I’m always told things may change when I actually have them, but I want to actually keep with this. I’ve learned what not to do, and I’d really like to actually not do them. So, if/when I have kids1, here’s a short list of things I’ll do/I won’t do:
I won’t read their diary/rummage through their room to find something.
The behavior of the parents is simply the base of a child’s education. The parents create the environment in which a child lives, grows, learns and develops.2 Thus, if parents look through everything a child has, then they’re violating said child’s privacy. There is a boundary parents should follow with their kids. People need outlets; they need at least some privacy. Parents who invade their children’s privacy constantly don’t teach their kids about privacy. Therefore, said child will grow up with either a craving for privacy or a lack of knowledge for what privacy is. This means I refuse to put some sort of spyware shit onto their computer/in the house just because I don’t know what they’re going to do. I’m going to trust them. If I don’t trust them, why allow them to do ___? Also, if I’m constantly controlling them and watching them, how the hell will they ever learn to do things on their own?
I won’t find them untrustworthy over dumb things.
Unless they lie to me, I’m not going to not trust them because of something stupid. If they go to a relative’s place and I dislike said relative, that would be a dumb reason to not freaking trust them.
Reasonable chores will be given.
I do believe that it teaches people responsibility. However, I do not believe that the children should be required to clean the parent’s room. This includes vacuuming, making the bed, etc. The kids can go into their room, but cleaning up said room should be the parent’s responsibility.
I won’t make them feel guilty for their pain.
I won’t yell at them for sitting down and just “relaxing” after they finished getting ready for school and say, “Did the people in the World Trade Center have a minute to sit and just “relax”? No! Get off your ass and get ready!” I won’t tell them to eat their food because there are people in other countries who don’t get to eat said food, be it healthy or junk and whether they’re allergic to it or not. I won’t tell them “others have things worse”/”it could be worse” and/or imply that their pain doesn’t mean anything. Because in the end, the pain, feelings, etc. are still there whether another person in the world is suffering or not.
I’ll apologize to them when I do certain things.
For example, if I’m frustrated/stressed/etc. and I happen to take it out on them, or if I snap at them when they didn’t even deserve it, I’ll apologize. I read a blog about a mother who snapped at her daughter one morning and felt so bad. She ended up going to her daughter’s school and pulling her out of class just to apologize and hug her and tell her she loves her. It was nice and refreshing, and it inspired me, no matter how cheesy this sounds. I was raised mostly by a man who believes children should not have a friend-type relationship with their parents, and that they should be more afraid of them. I don’t want my kids to ever be afraid of me; I want them to know they’re loved and never have to question it. I don’t care what they grow up to believe in or who they fall in love with3; I don’t want them to grow up not wanting to have anything to do with me and/or feeling as though they can’t tell me anything. “At the end of the day, they’re still your parents.” Well, that may be true, but loving them and having things to do with them isn’t required. I want my kids to still want to be around me, not be afraid that I’ll disown them/kill them/etc. for who they love, if they miss curfew, etc.