Thursday, March 15, 2012

Where in the parenting books do I find this?

If I have never mentioned it here before, I don't read baby books. Which is not to say that I never have or that I don't have any of them (although, honestly, I don't think that I do)...just that I have never found them that useful. I feel like they are written from the perspective of one person after observing a small number of children, or that they represent some kind of "average" child. The problem being that there are no "average" children.

[Side note: One of the few times in my life that I have actually laughed in a meeting...someone was presenting a business plan to us and had all kinds of demographic data to back up their new strategic plan. The problem was that Boss Foxy wasn't buying their plan, and thought that the data was irrelevant, which caused her to tell the people "The average person has one breast and one testicle. What the fuck does that tell us about anything?"]

I definitely consult baby health-related websites on occasion for specific questions..."Is this chicken pox?" "Can she take cough medicine?", etc...but I never use those kinds of resources as a standard guidepost for parenting. And I really don't want to imply that others shouldn't read those books, even if I sometimes tell people to read them less. There is usually nothing bad that comes from getting extra opinions or different thought processes on particular subjects.

This isn't really new for me. I was encouraged to read parenting books the first time around...and while I opened several, I never found them particularly useful. I have always just done things based on my own perception of what would work, or based on the advice of people whose opinions I valued. I was certainly blessed with a abnormally mature and easy-to-care-for kid the first time around...and that has helped me to gain confidence in my own ability to just figure stuff out.

All of which is good...because I am pretty sure there is no parenting book anywhere that deals with my next parenting issue: How do you discourage your (daughter's) foreign boyfriend from deciding to go to college in the same city in which you live?

Yea...any ideas on that would be really help. I adore him, on his own and with her. I love how he makes Munchkin feel. She is a better person for having met and known him. I am even good with the idea of him coming to school in the States. But living across the river from us? Or even on the same campus? Yea, that I am not really on board with...


A said...

Take him on a trip to Ann Arbor? ;)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

Jumping on A's suggestion, you should swing by Chapel Hill on that tour - it's much more fun to visit in the winter.

Also? At least you live in a city with PLENTY of options for Munchkin - it's not like she'd HAVE to attend the same college. =)

Dawn said...

Hmmm, you surprised me on that -- not being on board with that, I mean.

I'm curious: for what reason(s) aren't you loving the idea of him being right there?

Katie said...

I'm actually surprised that you don't want him right there near Munchkin as well.

As for parenting books, and magazines, etc - I couldn't agree more! I even feel that way about (some) Pediatrician's advice -- they tell you what would work in an ideal world but that is hardly ever what works in your world.

lisa said...

I think Munchkin has handeled that relationship astonishingly well so far.

If he lived in the same city, well, I'm sure they would see a lot of each other. But I'm also sure that their spending time together wouldn't be detrimental to anything.

Munchkin seems smart enough not to let her own school work suffer.
And since you like the boy there are lots of possibilities for you all to spend time as a family.

Whatever it is you fear if he moves near (nice rhyme ;) ), I guess you're still sooo much better off with him seeing your "daughter" than with her dating some douchebags that, after all, would probably be living in the same town, as well.
Another thing: I lost track of how old your girl is, 16? When would he be coming? If she's nearing college, at least she has one more reason to stay in the area ;)

Kathleen said...

This is a toughy. I think Munchkin is such a different kid that the affect this could have on her is different than on most girls her age. As a long-term reader I can guess what some of your concerns are esp. related to your own experiences but I think from what you shared this relationship is different than most at their ages and maybe a serious relationship at that age might not hold Munchkin back like it would other girls. I think she has already been through so much in her life that the same rules just don't apply in some ways. Just my 2 cents. ;-)

Kari said...

I would take him on a tour of a bunch of other colleges! Talk about how horrible the winter is (when really it isn't). Also talk about how much you enjoyed going to a new city where you knew no one for college.
I would worry if he went to college in your metro area, that Munchkin would only apply to colleges in that area too (she will get into any college she applies to), not to the school that is the best for her (although she will excel at any college). However, Munchkin is way more mature than kids her age (heck more mature than most 30 year olds) she will handle things well.