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Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Modern American Parenting…with Latino DNA

Submitted by on September 11, 2009 – 5:00 am15 Comments
I got a press announcement recently about a new parenting book, and some very good tips from the author: “5 Ways to Raise a ‘Good Enough’ Child.”
Among them: Let your child have his true feelings: help her not personalize criticism from others; go ahead, encourage individuality, and let her wear the pink tutu to church.
The suggestions fit right in with the other supportive parenting books I have read. And, there have been many, many, many. The announcement, and a quick recall of my parenting library, got me thinking about how differently my generation of Hispanic-Americans parent the nenes. (Tutu to la iglesia? Yeah, right!). My mom has told me on more than one occasion that all Maria really needs is a good smack on the nalgas. I can’t do it, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. A lot.
I would be lying if I did not admit to fighting my inner traditional Latina mami and going all “eh, whatever, vete a chivar somewhere else!”
I mean, we turned out OK. Didn’t we?
Watch the video to see me fight my Traditional Latina Mami DNA.

Parenting with Latino DNAI got a press announcement recently about a new parenting book, and some good tips from the author: “5 Ways to Raise a ‘Good Enough’ Child.”

Among them: Let your child have his true feelings: help her not personalize criticism from others; go ahead, encourage individuality, and let her wear the pink tutu to church.

The suggestions fit right in with the other supportive parenting books I have read. And, there have been many, many, many. The announcement, and a quick recall of my large parenting library, got me thinking about how differently my generation of Hispanic-Americans parent the nenes. (When I was a kid, tutu to la iglesia? Yeah, right!). My mom has told me on more than one occasion that all Maria really needs is a good smack on the nalgas. I can’t do it, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it. A lot.

I would be lying if I did not admit to fighting my inner traditional Latina mami and going all “eh, whatever, wah, wah, vete a chivar somewhere else!”

I mean, we turned out OK. Didn’t we?

Watch the video to see me fight my Traditional Latina Mami DNA. The English version is the calm, therapized mommy; the Spanish version is my reptilian brain, my origin…and I think the much more exciting Mami!

How are you raising your kids?

Share, por favor!

15 Comments »

  • ANISSA says:

    Freakin’ hillarious. I love you, Carrie. Your blog correlates to George Lopez’s stand up routine.

    But seriously, does all that talk with “Time out” and “let’s have a a chat about how you just messed up” REALLY work? No… I have to say no. I’m a school teacher and I’ve seen a SERIOUS decline in student behavior–and it stems from how they get disciplined at home.

    When my mom spanked me with the belt, i REMEMBERED NOT to do that (whatever it was that made me earn the belt) again. Now-a-days, kids get “time out”…. SO THE FREAK WHAT? who cares about time out…. that’s lame. It doesn’t work. I wish I could document my students’ behaviors and then take a survey on how they get disciplined at home.. 9 out of ten kids SAY that they don’t get spanked…. THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH TODAY’S YOUTH. SERIOUSLY.

  • Stacey In CO says:

    Love it, my friend. Of course, you’ll have to let me know what you were saying in Spanish, although I can guess, because I am one of the few who you actually let hear what your DNA is telling you to say!

  • Tia Mirtha says:

    Chancleta it is… Uno o dos chancletasos arregla todo. Mas nunca se repite la contesta ni la malacriansa. Other times, un buen castigo soluciona el problema.
    A tu mama le lavaron la boca con jabon por decir una mala palabra. Y a mi me dieron con la fusta de un sable por decir “me cago yo”. Mas nunca lo volvi a decir. Leccion aprendida. Y no por eso tengo problemas de personalidad.

  • Hola Carrie,

    I am in California visiting my mom and have been sharing your videos with her. We are having un bacilon! Mami said to tell you eres muy sympatica con mucho talento. Keep you video posts coming!

  • Carrie says:

    Aw, you guys who know my kid know she is sassy, but no brat, no malcriada. I will continue to resist the chancleta, even as I glorify it and know of the wonders it can do. I reserve the right to use it during the Teen Years.

    Raul, kiss your Mami for me and give her a nice big thank you from me…and one for you too for all your support.

  • Abuela says:

    I so enjoy this,I did a good job,I hope you Latin DNA prevails till you also finish your job with Maria.
    As always, a great post,thanks for a good laugh.

  • Carla says:

    Ay Carrie, until I became a mother I didn’t believe I had as much Latina DNA in me as I have since discovered. Like you, I have drowned myself in parenting books (123 Magic, Dr. Sears, Playful Parenting, blah blah blah and all that zen gringo talk).

    For the most part I stick to the let’s talk it out and redirect the two year old plan instead of the more violent chancletaso and threats of sending my daughter back to the day she was born (my mami was muy dramatica).

    But I think for parents like us it’s all the tougher when our girls have so much of the Latin blood in them that makes the Latina parenting DNA bubble to the surface! But you know what? A strong willed, sassy child is who I’m raising and i wouldn’t have it any other way, headaches and all =)

  • Lisa Renata says:

    this is too funny. Now I have the words to describe my switching back and forth of languages according to how I feel. Parenting with latino DNA. lol just love it.

    gracias.

  • Liz says:

    Fantastic Post… BRAVO!!! I loved this!

  • ROFL!

    Til this day, if hear swooshing air or feel the change in atmospheric pressure in the immediate vicinity of my head, I duck.

    I wonder if my issues with hard rubber flip flops have anything to do with it?

    Brilliant, Carrie!

  • Carol says:

    That’s hilarious. I was just contemplating how I do not want to instinctively order or scold in Spanish as I hear my Hispanic friends who are parents doing. So with my daughter we have reading time and play time and all sweetness in Spanish and try to maintain Spanish for most things. I don’t want her to associate Spanish with negativity. So besitos y abrazos y… chanclatazos. J/K, I can’t imagine hitting my daughter with a slipper or anything else.

  • Marcela Gomez says:

    Carrie,

    This is awesome! I was raised on la chancleta, puños y correa and I turned out well.

  • Carrie says:

    @Liz @Johnny Gracias. High praise from you guys. Glad I gave you a good laugh.

    @Carol, I remind myself not to scold only in Spanish…I am a hard-ass so much better in Spanish though…

    @Marcela, it is amazing we all turned out OK! Oh, gosh, you reminded me of the word “correa” — never had one burn my bottom, but oh boy!

    And, I hope everyone knows that for the sake of fun I exaggerated, right? A little, anyway..

  • Sue Valencia says:

    Jajaj! Un año y cacho muy tarde, pero here I am! LOVED THIS! You are so funny!
    I don´t have kids yet, but I´m afraid I will be channeling my mom, who would just give us THE STARE and we knew to start running!
    Latino DNA definitely.
    Thanks again!
    Abrazos,
    Sue
    Sue Valencia´s last [fabulousness] ..Astrostyle- dime cómo te vistes y te diré ¡si va con tu Ascendente!

  • [...] me? I did a video (see above) and post a couple of years ago about the push and pull in my own little cabeza between Modern American [...]

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