obviously had no effect.