Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An interesting question about parenting

I was recently asked an interesting question. I was giving a reference for a friend concerning a foreign exchange program and was asked the question, "Would you let your child stay with these people for a year?" I answered without hesitation, easy question (even though I don't have have a child, lol).

We had houseguests this weekend when I got that call, and it occurred to me. If you want to know about parenting, would it not be a better question to ask, "Would you willingly watch their child for a year." It happens that I would also do that in a heartbeat for the people I was referencing for. Our houseguests at the time, on the other hand, would be a different story.

Now to be fair, our visitor was in his terrible two's, much more difficult than the older children referenced earlier, but I think I would have taken them at two as well (even though I didn't know them then so I can be 100%).

I just wonder if it is a better tell of parenting style by looking at the children and their behavior. Of course I realize that all kids are different and I don't mean to pick on our little visitor because he also adorable and very loved. But compatibility can be an issue when dealing with caring for other people's kids.

Interesting food for thought.


  1. Generally speaking, I think the behavior of a child reflects the kind of parenting he or she has received.

  2. I think those are difficult questions for a childless person or couple to answer. Such an answer would be strictly theoretical.

    I often hear people say, "If I developed a cancer, I would or wouldn't do x." Again, this answer is theoretical. Later on, when the individual is diagnosed with cancer, I have seen situations where the individual pursued therapies that were at odds with their previous theoretical formulations!

  3. Rambling Taoist makes a really good point. Every answer is hypothetical, and I have also done readings that support the same "cancer" idea.

    In the end, I think the raising/watching of another's children comes down to not what the child is like, but how flexible/adamant the adult is. I know I have certainly learned a lot about myself because I am a parent.

    And, thank you for the lovely recommendation and words of praise!!!