Saturday, 6 June 2015

My new parenting resolution

I was reading 'The Paradox of Choice' by Barry Schwartz, today and one particular sentence 'hit' me really hard. 

In the US 93 percent of teenage girls stated that their favourite activity was shopping! For some reason I was overwhelmed with sadness. Of all the exciting activities on this earth, 93 percent of young women chose shopping! 

I'm not even thinking about lofty activities like reading literature or playing the violin, but even something than watching movies or hanging out with friends would sound better. Has our consumer culture overtaken all other aspirations? 

Then I got thinking about my sons and what I would like them to state is their favourite activity when they are teens. Actually, I don't care much, as long as it is something social or creative, something vaguely goal driven and not completely inane. 

Of course this got me thinking about the way we influence our kids. Already I can see that J is a sponge: he does what he sees us doing. He loves to saw and dig in the garden, thanks to his dad, he loves pretending to cook, partly thanks to me, and he likes reading. He also loves pretending to shave his legs (!) and talking on the phone... Whatever we say, it is what we do in front of him that really matters. 

And so my new resolution is this: I need to be the adult I want J to be when he grows up. I need to model the adult behaviours I want him to pick up and value. 

A quick conversation with his dad later we have found one of our biggest weaknesses in this regard: our use of technology. And so this is our next goal: limiting our use of technology, at least in front of the kids. What behaviours do you find your kids copy? And what behaviours do you wish to limit your kids' exposure to? 


  1. The neatest behavior my daughter has copied has been writing. I write whenever I have free time, and she has recently announced that she wants to start a blog. She creates stories and spends hours typing on her laptop. I don't mind technology being used in this way. ;-)

    Bethany @ Online Therapy and Coaching

  2. That's fantastic, Rosemary! I shy away from writing on my computer while the kids are around (they are a little young still) but don't mind them seeing me write by hand - isn't that strange? The same goes for reading my Kindle vs reading a book... I would be such a proud mum if either my boys wanted to write stories inspired by me, though!



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