A mother of three has talked back to trolls who say she’s an irresponsible mom because of her relaxed methods of parenting.
Amanda Melrose, 41, from Connecticut, US has three children: daughter Peyton, 6, and 18-month-old twins Willa and Trey.
The mom-of-three uses her YouTube channel, “I’m a Lazy Mom and I’m not Ashamed” to explain why she adopts a “hands-off” approach to parenting and lets her kids do whatever they want.
Amanda also shares her insights on her blog, Twenty Tiny Toes – where she writes: “lazy parenting isn’t necessarily a bad thing” as it “encourages free-thinking, independence, and family harmony.”
In her several videos, Amanda explains how Peyton helps her out with chores around the house.
“Now that she’s six-and-a-half she’s learning to prepare some of her own foods, and if she makes a mess I’ll encourage her to clean it herself too,” Amanda said.
She says it’s worth it as her daughter will learn to do things for herself.
“We’re a family, we’re a team,” Amanda explained. “It’s not just mum having to take care of the whole family while the kids go crazy.”
“I also expect help around the house when the kids are old enough so now that my daughter is six-and-a-half she can certainly clean up after herself,” she continued.
“She can help me with dishes and laundry, simple meal preparations, putting groceries away – she’s capable of helping.”
Amanda also reveals that, unlike any other household, she doesn’t offer rewards or schedules for doing tasks around the house. Her kids all wake up and go to sleep whenever they want and eat when they’re hungry.
“This way I avoid having to spend a total bunch of my life doing nap times and bedtimes,” Amanda explains.
She says these approaches save the stress of trying to “force a schedule upon my family.”
If the twins wake up during the night, she does not soothe them back to sleep. Instead, she pops them in her bed where they eventually nod off.
“I want to get my sleep and I get a lot more sleep that way,” Amanda said. “Some nights I have all three kids in bed with me, but that work for me.”
Amanda has also revealed that she uses a relaxed approach to toilet training. She chooses to wait until the kids show an interest in getting out of nappies, which was the age of three for little Peyton.
“There’s no complicated reward systems, no punishments no taking them to the potty every time they need to go so they can get used to it – none of that,” she said.
One of Amanda’s most controversial methods is so-called “unschooling” which means Peyton stays at home and learns in a “child-led” environment.
As an alternative for traditional classes, Amanda takes Peyton to museums and other days out, which Amanda defines as learning “all day long.”
She says it’s way easier because she doesn’t have the difficulty of forcing her daughter to do anything she doesn’t want to do. Talking about the strict schedule of a school day, the mom argues schooling can “take over” a child’s (and a parent’s) life.
“I feel that maybe I’m doing this because I’m lazy,” Amanda said. “I think about real school, having to get up at a certain time every day and get my kids ready for school – either on the bus or driving them there – and making sure they’ve got their homework when they’re older, meeting with teachers, going to parent-teacher conferences.”
“All of the many, many ways school can creep in and take over your life, it’s not something I want to do. I guess I’m just a little too lazy to want to get involved in all that school requires.”
Because of her uncommon style of parenting, Amanda has received criticism and she has been a victim of trolling on her TikTok page.
She also shared a video of her twins fighting and Amanda didn’t do anything to stop the brawl explaining that she tries not to interfere so the kids can “work it out for themselves.”
This has caused viewers to comment things like “he needs to be told no” and “this is horrible to watch, you just stood there and filmed it.”
“I don’t get involved, I don’t interfere,” Amanda said. “If they’re arguing I let them work it out for themselves. I do the same with the twins – if they’re fighting over a toy, I cannot and will not interfere unless I’m actually needed.”
She also says she manages to avoid tantrums from her little ones by giving them everything they want and avoiding saying “no” to any of their requests.
She claims that saying yes makes her life a little bit easier and that “a lot of parents just throw out that “no” because that’s what they’re used to hearing.”
Amanda also shared that she doesn’t provide her kids with “endless activities” and instead waits for them to create their own fun.
“I don’t suggest activities for my daughter, of course, I take her places and of course I play with her, but if I’m doing something else around the house I expect her to figure out how to entertain herself,” she said.
Amanda says it’s “amazing” how “capable and creative kids can be” when you “step back from all the restrictive rules”. She also told her daughter that “boredom isn’t a bad thing” and promotes her to figure out something “interesting” to do.