The big controversy on the news now is the new book from a strict Chinese mother. I've not read it nor have I tried to tune in to see how strict is too strict. You can't help but pick up bits and pieces though.
My daughters had rules, and chores, and responsibilities. I know they hated it and I know most of the ladies I worked with through the years were not as strict as I was about these things. All three daughters have said "Thank You" when they became adults.
I was called the "Nazi Mom" by my younger daughter's friends. I only asked what my mother had asked of me. My mother began working when I was 13. The stove and I had to get acquainted real fast. My father worked 2nd shift so it was just my brother, sister and I home when Mom got out of work at 6:00pm. She was fortunate to work minutes from home, so dinner had to be on the table by then.. She didn't care if it was hamburgers, tuna sandwiches and chips, or pizza. Something had to be ready for her. She was tired and years later, when I got home from work, so was I.
I was much more fortunate because my husband worked days 90% of their "growing up" time. Our family rule was, whoever is home first starts dinner. It varied. There were no excuses. By 12 to 13 I was babysitting. I figured if I were trusted with other people's children at that age, I can trust my daughters with the stove. No, it wasn't always perfect. My favorite example is telling my younger daughter, at about 13 to "throw the potatoes in the pot" and turn it on. I'll mash them when I get home." I got home to their father opening every door and window because that's what she did. No water.... just potatoes in the pot and turned on. She did exactly what I told her to do. Yes, it could have been worse but it wasn't.
I couldn't understand the Moms that I worked with, that had teenage daughters or a husband at home, waiting for them to come home and get dinner for them. Get up off your butt people. I think they needed to hear a little more Helen Reddy singing "I am Woman".
We had a dry erase board where I could write "The List". P/U living room. (That stood for pick up, Now they told me they never knew what plu meant.) Clean bathroom, etc. Did it work all the time. No... In looking back, I see I expected things to be done to my standards and they were doing them to theirs. We've had that discussion. I should have said "Thank You" more because it really did help me. I was lucky and I know they tried.
Daughter #1, as a freshman in high school, left a pot roast on the top of the stove, turned on, and went to a football game, in a car, with friends. There was so much wrong about that! I got home to a burned roast. I don't know where the other girls were, because no one was home and whole thing could have caused a fire. I called Dad. He left work, drove to the "away" ball game, had to pay to get in to the game (which really irked him) found her, and brought her home. She was mortified. She had been told she could not ride in a car accept with a parent. Big oops. Big "Grounded" for 6 weeks. The first 6 weeks of her Freshman year. Even the neighbors were pleading her case. She also had to write a paper on "What Does Truth and Honesty Mean in Our Family". That's when I earned the title of her "Crazy Mother". I had all ready earned the "Meanest Mother" award when she was in middle school, or Jr. High, to us. Now when her 9 year old son called her the meanest mother in the world, she proudly called to tell me I had been relieved of the title. She knew she had done something right.
Being a parent is the most difficult job possible. There are no instructions, rule books, or diagrams to follow. I'm sure I could have done better. I know I could have done a whole lot worse. You just don't get a "do over".
To my daughters, I love you ladies.