Monday, September 8, 2008

Parenting Styles - to be or not to be like your parents

When you read parenting professionals, they all espouse that you should be the parent that one day you want your children to be and I try to follow this philosophy. However, in my personal life I question if this theory is correct.

My parenting style is completely at odds with the way that I was raised. The killer of this is that fine style continues to today. It is now two days after my birthday and my father (who despite this complaint, I love dearly) has yet to utter the words “Happy Birthday”. Truthfully, this really is nothing new. He has always blamed it off on confusion of my birth date when I was first adopted. The paperwork said one thing and the hospital records said something else. The issue had to be reconciled before the adoption could be finalized. But, it is 38 years later; you would think, if it mattered, he would have gotten it down by now.

And then to top it off, I have been planning to go out with him tomorrow night to see Azar Nafisi speak at the University of Hartford, his alma mater. Azar Nafisi is the author of Reading Lolita in Tehran. I have been looking forward to this lecture since last year. We had had it planned and scheduled several month ago but unfortunately the author was sick and had to cancel. Anyway, my father let me know that the lecture was rescheduled and asked if it fit in my schedule. I said, “Yes” and joked we could celebrate my birthday then. Now mind you, as you’ve read it has been a little crazy, but when he finally called today to ask if I wanted any tomatoes, I asked what the schedule was for tomorrow and he let me know that he had forgotten, he had not RSVPed, and he had to pick up our cousin at the airport. He hoped I didn’t mind . . . Oh, no not at all. I hadn’t arranged alternative childcare, had my assistant Girl Scout leader set up to run the meeting, let the choir director know that I couldn’t be at rehearsal, and have been talking about the lecture for weeks. Grrr!

I promise to always be there for my children.
I promise to remember and celebrate in some form every birthday with my children.
I promise to always make my children feel like they are the most important things/people in my life.
I promise to keep my promises.

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