I recently bought myself a whiz bang kitchen appliance – The famous Thermomix. And before you close this article in fear of accidentally opening a cooking blog instead – bear with me…I assure you I will bring it back to parenting.
I’m not going to lie; I love my thermie. I have eagerly baked cakes, biscuits and buns. Curries, soups and bread – you name it I’ve made it. But what’s got me thinking is when people ask me is it worth the price tag. My quick reply was always absolutely – I use it every day – worth every cent. Until I met with a friend who also has one which she proceeded to tell me was her $2000 blender. I couldn’t understand – she hadn’t even attempted a risotto! But it could save her so much time!
That’s when it struck me. If she wasn’t into baking, cooking and creating culinary delights before – no device (no matter the price tag) was going to change her into a kitchen loving-bun making-domesticated-home chef.
And this is where I bring in the parenting spiel.
We are all different and value different things in what we offer our kids. Recent conversations with friends who have kids have had me thinking about what I value for my children. To me, being organized is a huge draw card to a happy harmonious home. My poor children can’t move two steps without posters, checklists and rules pinned all over the kitchen, bathroom and their rooms! While I convince myself I’m teaching them responsibility and independence, deep down I know that I’m satisfying my own OCD tendencies and keeping myself from going insane.
To balance this however, my kids eat sugary treats and to me it’s no big deal. They watch TV in the mornings. They chew gum on the way to school.
Deep down, these things just don’t bother me (but I’m guessing I’ve lost some fans with that disclosure!)
So can we expect parenting philosophies to suit every home? No way! I absolutely love the values and ideas presented in the course ‘How to talk so kids listen’, however anyone who’s done the course with me will know I don’t follow all the ‘rules’. It’s realistic to preface such education with ‘I prefer to do it this way’ or ‘Saying it that way feels awkward to me – but it might work for you’. We are not carbon copies of one another, we don’t follow the same parenting guidelines (I seemed to miss out on the instruction manual when I gave birth) and we are not motivated by the same ideas.
Our behaviours are only a problem if we THINK they’re a problem. For me – TV during breakfast – not a problem. Running late – big problem. Like the old saying ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’, you can throw every parenting program, book or article at a parent but you can’t guarantee a stress-free morning or an orderly bedtime. No one method can define what does or doesn’t work for your kids and your family.
So let’s celebrate our differences, and our Thermomix! Oops, did I say that out loud? But seriously, I love that Thermie.