One size parenting

One size fits all parenting. What if through one size fits all parenting, all siblings are sidled together and as a consequence miss out on their own opportunities?

If that were the case, how easy would it be for a sibling to apportion blame on their parents and their other siblings for how their life has turned out? When parents don’t accept their mistakes and take responsibility, it makes it easy for siblings to carry their guilt, as they begin to look for fault elsewhere and instead blame one another.

Regardless of whether children are prevented from doing what they want to do, decisions in their early years lie with their parents and that’s a fact. Perhaps it’s more important children find a level of acceptance on their parents’ decisions, even if their decisions are far from acceptable and they’re not the decisions we wanted our parents to make. If that is the case, there seems to be very little point apportioning blame.

On the part of the parents, perhaps they should begin to base their decisions on what’s right for their individual children and not what’s right for them or their children combined. Of course once we become parents ourselves, we will have the options and opportunity to make any changes we didn’t agree with for our own children.

We often learn from our parents’ mistakes and although it doesn’t always help us, looking to apportion blame on our siblings’ because of the things we couldn’t change as a child, isn’t the right way to go. Siblings need to be able to get on.


18 Feb, 2015

6 thoughts on “One size parenting

  1. I think you have described parenting in the 1960s and 70s in the UK, perfectly. Our parents’ generation tended to parent as they were and to be honest from talking to friends over the years, it seems most made a pretty poor job of it.

    While we would like them to accept responsibility for the decisions they made for us, our parents generation didn’t seem all that interested in putting their children first; or maybe they did but never equipped themselves to parent. Either way their decisions were theirs and not ours to own.

    As you’ve rightly said before in recognising our parents’ failings we can change things for our children and that in itself is huge.

    1. Thank you! Ditto on your thoughts. You’re absolutely right, our parents’ decisions were their decisions and not ours to own. I am sure what you say in your response will go on to help many people still struggling to terms with that fact.

      When parents choose to ignore their role in their children’s lives, their children may always struggle to come to terms with the guilt.

  2. In our generation there was very little support for parents with a special needs child, so I guess they often parentted as they were in there own generation.

    I was extremely lucky to be brought up in a rural community where neighbors and extended family often helped my parents, especially with my siblings care when I had to be taken to the city for my weekly afternoon of therapy.

    Living in New Zealand we seem to be a more laid back society, but I do agree, often one size parenting was still the norm for most.

    1. Thanks Mike. How wonderful. From what you say, it sounds as though with the added help from neighbours, you and your family had the best of both worlds and it’s that which made a difference to you and none of you seemed to mind.

      I am sure although you will still have had your struggle days, with the support, your struggles will have seemed less evident. I know with more support I would have emotionally faired better.

      I seemed to struggle to understand the enormity of what it was I was dealing with and the one size parenting just compounded that and other problems for me.

      I’m pleased that things worked out for you and your family in the end.

  3. My parents definitely didn’t parent my sister and I the same. I was the protected one and Rhonda had more freedom to live her life.

    I feel guilty due to my parents always buying for me and I think my sister probably blames me for a few things she had to struggle with like buying her own cars and paying for her own education. But once again I blame the medical community for some part in this. For having my parents believe I wouldn’t live to see my 20th birthday.

    My parenting is different for all my kids. I’m actually getting to be a parent to our youngest, whereas my mom kind of took over that job when my daughter was very young. She would allow things that I wouldn’t and I just lost control of the whole situation.

    Of course it was also different with my step-daughter, because I became her mom after she was raised by her father for a few years and so it made it difficult for me.

    Parents do need to parent each child differently according to their style.

    1. Thanks Lisa. Your parents were clearly making allowances for your sister to compensate for your medical problems, but in the long run that never works; it just creates animosity amongst the siblings when your sister got everything you didn’t.

      It doesn’t matter that you had Diabetes to deal with. That will have been just one aspect to your parenting, but you not only missed out on all the things your parents furnished your sister with (and they should have done the same for you) but what they gave your sister will have changed the status quo between you both.

      I’m not sure why parents’ choose to parent that way and I don’t think other siblings should have allowances made because of something we deal with, as compensation for being born normal. Even if we have something that we deal with, other siblings should be taught by their parents to understand and learn to be the supportive; not so that they struggle in their own lives, but so they understand what we deal with.

      Regardless of whether we may have had 2 years to live or 72 years to live, the parenting should be the same. It’s how rifts between siblings start; when parents make a difference.

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