Finding the middle ground among inherently contradictory parenting goals creates balance. I'm trying to figure out how.

Parenting theory

A brief intro

My name is Zoltan. I don't mind swimming upstream and I don't take parenting for granted, hence this website. I find that writing down and editing my ideas over and over is a great way to organize my thoughts, figure out what matters and what doesn't and prioritize the important bits. Sometimes it takes years to really wrap my head around complex topics even as I spend a great deal of time thinking about them. If I didn't spend the time to think about this stuff I may never get it right or it'd be too late and my kids wouldn't be kids anymore. Weeks and months fly by and I owe it to my kids not to be late giving them what they need at the present moment.

I'm not about to blindly accept what is promoted by mainstream media or dictated by common sense as the ideal way of dealing with things. Even if I come to the conclusion that whatever everybody else is doing is the right thing to do, I want to know why. If anyone leaves a comment on my website to challenge my thoughts all the better, discussion is good!

Not just me

Throughtout this website I write 'my kids', 'my job as a parent', etc. In reality it's 'our kids' and 'our job as parents' with my wife but I find writing in first person singular to be much easier.

Influences

My ideas about parenting are greatly influenced by my childhood. (duh!) I grew up in Hungary in the 80s and 90s when communism gave way to capitalism, living in a middle class family, raised by devoted, conservative and loving parents in the heart of a great city of 150,000 people where large parks and rivers and forests were all a very short walk away. My teachers spent their energy on teaching and not on striking and children spent their energy on playing and learning. What a great place and time to be a kid! Nobody - not the toy companies, not my teachers, not my parents, not my friends, not the TV programs, not our neighbours - ever tried to make me be an adult too soon - I was allowed to be a child, I was allowed to live every minute of my childhood as a child. I also didn't have a cellphone or internet until after high school and I think of this as a blessing. Instead of texting and being on facebook I played with other kids in the park, we rode our bikes and played soccer and we talked to each other face to face. There was no instant gratification: if I wanted to say something to my friend in the evening I had to wait until next morning. Yup. If I wanted a toy there was a good chance I had to wait a year for it.

Then I moved to Canada. The move from a small, struggling country to a vast and wealthy place helped me put many things into perspective. This perspective comes in handy to plan our kids' lives.

I am also influenced by the writings and lectures of John Rosemond, Sir Ken Robinson, Rick Ackerly and Harvey Karp and many other authors and I'd like to credit their work for any content on this website that was inspired by their writings - although over time my take on parenting has started to diverge somewhat from their views; it seems as if I'm starting to have ideas of my own.

Last but not least, years of dog ownership has also helped to learn about attention, love, discipline, consistency and leadership. While caring for human younglings and two pups is different in practice, the concept is pretty much the same.