Insanity of Motherhood

Motherhood, marriage, and midlife.

The Arrogant Parent

16 Comments

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: insanityofmotherhood

Mom of three boys, wife, educator, and all around nice gal in the middle of a midlife something. It's not a crisis, but it's something…

16 thoughts on “The Arrogant Parent

  1. This is a great post. I agree with all you’ve said. I also find it very difficult if someone wants to tell me how I should raise my children, what kind of parenting style would be the best for me. Honestly, I try to ignore these things, but they make me upset. I’m far from being a perfect parent (and I even don’t try to be one!). – What you described about you and your husband discussing about a school issue: that could have been me and my husband. I have the same attitude. I guess we’re all learning and I’m still eager to learn more. I even discovered that some ways of parenting I used to disapprove, became more acceptable for me after a while. As you, I try to stay open to different ways of thinking with regards to parenting. And this made me happier and surely more confident.

    • It is easy as a parent to think your way of doing things is best. But if we don’t keep on open mind to new ideas for parenting we will surely miss out. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment!

      • You are so right! I recently wrote about the relation between multicultural life and parentin style, but I think it’s something that depends on your “forma mentis”: if you are an open minded person you can easily accept and like other kinds of parenting. We can always change something that maybe doesn’t work that good (anymore) with our kids. I observe this every now and then and realize that I have to readjust certain boundaries etc. I feel that I’m constantly adapting to them, and surely growing with them.

  2. I do agree that a baby should be cared for at home. However, the military lifestyle is so hectic that the only security, continuity, And schedule the baby is comfortable with is while they are in daycare. Military lifestyle is a whole new ballgame. Added to that not all mothers are good caring mothers and therefore Hey baby might do better in Group care. Times are different than they were 40 years ago. I have instincts to say something to other parents but I refrain from interfering. In my job it was totally different because the young military parents were always asking for advice. Each situation and each child is different. For a mother and father what counts is consistency and sharing of ideas In making their own decisions.

  3. Well written! Enjoyed reading this one!

  4. I really don’t think of myself as arrogant. In general, I am happy to hear the opinion of others and try to not give mine unless asked. I really have low tolerance for people who are arrogant.

  5. Well said, from one ‘Arrogant Parent’ to another …Yet trying hard not to be.
    Blessings to you!
    P.S. I don’t like the idea of Group Care for infants either 😉

  6. Hi,
    Loved your post. I’ve been on both sides too but I’m hopeful that I’m less arrogant these days. What made me want to reply is your closing statement:
    “In the end, that is what most parents hope for…a happy child.”
    I’ve struggled since my kids were little to only want what is good for them, for them to grow to be emotionally resilient, healthy adults. My embarrassment when other people disapproved of their behavior or my parenting could be a confusing burden to my kids so I did my best to let go of my ownership of their behavior.
    Now my kids are young adults, they make choices that I might not have picked for them. Again I find myself trying to balance what might benefit them vs. their autonomy vs. what will make me proud of them. I try to back off and let them make their own decisions. I try to let go of any need for pride or control. When my 19 yo daughter, a college junior, second guesses her college choice – I am so glad I didn’t push her to go to a particular school. She made that decision. I have as clear a conscience as I can imagine on this choice so I can help her deal with the choices to come when she asks for advice. So far, she’s still asking…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s