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Jeannette Kaplun is a Latina mom of two, TV host, parenting author and blogger. She co-founded Todobebé and hosted the Viva la Familia TV show on Univision, but is now devoted to her newest bilingual venture Hispana Global. She loves to help others. Oh! And she wrote the parenting book in Spanish Todobebé: Todo lo que necesitas saber para el primer año de tu bebé" .

An award-winning journalist and internationally recognized parenting expert, Jeannette Kaplun has over 17 years of experience on TV, radio, online media and as a published author. Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Chile, Jeannette is truly bilingual and bicultural. She just launched her newest bilingual platform for Hispanic women, Hispana Global. Jeannette was also one of the hosts for the Climate Reality Project’s live broadcast 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, in which she interviewed Nobel Prize laureate and former Vice President Al Gore.

She has also been a speaker at major conferences throughout the U.S., Mexico and Chile regarding content, social media, work/life balance and online communities, including BlogHer, Blogalicious, EVO, LATISM, Blissdom, Hispanicize, Social Media Week Miami, SheStreams and SheCon.

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Confessions of a Non-Extreme Parent

By Jeannette Kaplun |

I believe in flexible parenting, but not in anything too extreme

For some reason, we love labels, especially when it comes to parenting styles. Helicopter parents, tiger moms, and extreme parenting are just a few. I have never been able to identify with any. I guess I’m not trendy — perhaps even a bit boring.

As I confessed to other Babble Voices bloggers, I am not an adventurous mom nor am I even close to edgy. I don’t pay much attention to parenting trends. I try to do the best I can when parenting my kids, I read a lot to try to make informed decisions, and when I make a mistake, I own up to it.

I’m all about teaching lessons to my kids every single time I can and I avoid sugar-coating things. To me, that’s as basic as parenting can get. Even my son makes fun of me because I constantly say that life isn’t fair. I also insist they don’t need to like everybody but they do need to respect others regardless of whether they like them or not. On the other hand, I also remind them not everybody else will like them either.

Parenting for me is about giving your children the tools they will need for life. I try to be as involved as I can be but without taking over, because I know they have to be able to make decisions on their own.

Tolerance and respecting diversity, for example, are essential from my point of view so as a family we value new experiences and the chance to expand our horizons. On our trips to Peru and Chile, my children have seen how other kids grow up, without many of the comforts they had taken for granted. They’ve learned to understand that special needs children react differently to things, to understand differences and that if they see cruelty, to defend the weak and report what they saw to an adult.

But I’ve never been able to use extreme tactics to teach a lesson. The most “extreme” thing I’ve probably done is let my daughter cry out her temper tantrums in her room. Or let her ride on the water slide by herself as soon as she met the height requirement.

I waited until my son was 9 years old to let him ride the school bus. I’m not even contemplating sleepaway camp in the near future. I’ve never spanked my kids although time outs and punishments are not rare in my home.

I’m not a wimp. I might let my daughter sleep in our bed sometimes but she knows it’s a special treat. We don’t drink soft drinks at home, only if it’s a special occasion.  They know how good manners are important to me and I am not scared of my children or of trying to do the right thing. Instead of adopting one rigid set of parenting rules, we adapt to what feels right for our family.

I probably avoid extreme measures because I firmly believe in do unto others as you would have them do to you. I don’t enjoy violence of any kind, or being exposed to certain experiences that make me cringe. So I guess that means I won’t have my kids live through those things until they want to go through them (or don’t really have a choice).

And you know what? It’s fine by me. They are learning values. I expose them to diverse cultures. They are learning that I have high expectations of them. They also are learning every single day that my love is unconditional even if they let me down. Because I will be here to tell them what they did wrong and what can be done to make it better or at least learn from their mistakes. But most important of all, I want to make them feel I trust them to make their own choices in life, hopefully guided by the values they will learn inside our family during the years we have with them before they take off to live their lives as independent beings.

I will always be respectful of the choices each family makes for their children. However, in this era of labels, I guess I’m just a non-extreme parent.  Is anybody else on the same boat as I am?

 

<a href=”http://polldaddy.com/poll/6341183/”>Do you consider yourself a non-extreme parent?</a> 

Read Jeannette´s blog in Spanish and find more of her writing on Todobebé. You can also watch her on the Viva la Familia TV show Saturdays on Univision.

And reach out to her on Twitter and Facebook. She loves it!

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About Jeannette Kaplun

jeannettekaplun

Jeannette Kaplun

Jeannette Kaplun is a Latina mom of two, TV host, parenting author and blogger. She co-founded Todobebé and hosted the Viva la Familia TV show on Univision, but is now devoted to her newest bilingual venture Hispana Global. She loves to help others. Oh! And she wrote the parenting book in Spanish Todobebé: Todo lo que necesitas saber para el primer año de tu bebé. Read bio and latest posts → Read Jeannette's latest posts →

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4 thoughts on “Confessions of a Non-Extreme Parent

  1. Milagros says:

    Im agreed with you all the way Jean.

    Nosotros tampoco seguimos un patrin en como criar a nuestra hija, y ha sido todo prueba y ensayo, durmio en nuestra habitacion hasta los 3 años en su cama, nos decia que seria dificil que se pasara a su cuarto, pero no tuvimos ningun problema y asi muchos de los “consejos” que nos han dado no lo hemos tomado y nuestra hija es una niña que donde vaya nos da mucho prgullo por su buen caracter y buenos sentimientos hacia los demas.

    1. Milagros, super de acuerdo en que una debe de seguir sus instintos pero guiada sobre la base de buena información. Yo creo que cuando los niños se sienten seguros porque se sienten amados pero a la vez saben que hay límites que respetar, tienden a ser mucho más felices y portarse mejor. Gracias por comentar!

  2. Amy Anderson says:

    My parents were a little more extreme than you, but for the most part, quite similar. I think one of the most important lessons that I was taught and that my parents taught me was that I am not more special than anyone else. I don’t deserve more than anyone else. They simply taught me how to work harder than everyone else. I’m very grateful and thankful for that lesson!

    1. Amy, I love that your parents taught you to work hard. I hope to inspire that in my children as well. It’s one of the reasons for me it’s important to continue being a working mom (although all moms work, but I mean as in having a career).

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