Isn't it amazing how broad the spectrum is for parenting? There is so much that falls within the realm of "right". I might have a reason for doing one thing that another parent (a good parent!) has for doing it exactly the opposite. That doesn't necessarily make one of us right and the other wrong! I definitely have my convictions on some of these "gray" areas.
:: dating vs courting. I plan to have my children do more in the realm of courting. I don't yet know all of the implications of this right now (come on people, I still have time! My oldest just turned 12!) I just know that it appeals to me. I feel like too much alone time with someone of the opposite sex when they have all of these new emotions and hormones...is just a recipe for disaster. But, that's just one way!
:: what to allow your children to listen to and watch. I tend to be pretty strict in this area. I believe that although we live in a world with cursing and sex and drugs...my kids don't need to see it all at this age. I grew up with the song "Be careful little eyes what you see...Be careful little ears what you hear..." There could be some value in some of the reality shows (Intervention for one where they show the realities of a drug addicted life, Teen Mom for another where they show some of the realities of the lives of pregnant teenagers and how their choices affect their lives) but for me the graphic nature of these shows is more than I want my children seeing or thinking about at this time. Yes, it might scare them of ever doing drugs or getting pregnant as a teen or it might take some of the shock value out of it and desensitize them. And even a little desensitization at this time is just too much in my book. As for music, we stick with mostly praise music. Partly because I can't trust the disc jockeys on most other stations. Yikes! The things they talk about. :/ Not to mention some of the songs...Also, I don't know whether to be horrified, amused or in between at the "teeny bopper" shows. (Disney anyone?) These kids on the shows are like 12 and under and are "dating". Ummm, to actually date someone you have to be old enough to go somewhere....!!?? And all they talk about is "stuff"-what they have, what they're trying to acquire, how stupid their parents are, how they can sneak around on rules....I am less strict on some things that other parents might not allow: A-Team anyone? MacGyver? All from the 80s. Reading. I monitor their books as best as I can (although they are both avid readers and I have a hard time keeping up-and I have paid dearly for that a time or two).
:: Dress code. I have been convicted in recent years about showing less skin and requiring the same for my daughters. But I explain it to them. We do not cover up from head to toe, we do not wear burqas, we do wear shorts and we do wear bathing suits at appropriate times. We don't wear short shorts, we don't wear teeny bikinis. Do I think it's my place to judge what others are wearing or allowing their children to wear? No. Do I sometimes cringe? Yes!
:: Chores. Some people have their children do many chores for which they may or may not be compensated...some people have their children do nothing at home. Your kids? Then it's your choice.
:: Discipline. Some use corporal punishment and others don't. I believe as long as you are finding an effective form of training your children and they have consequences when they do not follow the rules...good for you! Please don't judge me if my way looks different.
:: Activities. We know people who are in EVERY.THING. And then kids that are not really in any organized activities (although these days that is fewer and farther between). My kids are in a couple of things (4-H, Cubscouts, Soccer, Baseball, Drama--that is all of their activities, not that each child is in each of those things....
So what is my point? Please make it a point to realize that not everyone's family looks the same as yours. Sometimes I catch myself wondering what someone is thinking, then I remember that it's their kid, their choice. As long as they are not harming their child...who am I to judge? I'm not. I can only discern what is right for me and my family (along with my husband). We should be supporting each other as moms, not judging, bashing, belittling, correcting, etc.
Be kind to your fellow moms. You don't know what they've been through or what they're going through....and there but for the Grace of God go...YOU!