From Bedtime to Birthday Parties, Parenting Peer Pressure

From Bedtime to Birthday Parties, Parenting Peer Pressure

We all have this one person in our lives who comments on everything we do with our kids as if they have the secret rulebook. Sadly, I have many of these people around me. I am not here to discuss who is right. I just want to talk about the pressure they create in our lives as parents, as if parenting itself is not enough burden. I deliberately chose the word burden because parenting these days is so much more challenging than it was long ago. That’s why it is really frustrating to find people judging your efforts, questioning your rules, or creating more pressures by the new trends they come up with.

“Parenting peer pressure also enforces additional charges that more often than not are not favorable, but again, we surrender and sometimes even do it gladly.”

Comments like

“Why do you put your kids to sleep early?”

“Why don’t you let them do this on their own?”

“Why don’t you make them eat so and so?”

If I am doing it then I am convinced with it. Surprisingly, I have had so many negative comments about putting my kids to sleep early, but it never affected me for I know I am doing the right thing for my kids’ health and growth. I know for a fact that many parents get affected by this kind of feedback, and might face parenting peer pressure and sadly let go because doing the right thing is becoming an exception.

“Birthday parties became an unannounced competition for who can make the best party of all.”

Parenting peer pressure also enforces additional charges that more often than not are not favorable, but again, we surrender and sometimes even do it gladly. One of those trends bothering me lately is the extravagant kids’ birthday parties. Now, when I look at birthday parties, it is more like an engagement rather than a kid’s birthday. It misses the essence of pleasing your own child; it lacks the innocence of how a kid’s birthday party should look like. Too much attention is being paid to the accessories, decorations and unnecessary details that drains the parents and dilutes the beauty of the real occasion.

“I decided that I am going to do whatever makes my kids happy. And kids are made happy by simple, little things that touch their hearts, not exaggerated celebrations.”

Birthday parties became an unannounced competition for who can make the best party of all. I see that as an additional unneeded pressure, because I remember when I was young, our birthdays were cozy and fun. They were all about being at home with our close friends, yet it was much more beautiful. Now, however, the preparations, the to-do list, the setting, the photography, everything is becoming so stressful and a little bit fake.

Sometimes I am afraid that parents do the birthdays just for the sake of showing off and winning the race.

I have four year old twins and I fell in the trap of throwing them one of those birthdays, but honestly I was so stressed that I decided I am not falling for this again. I didn’t do it to show off, but I didn’t want them to feel as if they were missing something other friends or relatives are doing. The day was so distressing that I felt like baking them a cake at home was going to be more heartwarming. Next time I throw them a party, it is going to be a cozy one at home with a selected short list of people. I decided that I am going to do whatever makes my kids happy. And kids are made happy by simple, little things that touch their hearts, not exaggerated celebrations. No matter how much pressure I get, I will keep putting my kids to sleep early, and I will do whatever I feel is best for them, even if the entire world is doing otherwise.

diana fareed

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