My Parenting Philosophy in Three Words

Maybe I’m not such a great parent after all.

My parenting philosophy can be summed up in three words. “Keep Expectations Low.” I need that on a t-shirt. Because I’ve never taken them on vacation (Go ahead and judge me. I am TERRIBLE!), I don’t have to do much to impress the boys. They’re better off that way.

I could drive them around the block and show up at the YMCA, and they’d still think it an exotic vacation if they get to:

  • play video games in bed until 11pm.
  • enjoy cable TV – although Squish learned that having 50 channels doesn’t guarantee that there is something to actually watch. It was a hard life lesson for him.
  • get snacks from a vending machine
  • continental breakfast, whether it boasts a waffle maker or dog turd sandwiches.
  • swim in a pool – and let me tell you, size does not matter. Our motel pool is smaller than the double bed in the motel room, and they still think they are Mr. and Mrs. Howell.
Source: I'll let them argue over which one is Lovey, but neither of them wants to get their hair wet.

Source: I’ll let them argue over which one is Lovey, but neither of them wants to get their hair wet.

One day, maybe we’ll actually get cable at home, and then they will NEVER leave! NAH!

20 thoughts on “My Parenting Philosophy in Three Words

  1. A common phrase my family used to describe things when I was a kid–movies, mostly, but other entertainment-type events as well–was, “It met my expectations.” That way, if something sucked but I had *expected* it to suck going in: hey! It still got a check in the WIN! column. Low expectations have an undeservedly bad rep, when in fact, I think they enable great love. (How much more winning! that check became, when my expectations were exceeded, for instance.)

    I remain today a huge fan of the low expectation. So, y’know, keep telling the kids about the dog turd sandwiches they may be eating tomorrow. Let ’em know you care.

  2. I love this! I won’t feel guilty when I don’t take my boys on three different activities a week. 🙂 Thanks for relieving my guilt!

  3. Haha this is funny. I remember as a kid that whenever we went on the “family vacation”, as long as they had a pool at the motel it did not matter that the room was crappy. Back then you did not even get coffee, let alone a breakfast. My mom had to have her coffee. She always packed a peculator and supplies.

  4. I think you are a great parent even if you don’t give your children alot of stuff. Children (in my experience ) don’t need alot.

  5. I always tell my kids if they’re REALLY good and take a bath and tiptoe and be super quiet, I’ll take them down to the lobby before bed and let them pick out their very own teabag.

    Like a grownup.

  6. Crappy motels in the middle of nowhere were the best thing ever! My sis and I grew up in Western Australia and all of our rellies lived in Victoria, clear on the other side of the country. Just over 4000km. Our big holidays involved driving for 2-3 days straight, sleeping in the car, sometimes staying in a motel where I loved those white sheets tucked in around the bed and eating breakfast at a truck stop, and stopping for petrol at 2 in the morning where we were allowed to have Twisties or an ice cream or whatever we wanted. At 2 in the morning!

    • That sounds like HEAVEN! The coolest part was that the motel was actually a pretty great one. Clean, comfortable, not far from everything, but far enough that it was quiet.

      I know people who make big trips to Disney every year, and that’s just not me. Not me at all. Simple is better. Low key, lower cost.

  7. Haha! Keep expectations low- i would like that on a shirt for myself at work! It is weird that the more channels there are, the less there is to watch…. Sounds like you and your family have a fun time 🙂

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