Underneath the Surface

iceberg

It’s a really interesting aspect of social media and our culture–we have such a flat perspective of one another. We usually only see what someone posts. We don’t see all of their history and character and current reality the same way we would if we were only interacting with the same people face to face over the course of years. (Obviously one can still hide a lot face to face, but it’s quite different.)

I’ve been thinking about it lately as I’ve been sharing things that go along with my current obsessions, interests, beliefs, station in life, etc. And as I share them and read comments I’m reminded of how easy it is to base our response purely on that interaction and not on all of who a person is.

So for me lately… a few topics I’ve been posting, and then some background, some underneath stuff. The rest of the iceberg, so to speak.

Gentle Parenting/questioning spanking

I was spanked till I was 14 (though much less toward the end). I know what it’s like. I remember many spankings vividly. I don’t remember learning much. I do remember being hurt and confused.

I used to be completely convinced that spanking was the way to go and that if you didn’t spank you were soft and going to ruin your children.

I’ve read many parenting books, starting in my young teens. This isn’t a topic I’m just beginning to explore, but rather I am continuing a study of a little over a decade, and plan to continue for the next several decades and probably beyond.

I’ve already spanked several children of different ages. (My siblings, when I was in charge) I’ve seen first hand how it makes me feel, how it affects them, etc.

I’ve also used a gentle but firm approach to many children, some not my siblings.

I am not really a naturally gentle person. Or a naturally patient person. I am really ashamed of the way I treated my siblings in the past and have apologized to them. I’m thankful they have forgiven me and our relationships are healed. These are things I have been working on for many years and I’m really thankful to God for the progress that has been made. I’m not perfect and don’t expect to be in my parenting.

I quite enjoy sword fighting and nerf and other “violent”, active games (though unfortunately I haven’t been able to do any for awhile). I play wrestled my brothers and will play wrestle my son and teach him to sword fight (with care) and climb trees and so forth.

I am open to being wrong and changing my mind. I do it often as I learn new info.

I enjoy reading a variety of perspectives and then forming my own. I don’t subscribe to any one parenting philosophy and likely never will. I just don’t work like that.

Pictures and videos of my son

I try not to crop all the mess out, but I do admit that sometimes I use angles to make the background more appealing.

I always feel like I’m not doing enough with him, and that I’m not paying him enough attention.

The things I do with him are super simple and don’t take much time, even though they may look like it at times.

Childhood development 

This has fascinated me long before I was a mother…

I continue to be amazed at these little people and how well they learn. I don’t think it’s so much the parent’s job to teach them, but rather to keep them safe and provide opportunities for them to learn.

I really wish our culture was more accepting of and gracious to babies and children… one thing I believe might help is better understanding of how they develop and what is appropriate to expect from them. Which is one reason I share.

One of the biggest things that changed when I became a parent was my perspective on getting children used to things. I realized that babies change so drastically themselves that even if everything around them seems the same to us, it isn’t the same to them. So you can’t really get them used to things or train them the way I imagined. (Of course it is still helpful to them to have a predictable environment! I just didn’t realize how drastically they change during leaps and how suddenly their behavior can completely change, and it has nothing to do with your parenting.)

~~~~~

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. It’s just interesting. And a good reminder to myself that other people have similar experiences and former beliefs and so on below the surface of their posts.

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