One of my main principles is that people don’t have to parent in exactly the same way to get on well. I mean, it’s none of my business if my friends breastfeed or bottle feed their babies, go to back to work soon or stay at home, let their kids watch TV or ban TV, etc, etc. We have a group of wonderful, supportive friends who do a lot of different things with their kids; some of them cook and bake together, others prefer to order pizza and watch movies, yet others love to be outside and play sports.
Some of the mums I know are very strict about chores, screen time and bed time, others are more laid back.
And you know what? They all have happy, healthy kids, we have fun together and that’s what matters.
I don’t care at all if my boys’ friends get organic carrots or Oreos for packed lunch as long as they get on well with my kids.
Unfortunately, it seems that parenting wars are the new “sexy”. At every party for kids there’s a mum or dad who doesn’t come to the party to get candy from piñata; nope, they’re here on a mission: to lecture everybody else about their kids’ eating habits, clothing (isn’t he too cold/too hot) and discipline. There are endless disputes over a Sponge Bob or Frozen themed cake. There will always be a mum whose kids eat anything and everything, a mum whose kids “never watch TV, because they know how to play in a creative way” and everyone’s favourite mum whose kid was able to walk, talk, sing and probably play the violin before he was 1 year old. Sounds familiar?
It gets even worse on the Internet were people are anonymous and, thus, more inhibited to criticize others.
Recently I got addicted to a hilarious Instagram account @Insta2yearold , which depicts the world from a two year old’s perspective. The author, Iliana Wiles is an author of a famous U.S. blog Mommy Shorts and mum of two little girls. I love the pictures taken from a two year old’s perspective and the comments, like the description of an electrical outlet “Judging by how loud my mom yelled “NO!” when I put my hand near these holes in the wall, I can only assume this is where she hides her candy. #willtryagainlater”.
So, imagine that even this funny account is a battlefield for people who fight over screen time, whether toddlers should sit on the subway or give the seat to adults, etc. I don’t get it; why would anybody waste their time to argue with strangers, commenting on a fake Instagram account?
With Christmas being around the corner, there is a brand, new topic to fight about: advent calendars. Yes, these lovely things to hang on the wall and eat one chocolate a day until the 24th of December .
And these little chocolates become subject to great war.
Some parents write petitions to preschools asking to exclude Advent Calendars and all other sweets from St. Nicholas/ Christmas presents for pupils. Others become advocates of Advent Calendars and buy one for each family member, chanting happily that “a little chocolate never killed nobody”. Still others will protest against Frozen or Angry Birds-themed calendars since “they have nothing in common with the true Christmas spirit”. Tesco, can you order Annunciation-themed calendars, please?
You can also hear some frightening stories on that occasion. One mum’s kid got an Advent Calendar for St. Nicholas’ Day, which is 6th of December, and ate 6 chocolates in a row! This is a straight way to addiction!
A friend’s daughter 5 year old daughter has been feeling socially excluded since her preschool authorities signed the infamous petition, banned chocolate and introduced workbooks and organic crisps for Christmas. When her older brother and kids from the neighbourhood devour chocolate and candy, she feels like she’s out of the party.
The mum’s not happy either since organic crisps and workbooks mean she has to pay more for the Parents’ Commitee.
Not to mention the old war about academic skills. When I said that my boys recognize numbers on Advent Calendar, other mum responded that her kids have a home-made Advent calendar with educational activities to do everyday.
Yeah, 1-0 for her.
A happy owner of two Advent Calendars (one at home, one at work) would like to wish you all Merry Christmas! No matter if your calendar features Peppa Pig, St. Mary and Joseph or maths problems. Just enjoy Christmas in your favourite way and let others enjoy it,too! It’s time to celebrate, not to judge others’ chocolate choices.
Make chocolate, not war.