When I Have Kids

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.

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.

  1. Basically, if I’m unable, I’m totally adopting.
  2. I sound like an educational book.
  3. Unless, of course, it’s someone who clearly doesn’t care about them.

Sorry, but comments are closed on this post.

Comments on this post

Sunny’s gravatar

Ahh, I totally feel you!!!
My parents are great parents (most of the time,) but they’ve done EVERYTHING on your not-to-do list, which is pretty annoying! :
My mom doesn’t read my diary, but she scrolls through my Facebook sometimes which is even WORSE. DX not to mention that she NEVER apologizes or admits that she’s wrong… for anything!!! I definitely won’t be like that either when I have a kid…. 🙂

Liza’s gravatar

If it’s on your Facebook profile, that’s public/available to the eyes that you allow, plus whomever they share it with. Thus, you can only control that if you put your friends in a different list or something. I don’t think anyone really has conversations on Facebook walls anymore, either.

My junior year, I had a boyfriend who had me go through and put the relationship status mess (I try to do it only after like a month of dating or so because of family and shit), and my mom was on my friend’s list at the time. She ended up adding him and stalking EVERYTHING that he owned. It was annoying, because I wanted to find it out on my own. She was so appalled that I was dating someone with a kid, as if his smoking paired with my asthma wasn’t a problem. Or his drug problem. As if I didn’t know about his biggest problem. I think the major problems were his smoking and my asthma, as well as the drug problem. And really, the kid wasn’t even a problem or anything. The problem with that was that he continued to mess around with the drugs whilst having a kid. And I wasn’t at all thankful that she had found out that “dirt”; I was upset and annoyed. I think that’s too extreme, especially since she was no longer my legal guardian.

I think it’s important for parents to admit they’re wrong, though! It teaches kids to admit to what they did wrong, etc. At least, that’s what I think. And I’ve learned it. I practically raised my siblings. 😡

Robin’s gravatar

These are all good ideas. #1, #2, and #4 occurred in my childhood, though probably not with the same intensity as what happened to you (I won’t say that I’m not angry about some things now that I am an adult, though).

#1 – My mom yelled and cried once because she found a diary where I had been using swear/cuss words. How many kids go through that little punk phase where they think that swearing is cool? There were other times when she or my dad would finish eating dinner early and hurry to a computer that I had been using, and was planning to go back to before dinner, so they could see what I had been in the middle of and make loud comments about it. The worst thing I did was write fanfiction at the time, which I hid because I knew they wouldn’t get it.

#2 – If I wanted to have a kid, I wouldn’t assume that they are going to copy whatever they see people/characters doing in TV or movies. I wouldn’t enforce new rules or treat them differently because I heard that someone else’s kid did this or that. I wouldn’t assume that their friends from school are criminals. I wouldn’t linger outside a movie theater to make sure that my kid and their date, plus the other couple, are really going into the theater (and then show up at the mall by the theater later on, pretending to be a casual shopper but really being there to observe the double-date). There are more examples, but I’ve made this comment too long already.

#4 – Like you, I wasn’t allowed to have certain feelings at times. I’ve also gotten the “People in other countries…” line and I think it’s useless. It doesn’t teach a child anything, in my opinion.

Sorry for turning my comment into a blog post. 🙁

Liza’s gravatar

There’s nothing bad about writing fanfiction. 😡 I think that’s pretty outrageous. Basically, I think that if it needs to be hidden, then it probably shouldn’t be done anyway. However, even that has a limit. I just despise parents who feel the need to monitor their children’s doings at all times, every hour. They need to have freedom. Blah.

Also, it’s no worry. 😉 It’s basically a discussion, I suppose. At least, that’s what I often aim for. 🙂

Robin’s gravatar

@Liza, it was a tricky situation, looking back. They wanted me to be outgoing and have lots of friends and get involved in a bunch of activities, yet they would act like myself or my friends were criminals and wouldn’t give me the chance to do certain things. That was why I ended up staying at home with TV or the Internet most of the time. I became too embarrassed to invite people over or try to make plans with them.

Liza’s gravatar

@Robin, yeah, that kind of happened with me, too. Or, if I befriended someone who was anything other than white, something was said… Like, “Do you know what color you are?”, “Are you blind?”, “Who do you think you are?”, “Are these kinds of people all that are at your school?” It was ridiculous. I see people as clear; why should color or race or ethnicity be the deciding factor when it comes to my friends?

Or I was expected to include my brother. I don’t know; I always ended up going to my friend’s houses instead because of the ridiculousness that came with them coming over to my house.

Cori’s gravatar

I know what it’s like to have expectations for the kind of parent you’re going to be, and then completely missing the bar. In the end though, I know that a piece of pizza on the rare occasion isn’t going to kill them. These things though, these are the kinds of things I would expect from every parent. My parents taught me that everyone deserves privacy and (unless they’ve given you reason not to) trust, and they also believed that to get respect you have to give it.

The only issue I would argue is when it comes to monitoring a computer. Kids are easily preyed upon online and I plan to make sure my kids know how to keep themselves safe. At the same time though, I think it’s a parent’s job to know where their kid is and what they’re doing, and that can be harder to do when they’re online than when they’re at the mall. I don’t want to read my kids’ emails or scour their Facebook (though when my kids are that age they’ll probably have other crazy things), but I do want to make sure they’re safe. It’s definitely a balancing act, and one I hope I can pull of when the time comes.

Liza’s gravatar

@Cori, the computer monitoring bit comes from the experience I had, where it was simply overdone. I know the balance.

Susanne/Sinead’s gravatar

That about “there are kids in other countries starving” is such a stupid argument. Those poor kids won’t be happier and less hungry because the rich kids don’t eat their veggies (or whatever). It’s just stupid arguing about that. All kids go through phases when they won’t eat. It’s as simple as that.

Liza’s gravatar

But still, even with the pain. It doesn’t change anything. 😡 Blah.

Stephanie’s gravatar

I think that that is the correct approach.

However, I think that you should sometimes check whether your kids are lying from time to time. I know parents who gave their kids a lot of trust, only to have their kids lie to them again and again. This is especially true if their friends are also big liars. But I think checking up on them once in a while is certainly compatible with your points above, especially when the kid is younger.

Angie’s gravatar

I think the last point is ESPECIALLY important. So important that when my husband takes out his frustration about something else on me, I make a point to say something about it and how I don’t like it and he apologizes. Always, always say sorry for something you know you were in the wrong from. It makes for a better society in my opinion.

Kris’s gravatar

My mom used to ask me for password to my email when I first had email like 10 or 11 years ago. She thought that way she could control me. She always finds me untrustworthy because I was friends with a bad kid ONCE.

I have totally unresaonable chores then, because I vacuum and wash EVERY ROOM in this house, every other day! But because my house is so big I split it up so I end up doing it every day.

And my mom NEVER apologizes.

You are gonna be a great mother Liza. I hope you are able to have kids and if you aren’t, adopting is a sweet and beautiful thing. <3


I am so sorry I somehow missed a bunch of your comments. Korean years is just following the Lunar calendar that most Asian countries used to follow. Hard to explain how it works because I'm don't even know well. They only use it when talking about your age, so in Korean years I am 22 right now. Officially they have same years as us lol so it is 2013 haha.

Kathy’s gravatar

I grew up having both loving parents who believe that even by being strict, a friendly relationship between them and their children can still be established. We tell each other’s experiences, they know who my crush is, I tell them about the day in school, etc. And I am happy that we are that close. Eventhough they forbid me to commute to places alone and/or with friends and acquaintances==hence why they insist to pick me up and send me from and to school and malls and houses–and strict stuff like that, I’m not contrary to it. Surprisingly, I’m happy about it. Haha! I don’t know, maybe because it has let us bond and stuff like that.

Overall, I could have that relationship with my children someday hopefully. And there will be nothing to say about me like with my parents. 🙂

Liza’s gravatar

I do think there’s a boundary. 🙂 You’re also probably not a child living in an abusive situation, though, either. :p

Jess’s gravatar

One of my favourite things to do lately has been sitting down and watching Wife Swap, laughing about what I would/wouldn’t do as a parent. I mean, our generation has so much access to information about parenting (and well, anything really) that I think we would be a really strong demographic of parenting. That being said, I agree with most of your list, especially the privacy part.

Liza’s gravatar

I think we would, too, especially since our generation is so different from the generations about ten or so years ago. :3

Denise’s gravatar

Awww, you’d be a great mom!! If I have kids (which I don’t want actually) I really want to be a mom like you want to be a mom 🙂 My parents never hugged me or said they loved me, but I will be saying that to my kids, when I have them.

I think my parents were the opposit of what you just all said, it was annoying and I’m glad I’m on my own now!! My own rules, but still they’re stalking me through facebook. This reason I’m almost stopped saying something on FB.

Love your blog by the way 😀

Melissa’s gravatar

Since Denise and I are sisters I can only agree on our parents. I’m glad that I’m on my own, I love my parents, but I just wish that they were more loving, they care but they don’t really show it.

I think I can only agree with your list, there is nothing more to say about it, only that we need to keep it in our mind to be a wonderful parent. ^_^ I do want to have children in the future, 1 or 2 would be lovely 🙂

Manda’s gravatar

I can’t get over the fact that some parents read their kids’ journals/diaries. Like… clearly, it’s PRIVATE. Is that so hard to understand?

Georgie’s gravatar

I agree with everything you’ve said. There are some things that, no matter what, can and will have an effect on a child. I want to bring up my future children the best way I can. I guess it’s a given, but one thing I definitely won’t do is physically hurt my child. I just can’t imagine doing that to anyone, much less a child. I believe we should teach children the best but sometimes that means talking it out, telling them, explaining to them so they know what is right and what is wrong. As you said in your first point, it’s the parents who the children follow – their behaviour, habits and attitudes.

I’ve never really thought much about chores but I do get pretty miffed when my parents make me clean stuff that isn’t mine. I know I should just help out, but a child would better understand cleaning up after themselves and responsibility by cleaning their own room and that’s something I believe they’ll pick up quickly.