Arrogant – Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.
Every fall when the school year begins I am faced with the same situation. I come in contact with a parent ready to give me advice on parenting. Even though my husband and I are raising three terrific boys, there is always someone trying to tell me how to do my job better.
There is actually nothing wrong with assisting a parent with an issue if they ask for help. The problem comes when a parent thinks their way of parenting is far superior to another parents style.
An arrogant parent believes their style of parenting is best not only for their family, but for all families. My style of parenting works for my for our boys, my husband and I. When I was younger I used to think my way of parenting was best for everyone. Now I know better.
Parenting is personal. No two people will ever share the same ideas of how things are to be done. Last night my husband and I discussed our different opinions about a school related issue. For a few moments during our conversation I felt smug thinking to myself, “He doesn’t know all the facts. How can I change his mind to my way of thinking?” Instead of listening to what he had to say, I became more focused on making sure my words were being heard. It took a few moments for me to snap out of my arrogant thinking and realize my husband’s thoughts may be worth listening to. The more I was able to listen, the more I was able to understand my husband’s view. Turns out his thoughts were not so bad after all. As a matter of fact, he opened my eyes to a few things I hadn’t thought about.
Of all the parenting types I come in contact with, the arrogant parent is my greatest challenge. I struggle to listen openly to someone who is trying to cram their parenting philosophy down my throat. If I need parenting advice I have a list of people I go to for support. People who know me, my husband and my children well. They know what I value, what kind of person I am and what I hope to carry out as a parent. Most of time when my husband and I have a parenting situation of concern we are more likely to discuss it among ourselves and not ask for anyone’s advice.
I am sure some people who know me personally, may be thinking, “Nate, I have heard you be an arrogant parent.” You know what? They’re right. For example, I prefer infants to be cared for in a home environment, not in a group care setting. Years ago when a mother would tell me she planed to return to work and place her infant in a group care setting, I would launch into a lecture on the damaging effects of group care. I believed I was doing the parent a service by providing them information they may not have known. Providing information for a parent is one thing, insisting group care is damaging is another. I no longer do the ‘damaging lecture’ when someone informs me of their infant care decision. As a matter of fact, today I just listen and wish them well. Honestly, who I am to think I know what is best for every child in every family situation? By the way, I know plenty of children raised in a group care situations and are doing great…proving me wrong.
I am proud of what I have learned over the years as a parent, but I don’t kid myself in thinking I know it all or that my way is best. What works for my husband and I may not work for other parents. I try to stay open to different ways of thinking with regards to parenting. My openness to new things has made me much happier as a parent. It has also has made my children happier too. In the end, that is what most parents hope for…a happy child.
- Multicultural life and parenting style (expatsincebirth.com)
- Family Weekend Challenge: What Is Your Parenting Style? (parentingwithallthepieces.typepad.com)