Every child is unique. Their interests, perspective and personalities blend in one-of-a-kind ways to create one-of-a-kind people. Some kids are born growling, ready to join Team Wild while some are definitely set for Team Mild, from the start. It’s amazingly beautiful when you think about it.
It’s also really annoying when you grow up and marry a man who had a completely different childhood experience than you.
For example, my husband watched horror movies and adult content at a very young age. Like kindergarten young. I don’t know if this was due to relaxed parenting or if he was super sneaky. (For the record he’s a self-admitted childhood turd…so assume what you will.) But, regardless of how it happened, he’s a very well-adjusted, unafraid adult; a fact that impacts his parenting today.
You see, my darling husband (And that is said with 1,000% sincerity; I adore that turd.) sometimes thinks that because he was unaffected by certain situations and experiences, our children should be likewise unaffected.
However, our eldest daughter seem to have inherited my temperament, and will likely be afraid to walk down a darkened hallway for the rest of her life. Luckily, my husband isn’t completely oblivious and, generally speaking, he makes parenting choices based on her personality, not his own.
But every now and again, a grey area pops up. Something less physically extreme than a roller coaster and less visually graphic than a “mature” rated video game. Something like: The Princess Bride. It’s a favorite movie of mine and my husbands, and a movie like that is when our backgrounds collide. I start focusing on all the possible nightmare triggers…and he grumbles that he watched things “way worse” and when he “was half her age.”
It’s even more complicated when you add in the fact that kids she knows have already seen it (or something worse…) and they’re younger.
But ironically, none of this even matters. Not my Early Childhood Education classes or years of parenting and daycare. Not my husbands opinions and personal experience. And certainly not my daughter’s peers.
The only thing that has any real weight in deciding what my children are visually and mentally ready for, is them. The ratings on video games and movies are a nice jumping off point, but ultimately each child’s personality should play into a parents decision making.
Parenting The Kid’s We Have
So while my husband may be itching to ride the Tower of Terror with our kids, or pop in a Jurassic Park Blu-Ray and cuddle up with the little ones, he’s still got several years of waiting to do. Although, who knows. Our one-year-old is much more #teamwild than #teammild, so I guess we will see. She could be watching dinosaurs eat guys this time next year (although with me as her mother I seriously tend to doubt it).