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Like most children, my own brood complains constantly about my style of parenting.
But what if they wanted to swing on the curtains and to paint the walls red? I suppose I should make them clear up the kitchen themselves, but I’ve enjoyed myself so much that I haven’t got the heart. I’ve just put the kettle on for a calming brew when Leonard appears, holding out the book he got for his birthday, which is all about Egypt. It’s all I can do to get them up and dressed.‘I feel terrible,’ says Leonard, bleary-eyed.‘I did warn you,’ I say. My acquiescence to everything has meant that they are not only buzzing with e-numbers and sugar, but are exhausted, too But I have also learned some important lessons.
What if my teenage son, 14-year-old Raymond, wanted to bring girls home every night and smoke? There was only one way to find out …It all starts pretty well. When the cake is baked, they demand slice after slice, which of course I agree to, while reminding them they might feel sick. ‘Mum, I feel sick.’‘Well,’ I say sagely, ‘I did warn you — but you insisted.’They all nod their heads, looking rather serious. ‘It’s all very well doing what you want, but you have to understand there are consequences.’He yawns. The hassle of clearing up the kitchen after they have made a cake is nothing compared to the joy I feel when I hear them laughing so freely.
We sat down and discussed it (over ice cream) as something that was going to happen once and if things went well, maybe a second and third and fourth time.
This approach has also helped when she jumps immediately to the "Aah! " phase, which it is clearly too soon to determine at this point.
According to the currently fashionable idea of ‘free parenting’, though, what I should be saying is ‘Yes’.
There are various blogs and websites devoted to the notion that we should give our children free choice, and, in this way, encourage their development while at the same time teaching them responsibility.He called for a relaxed and fun style of bringing up children — dubbed ‘serenity parenting’ — which involves us taking a backseat role. They get the mixture everywhere, spreading the flour all over the floor. We spend half an hour looking at pictures of pyramids and discussing the pros and cons of meeting ‘a real live’ mummy.‘Can we go there? ‘But I could wash people’s cars and earn money, couldn’t I? I feel torn between choking to death and waves of nausea, but the children are having such fun I don’t want to disappoint them. I agree to them staying up late, while pointing out they will be tired in the morning (hopefully too tired to remember the new puppy). It’s 14-year-old Raymond who takes control of the situation — by telling them they can’t play on the Wii at all.It’s particularly interesting to me because I recently decided to try an experiment. Ten yoghurt Frubes in a tube in their packed lunches each? Ottoline demands to go to nursery school dressed in her rabbit costume, and, once I’ve said yes to this, the boys get very over-excited.‘Can we make a cake when I get home? For a split-second I panic — but does it really matter? I realise this is what makes them happy — silly, nonsensical family fun. We settle down on the sofa together, watching a movie. I can’t help but feel a swell of pride that my oldest is developing a sense of responsibility.In the style of ‘free parenting’, I would say yes to everything my children wanted for an entire week — and see what happened. My daughter cracks an egg in her lap and they all burst out laughing. It occurs to me that all the children really seem to want is for me to relax with them, rather than always running around like a mad thing. It’s as if, as one, they realise I am allowing them to do what they want to do — and all hell breaks loose.‘Can we stay up as long as we like? One by one, they nod off; bar Leonard, who forces himself to stay awake till midnight. They ask to play on the Wii and I agree, but then World War III breaks out when they start squabbling over the controls and Jerry ends up walloping his sister. Experiment nearly over and I feel I have proved a point — one that is very interesting to all of us.The only rules were not to let the children know what I’d decided to do, and to ensure that I alerted them to the consequences of their actions, so they could make their own well-informed choices. I try not to giggle along with them, especially when I realise that I am actually having fun. As expected, the children are horribly tired and cranky. For a start, by the end of the week the children are imploding.(Ironically, I try to keep this kind of open communication with whomever I'm dating as well, which makes that relationship go a lot better also!Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating