Struggles are part of parenthood. We all have particular struggles and internal battles. Unfortunately, something that happens very often is that we parents don’t like to admit our struggles. Perhaps this is done for self-preservation, and perhaps this is done to avoid making others uncomfortable. We like to be self-confident, sure, and positive. But I personally think it can do us a world of good to admit our parenting struggles. It lets it be known that struggles are universal, and that to have them does not mean we’re bad parents. We are all just human.
I’m not perfect. I have doubts. I have struggles. They may not be something anybody else is struggling with, but they are no less troublesome for me.
I have a huge struggle with technological limits and balance.
For example, a large issue for me is the television. My children are 7 ½ and 4, and they watch no TV. We own a TV, but we have no cable. The television has just never been an entertainment option for them. Which I realize on one hand is admirable. Instead of watching TV, they read, they play, they pretend. But am I too strict? I know it is entirely possible to restrict TV usage without creating couch potatoes; I have friends who do it successfully. But I struggle with it. When does some TV become too much TV? Would it be horrible to let them watch a movie once or twice a month? As a result of my admittedly black-and-white, all-or-nothing approach to this, my kids don’t watch any. Is that just as unhealthy? Are my kids missing out? Will they turn to TV as grown-ups because they got so little in their youth?
We don’t have any kind of gaming system: no Wii, no XBOX, no Playstation. My kids don’t have DS’s. I feel confident about that choice, but now that my kids are getting older, will they start to notice that they don’t have these things? Will the systems become the forbidden fruit? Will my kids be jealous? I struggle with compromise on this issues. Are they entirely bad 100% of the time?
We are a computer family and my son, the oldest of my two kids, is allowed 30-45 minutes of computer time on Saturday and Sunday. Should he be allowed more? As the world is becoming more and more computer-driven and computer literacy is critical, am I being too stingy with the computer time?
I know there’s a balance. I can say all I want to that moderation of all things is the key. But I really struggle with finding that balance.
But I know I’m making some progress: I actually allowed my kids to eat a bit of their Easter candy this year! I made totally unhealthy muffins a couple of months ago that had absolutely NO wheat germ or flax in them!
Perhaps there’s hope for me yet!