I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Unfounded Theories

Kids don’t come with instructions as necessary and beneficial as those would be. I could have used a good set since I never had prior experience; I was the baby of the house and since no one would have offered their kids to an inexperienced teenager, I never babysat.

When I had mine I went by my own theories. I had some logic to back up each one of them and it made sense to me if not to anyone else; some of these practices, if not all, were faced with high opposition from my mother and friends. Still I insisted that if they understood something hurt, they wouldn’t try to do it; if they got to speak Spanish at home they’d learn English outside and if they tasted wine, they wouldn’t sneak out to have it.
I allowed my son to drink out of his bottle as long as he wanted in spite of all the theories warning me against it. Now, as a young adult, he is as manly and independent as I wanted him to be and his teeth are in good health, and yes, he left the bottle many years ago….and when my toddler daughter wanted (as her brother had wanted when he was a toddler) to help load logs in the woodstove I helped her allowing her to feel the heat in her face using the opportunity to explain how it could burn if we got too close. We never, thankfully, had an accident.

I grew up under a different set of rules. A naked body was something almost sinful and embarrassing. When I became a runner, it was difficult to change in front of other girls and more difficult even for them to understand why I would remain in a wet t shirt when all had changed into something dry. I taught my kids to be okay with their bodies and eventually, they set their own privacy boundaries.

Against my coworkers advice, my kids had a credit card as soon as the law permitted and to this day no unknown charges have been made. My daughter had a cell phone at age 9 when it was not fashionable to give kids a cell. My unsupported theory says that you get what you put out. To respect you receive respect, to trust you get trust back.

There are many proven theories that oppose mine, however, my kids got through my inexperience and my unfounded theories and much to my mother’s surprise, they did well. We all survived the experiment.