Wednesday, August 6, 2008

wheels on the bus...

all this discussion about paranoid parenting has finally pushed me over the edge to come out and admit to y'all that i am a bad parent.

a bad parent indeed! i don't allow my 14 year old, petunia, to own a cell phone and worse yet, i make her take the city bus to school, the library, to the mall, even to her friend's house 15 miles away.

yes, yes, i make my kid use that bus pass, her legs, a watch and good old common sense to explore her city and be a part of the community in which she lives.

ask anyone. if the kid wants to get somewhere...she's walking, busing or riding her bike.

now you might ask, why? don't you worry?

of course i worry. i'm a mom. it's my job. but it's also my job to teach the child how to be a functioning part of society. it's my job to teach her to think on her own, plan, prepare, be on time and most importantly, stand tall and confident in unfamiliar situations and nothing does that better than using public transportation.

i always knew i wouldn't be one of them shuttle moms. in fact, i've was never the hovering type so this was an easy decision for me, for us.

it's been great. i don't waste petrol driving my kid around and she learns how to use a public phone to let me know she's going to be a few minutes late.

i don't stress about getting to where i need to be and where she needs to be, and she learns how to walk with purpose, not like a victim.

i get to trust that my daughter is exactly where she says she is and she has the confidence that i trust her right back.

see folks, i'm not the kind of mother that insists on catering to my child's every whim. i don't go out of my way to make sure she has what she wants (sometimes, it's really hard not to. she is after all, my only child.) in fact i take pleasure in making things just a little more difficult for her. not because i'm a meanie but because i am doing her a favor by making her work just a little harder for the things she wants.

you may take offense at my mothering, that's all right by me. i did preface this post by saying i'm a bad parent. that's makes everyone else a good parent, no?


  1. I have known a disturbingly large number of parents go off the rails when they, uh, I don't know, changed their thinking from the most basic teachings of their mommys and daddys -- after said parents had children. This is bad bad bad bad bad bad. All said parents were carefully controlled as children, young adults, and even married adults. When they decided to live their own lives, they had children, little lives dependent on their own. This is a tragedy. Your daughter will not do such a thing as she is getting to make various and sundry decisions on her own; live her own life--now she takes her own route to the library; later she will take her own route through life. It may share yours, but it will be her decision. Much praise.

    With respect,

    I remain


  2. This is how I was raised and how I will raise my daughter.


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