eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Saturday, July 26

On Parenting

I don't write a lot about it here. It seems odd since it's a subject at the top of my list of most important things to understand and to do well.

I have been reluctant to violate the privacy of my children and, frankly, not sure I wanted to expose my ignorance on this subject to the world.

Of course, immediately upon writing that, I realize it is completely inconsistent with the rest of my writing. I don't mind admitting my ignorance on a host of other subjects - politics, economics, etc. Why is parenting so sacred?

Well, for one, it's personal. If I make a mistake in politics, and all I do is vote periodically, then the worst that can happen is that my incorrect vote will hopefully be drowned out by the votes of many others.

If I raise my children wrong, however, then it's all my fault. Err. Never realized I thought about it quite that way.

The point is, I realize that just like politics, I might learn more in the process of writing about it, and getting the occasional criticism than if I kept it all to myself.

Besides, at the least, I can find interesting other articles and blogs about parenting and share my thoughts on those - without violating my children's' privacy.

So here's the blog that inspired me to finally consider blogging about parenting: Mama Specific Productions

Also, this post in Black Domestic Goddess really cracks me up.


Black Domesti Goddess said...

You do walk a fine line between blogging about parenting and violating the privacy of your children, which is why I don't post pics and I do not use their real names. (this is not to say that one can't find out their real names, but I'm gonna make them work for it, lol!) Go ahead and blog, girl, go for it!

Anonymous said...

It's your children's consent that should concern you.

I would be upset to find that my childhood was made public anonymously without my consent.

Imagine we were work colleagues. Would you as easily write anonymous anedoctes that involved me? Would it be respectful to do so without asking me?

If you didn't tell me and I've found your anonymous blog and identified with the anedoctes, would it be fair to let me wonder if it was me? If I asked you, wouldn't you be left pressured to drop the anonymity or lie?

Becky said...

I wouldn't be upset if my children wrote about me anonymously without my consent unless it made me seem to be a terrible mother or something. If it was a post about something funny I said or some silly thing I did - or even a goof up of some kind, I wouldn't mind.

Similarly, if a coworker wrote about me anonymously and it wasn't derogatory, I wouldn't mind.

I think I also wouldn't mind, if it was anonymous, having someone write about a problem they were having with me and were trying to solve. If they're trying to solve it and are just stuck on how to solve it or need encouragement to bring it to me, then I might be a bit embarrassed, but I'd be glad they're trying to fix it.

On the other hand, if I was such a terrible, horrible parent, that my kid wanted to vent to the world about it, well, I'd think I had worse problems than people reading about it on the web.

That said, I probably won't write too much in the way of stories or anecdotes about them. I was thinking more of general ideas about parenting which are hard to do sometimes without giving examples. Sometimes it's more useful to have an example involving a real situation - like one that might come up with my kids. My kids, like all kids, are unique and different from other kids. What seems like a good "theory" to apply to one might not actually work because of some little quirk special to my child.

Parenting is too hard a job to worry so much about privacy that one can't share information and get advice/help on it. On the other hand, the web is a pretty big audience, so I don't like the idea of too many details being made available about our personal lives. I'm sure I'll find some balance for it.

Anonymous said...

Medicine is also a very hard job, yet doctors seek the consent of their patients to use them as research subjects.

If you don't care to ask your children, you're not on the path of becoming a better parent.

Even if you ask, you should take in consideration that children are under pressure to please you. Also, that they might consent now but regret it later when they know better.

Parenting problems are very common. You can google them. If you really think yours are unique, chat with friends you trust not to gossip.

(Speaking of chat, why don't you pop up in tcschat anymore?)

Becky said...

That's certainly an interesting point.

An important different between a doctor and patient, though, is that the doctor isn't usually a close friend or relation to the patient. He's a paid service provider.

That doesn't mean he won't divulge non-identifying information to people on his staff or a colleague or even the internet in hope of finding additional information about how to treat a patient. You can google tons of case studies on various health issues.

That information can be valuable and so can hearing a realistic story of parenting situations. It can also be motivating and inspirational to hear of good and/or funny things that parents and children do.

Of course, I agree that some details are probably best left off, but I enjoy the wider audience and alternative perspectives that I can find on the internet. If I only speak to people I already know well, I might miss out on new and interesting ways of doing things.

Anonymous said...

Is it relevant for what I was saying that a doctor is a paid service provider?

Would you print anedoctes of your children's lives and distribute them around your neighborhood?

Becky said...

Yes. It is relevant that a doctor is a paid service provider. He is unrelated to the patient and doesn't have much of a personal stake in what happens to the patient, so there are protections written into the law to protect his patients.

A parent, on the other hand, is presumed to care about the child and is trusted, legally, to make decisions about when and where to share information. I do care about my children and what information I share or don't share is done with their well-being in mind. I think a bit of openness is a good thing for most people.

I wouldn't print stories about my children's lives and distribute them in the neighborhood. First, it would cost me more than writing this on a blog. Few people would actually be interested (and really, judging by my hit count, relatively few people read my blog). Second, if I published such things in my neighborhood, I would be putting us at far greater risk since folks in the area would know exactly where I live, have easy access to it, and some of them might have criminal intent.

Now, keep in mind, neither would I print anything off my blog and distribute it in my neighborhood. What's the point? I'm not writing this to force it on lots of uninterested/unwilling spectators. I write with the intent of examining my own thoughts and sharing with people who have similar interests but perhaps different perspectives. Most of my neighbors probably don't share my interests.

On the other hand, it wasn't unusual when I was a child, to have little stories about various people in the community appear in the local newspaper. There were even a few of those about me. I didn't mind it, and most people didn't mind appearing in the paper over some little good thing that happened in their lives. It was a very small community, but still, there were probably at least 1000 people who read it - far fewer than the number of people who would likely ever read a particular article on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Why did you move away from TCS?

Becky said...

I meant to say that 1000 was far more than would ever read a particular article on my blog.