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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I Don't Want to be Redundant!

Have you heard of Michael Grose?  His website and blog tell me he is Australia's no.1 parenting educator, although I have to wonder how you know you're no.1 in that particular field.  But anyway, I did hear quite a bit about him when I was teaching and my son's school is a big fan of his and regularly includes his ideas and suggestions in their newsletter and e-mails.

This morning as I checked my e-mails I found one from the school entitled 'Developing Junior Independence'.  I had a quick read because Michael Grose is an 'expert' and a lot of what he has to say is good stuff.  This morning, however, something he said got my back up, raised my hackles, made me wonder if I'm a bad parent.  And this is my main problem with parenting experts, they often make me feel like a bad parent because I don't like being told what to do.  Don't get me wrong, I do not for one minute profess to know it all.  I am certainly no expert myself.  And these 'experts' probably do help a lot of parents, I hope.  But today he just made me cranky.  What did he say? This...

Remember REDUNDANCY is your aim as a parent!

I don't know about you but this just doesn't sit well with me.  I understand the intention. Yes, of course our children need to be independent eventually.  But do I really need to be redundant?  I don't want to be redundant, ever!  I want my children to know I'm here for them forever, if they need or want me.  I just have an issue with that word.  It's so cold.  Is it because he's a man?  Do men have a more practical sense of parenting?  Dads, what do you think??

If you'd like to see his blog you can find it here.

15 comments:

  1. That's a pretty harsh word.. I'd prefer to end up being a casual parent. Working on holidays. Special occasions and called when needed. That sounds a lot better.

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  2. No! That's a terrible word to use.

    No matter how old you are, you still need your parents. And if they're not around, you still need the advice they gave you and the feeling that they're still 'there' with you.

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  3. A bit cold and harsh. I thought the main aim of parenting was to raise happy, well behaved, respectful children who grow into happy well adjusted adults who can turn to their parents at any time.

    Isn't that the point of parenting that you will always BE A PARENT and nothing can ever change that!

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  4. Hmm, it is harsh but as a recently redundant parent I can understand where he's coming from. If you don't use such a cold, hard term you run the risk of sugar coating it. Maybe if someone had told me that I needed to prepare for redundancy, I might have coped with it better. When a child becomes and adult and moves on out... it really does make you feel redundant...at least in the short term.

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  5. I'm not a parent so I can't comment from that perspective, but even as a relatively independent young adult, I can't stand the thought of not having my mum around!

    I'm not saying she needs to cook my dinner/do my laundry/make my bed for the next 50 years, but I just like knowing that she is THERE if I ever need her.

    "Redundant". What a strange way to describe your eventual role as a parent....I gotta disagree.

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  6. I can see that stages of parenting become redundant ie nappy land!
    But parenting in itself evolves continually throughout life. I get where you are coming from.

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  7. Are you ever redundant as a parent? really? I mean thinking about it as a daughter - my parents certainly aren't - they effect a lot (possibly too much) of what I do whithout even being there, on top of which I wish they were there a bit more - I would love to have a Mum I could talk to about problems and issues and have someone safe I could go to for comfort when things majorly screw up in my life and thats what I want my kids to always have..that plus if they choose to have children babysitting because I know how much I would love to have that...redundant???...seriously???...why???...I mean if he is suggesting that you let your children have their own lives - sure - but thats more just working from home instead of going into the office isn't it?
    grumble.
    parenting gurus - I'm not sure anyone can be one as parenting every child is different.

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  8. It was a poor choice of words on his part. In part I understand what he is trying to say. However as a helicopter parent myself I do worry sometimes if my children will ever want to leave home! (Secretly I am happy for them to stay) As you say, we want them to be independent. I don't want to be redundant.

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  9. Very poor choice of words. Surely he could have phrased it as a positive, not a negative? Bah.

    I hate parenting experts, yet I feel obliged to read their books. Have you seen Heart to Heart Parenting? Oh, steep me in guilt... ;)

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  10. Not even going to click on his blog because it will make me want to stab my computer.

    I hate being given parenting advice. Especially from my husband, er I mean the school.

    I spoil my child with love (and toys). I tell him about 56989 times a day how much I love him, I lie with him in bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT (he is 9) and I kiss and cuddle him at every given opportunity.

    He is smart, confident, independent where he needs to be, responsible and perfect in every way (no bias at all).

    I hope I am never redundant in his life. Although I can tell you he would have a hard time extricating himself from me if he wanted to.

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  11. Obviously a the number one parent is someone who never makes a mistake, never struggles, never has a bad minute (let alone day) and has perfect children who grow into perfect adults who then never call him.

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  12. I think it's more a bad choice of words than anything else. I certainly aim to no longer be parenting as I currently am and figure that slowly certain aspects of parenting will no longer be needed but it's not a redundancy, perhaps more like I'm training my successor so I can move on to a caretaker role :)

    (My word verification is 'imenta" I think it's trying to say "I'm mental" lol

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  13. My children are now adults and I hope I am not redundant yet, in fact I know I am not, as they still come to me for advice, for hugs, for money (yep still) and for love. A mother's love is never redundant - I know my Mother is not and she is 78.

    What you do need to do though is to teach your children to stand on their feet, to try new things, to reach out - always knowing that they have you watching their backs - well that is my philosophy.

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  14. Yikes. That's definitely a bad word usage.

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  15. Definitely a poor choice of word(s). I'm 35 and still need my Mum. Not all the time, but I know she's there when I do need her!

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