Family Magazine

Parenting and Cultures

By Livingnotes @livingnotesnyc
Let's talk about parenting today.  A few recent occurrences made me think a little deeper into this subject, raising a few questions in my mind. 
Question 1 : what is parenting? 
I don't know if there is a straight forward, one-fits-all answer. To me , parenting is a communication form with the child , where an adult is an authoritative statute acting in and for the benefit of the child. Now that I wrote that I think it sounds like a Wikipedia definition, but let's take a practical application to it.
Imagine this situation ( I am a visual person and this is a real life example from last week) :
Pediatrician's office. A child , let's call her Jane,  about 3 years old is throwing the toys all over the place. Their turn seems to be upcoming. 
The mother : "Jane, please, pick up all the toys". Jane : " Nope. I don't want to".The mother, begging: " Jane, pleeeeeease, pick up the toys..."Jane : " I said NO!" stumping her foot.  The mother with the sigh : "Ok then, I will pick them up"... and with a face expression that reads "my-life-is-so-hard-these-toddlers-are-unbearable" goes on to pick up the toys.
 To some it may seem as an absurd and obvious situation, to others , it may look like a typical something out of their day, some may even think , reading this " this is why I don't want to have kids".  Unfortunately, this "stencil" of a situation is something that I see rather often, but what is more worrisome to observe is the reaction of the surroundings. When the mother went to pick up those toys, she has received many sympathetic and understanding looks , if not all.  Mine was the one of the amusement.  
I am failing to see how a child ruling over the parent in even little things will listen to parent in a situation of an importance, and more so - an emergency. A parent - according to self-made definition - is a person of much love, fun, source of happiness, but authority nonetheless, whose statements are not to be questioned. That, in my opinion, is created, by, again, lots of love, kindness, but supported by unwavering firmness. The "keep calm, carry on" must have been created with the thoughts of parenting in mind, because it fits perfectly.
I am genuinely curious of your opinions on "Bringing up Bebe" Pamela Druckerman , if you have read or heard of it. I thought that her statements were simply common-sense parenting, but the more I come in contact with different parents, the more I am seeing WHY she wrote the book. 
I would love to talk more about parenting.

Do you think the above mentioned example is ok?  How much freedom is too much? How would you act in a similar situation? What do you see as a definition of a parenting?

 PS: how would you handle ,say, a 5 year old , who decides that he/she wants to drive your car and sneaks out into the garage with your keys? ( sounds crazy, but a real life situation from a friend).

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