My husband and I are not very disciplined, regimented, or structured parents. A Tiger Mom I most definitely am not. I think that childhood should be reserved for blissful innocence and unadulterated freedom. We are free spirits and Aiven has already shown early signs of being fiercely independent. When Aiven goes to school, he will get his first taste of law and order, but until then, we want to make his childhood carefree and give him as much space as possible to be himself. I’ve thought about how our parenting style is more relaxed than most, and I think we distinguish ourselves in seven key areas:
When we were in Europe this summer, Aiven enjoyed dropping most of his food on the ground, especially at outdoor cafes. He would marinate it in whatever dirt was there and then gleefully pop it back into his mouth. It was as if he was declaring, “All food tastes better with that special spice called STREET DIRT.” Sure it grossed me out at times, but he was eating so nicely and making this Jewish mother kvell!
2. Bumps, Bruises, and Boo Boos
We let Aiven fall. We don’t jump to catch him when we see him stumble. Everyone else gasps and dives to save him. He slams into furniture, walls, and people, yet he almost always picks right back up regardless of the damage. Sometimes I’m embarrassed to go out because he looks so banged up, but if I stop him from walking into the table, how is he going to learn to duck? I figure that if I don’t make a big deal of his tumbles, neither will he.
We don’t do schedules well. Bath time is when he gets really dirty, not an assigned time every night. He’s had three baths in one day and one bath every three days. He eats when he wants (which is all the time) and not at three designated hours. Reading time? Play time? He lets us know what he wants by gesticulating and putting stuff into our hands, and he excels at letting us know when he wants it by screaming. Read the rest of this entry →