Toward less perfectionist parenting
My philosophy is, if you don't set the standard too high in the beginning, you can really save yourself some trouble later on.
Examples: from the time that they were babies, I didn’t stress about getting water or soap in their eyes. It’s tear-free, right? Now, my kids bathe a lot easier. I don’t stress about getting them clean by whatever means necessary, and the times I’ve had to shower them instead of bathe them have gone extraordinarily well. You can apply this philosophy to almost anything. I’ve never warmed a bottle or a baby wipe (so cruel). I serve most foods at room temperature. I draw the line at having them potty train in a bucket, but really, the sky’s the limit. [Or is it the floor? -- Ed.]
While I wouldn't have phrased it as Cathy has, I agree with her point. She's not talking about caring or quality parenting -- she's talking about anxiety. Basically: Perfectionism is the enemy. The less you sweat the small stuff, the less your kids will, too.
Two caveats are in order, here, though:
1. Kids are born with a certain propensity for anxiety, and, while most kids will follow their parents' lead in terms of rolling with the punches, others simply won't. I speak from experience.
2. What qualifies as "small stuff" is different for all of us, and we must respect that. For example, some consider food and feeding a deeply emotional issue, connected to nurturing and caring, and are understandably more invested (and worried) about food choices and mealtimes. For others, meals are simply another chore to be dealt with, and so lack the resulting emotional weight.