PARENTING AT 60% CAPACITY

Ray Romano. Mr 60%.

Last week Ray Romano was a guest on the talk show The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Romano was talking about his parenting style. He was taking his 14 year old son to the movies and he intended to use a code word to instruct the boys to look away if an inappropriate scene was coming up.

I don’t know what the word was because it got bleeped when he said it. Craig Ferguson laughed at the absurdity of the situation and Romano indicated that this is his fourth child so he’s parenting at 60%.

Now this is where I laughed. Not because I would use a swear word as a code word but I too have four children and sometimes I think I’m parenting at 60% capacity.

A few months ago I tweeted that my fourth child gets away with things that my first would NEVER have. And by that I meant, things like climbing on the swing frame, trying to climb the tree in the backyard or rolling around in the dirt.

I had quite a few people responding to my tweet agreeing.

It seems we’ve all become a little more relaxed. But does that mean we are parenting at 60% capacity?

I didn’t panic when my fourth hadn’t learned to use the scissors by his second birthday.  I’ve realized kids will generally learn how to use the scissors. In fact, I don’t think I’ve come across one adult who has not mastered the art.

I know learning to use scissors is an important gross motor skill which will in turn assist fine motor skills.  I’m just less rigid about meeting certain skills by certain ages.

I mean, my first may have been more competent in the scissor cutting department than my fourth, but my fourth has it all over his older siblings in the climbing department.

On the surface it seems like I am less concerned but deep down I want the same things for my fourth child as I did for my first. My technique may be a little different (read: less highly strung).

I still insist on manners, clean teeth, good diet, reading books…again my approach is a little different.

Have I done either of them an injustice? Do you parent at a diminished capacity?

10 Comments

  • At 2012.07.23 14:59, Gemma Nutshell said:

    So glad to read your thoughts Maria. I have been thinking about this with my third, Nicholas and also that Gabriella is going to school next year. I’ve told myself it is all swings and roundabouts and everything can’t be exactly the same, evolution and growth happens to parents too. Little things don’t seem to matter and the kids do alright. (I hope). tell me it’s true. xxx

    • At 2012.07.23 15:20, Maria said:

      Hi Gemma,

      I agree Gemma, things can’t be exactly the same. I also find that my 4th has to deal with things that my 1st didn’t have to. Liked being locked out of the bedroom while everyone else is in there playing 😉

      I think the kids will be fine. Hell I’ve had to resign myself to the fact that my other kids are just as much of an influence as I am.

      So if I keep the first one in check the others should follow right?

      Love & stuff
      Mrs M

    • At 2012.07.23 15:08, Grace said:

      Oh God, Maria…I have twins so for each I reckon I sometimes parent at 50% capacity! LOL!
      Luckily my husband has more stamina than me :) x

      • At 2012.07.23 15:21, Maria said:

        Yeah look, I would definitely be parenting at a diminished capacity if I had twins. My hat goes off to you. That is stamina I KNOW I don’t have.

        Love & stuff
        Mrs M

      • At 2012.07.23 15:27, Caz (The Truth About Mummy) said:

        Oh so true. I want the same but don’t have the energy to be so highly strung about it – and I only have three!!!!

        • At 2012.07.23 15:48, Maria said:

          Hi Caz,

          Ah if only we could bottle energy. We’d be millionaires :-)

          Love & stuff
          Mrs M

        • At 2012.07.23 18:26, Kelly @ Handmade Tears and Triumphs said:

          I started parenting at a diminished capacity from number 2, I’d hate to see how easy number 4 is going to have it! Number 2 had a later bed time, less strict routine, he was allowed ON GRASS (I don’t like grass, so I kept number one off it!) Number 2 ate McDonalds *gasps* Now we have number 3 wasn’t even born in a hospital so we’re clearly on a downward slide!

          • At 2012.07.23 18:36, Maria said:

            Hi Kelly,

            Clearly a travesty :-)

            My no. 4 doesn’t have a strict evening bedtime. He usually just follows the others when they go off to bed. Somewhere between 7.30pm and 8.30…you know…if Masterchef is on my junior chefs ABSOLUTELY have to watch it. Whatever! As long as they’re quiet and don’t bother, then all is right with the world.

            Thanks for the visit and comment

            Love & stuff
            Mrs M

          • At 2012.07.24 15:16, Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right said:

            That’s very funny of Ray. I’m the third of four children, and I totally remember my mum being very strict on my older sisters and me getting away with murder. It’s really hard to keep up the energy levels. It’s one thing that strikes me over and over about parenting – that it’s an endurance race. I am hoping with a ten year gap between my eldest and my little ones, I will have a chance to catch my breath before teen years round 2.

            • At 2012.07.31 23:26, Maria said:

              Hi Rachel,

              My SIL who had kids ranging from teens to toddlers found it easier to have to deal with toddlers than teens 😉

              Love & stuff
              Mrs M

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