Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

Generation Gap? October 25, 2007

Filed under: 1-2-3 Magic,baby,children,discipline,family,moms,toddlers — middleagedmom @ 10:10 pm
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I just had a conversation with my girlfriend who has a son that’s 2 years old. The conversation consisted of the usual topics – eating, discipline, sleeping, tantrums, etc.

The major issue that seems to be arising with her son is sleeping. He just recently turned 2 but is able to climb out of his crib already.  This has been a big problem because once out of the crib he is able to open his bedroom door and leave his room. Apparently, they have a door handle rather than a door knob. So, he just pulls the handle down and the door is open. Often times, he will leave his room when he wakes up during his nap or at night. I’ve suggested a crib tent but she is not comfortable with the idea. We’ve discussed the use of a gate in front of the door to keep him in his room. She said that another friend suggested holding the door closed when he tries to open it but that’s kind of difficult if it happens in the middle of the night.  Another suggestion is to change the door handle to a door knob so that he will at least stay in his room.

A comment that arose out of this conversation was that her friend’s doctor is older so he comes from the old school of thought…very straightforward and strict. The doctor is the one who suggested that her friend hold the door closed to keep her child in the room. My girlfriend says that parenting styles were different back then and that since the doctor is older he comes from the old school.  She claims that her own pediatrician is more leanient (since he is younger) although she has never discussed this sleep issue with her pediatrician.

My thoughts are that if her son waking up and leaving the room is a problem then she should “fix” it. I suggested that she “fix” it sooner than later. Children learn quickly what is acceptable behavior so I’m sure he has learned that it is okay to get out of the crib and go look for mommy or daddy.

I wonder if it really makes a difference if you’re from the “old school”or the “new school”? Maybe the younger generation (us) have come to believe that we can talk to or reason with our children about everything. Maybe we believe that if we are more patient or we give them more lee-way (sp?) or we don’t let them cry that we are saving our children from years of torment and frustration. The funny thing is that when you talk to the older generation (our parents or grandparents) they don’t understand why our children can’t fall asleep on their own or why they don’t stay in their room at night or why they throw tantrums. (Remember my mother’s comments when we were at the toy store with Princess.) In “their” days, you didn’t spoil your children. There was a clear sense of who the parent was and who the child was. I’m not saying they did it all correctly, esp. since they believed in spanking a lot more than we do. (Believe me, I know this from personal experience.)

The funny thing is that as a child I knew who I needed to listen to and who I needed to show respect to.  I listened to my parents and grandparents. There was no such thing as “talking back” to your elders. Another funny thing is that in the “old” days there weren’t very many parenting books around. Now, there are hundereds of parenting books with hundreds of options on how to “handle” your children. Yet, we as parents are still confused about how to deal with the everyday issues of raising our children.

So who’s right?

P.S. I have suggested the 2 books I’ve mentioned before – 1,2,3 Magic and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

P.S.S I apologize if this post is a little long-winded and confusing, I’m writing after taking benadryl so I’m a little drowsy.