This post carries on pretty well from the last one, where the summary was – your child, your way.
There has been a LOT of discussion about different types of parenting types on twitter and blogging sites recently. I don’t mean fish fingers vs food from scratch. Or nursery care vs stay at home mothering. I mean actual STYLES of parenting. There are STYLES. Did you know?! I didn’t.
It’s an odd one. My friends in real life, the ones I see breathing and walking about, with bodies and voices (therefore not avi’s and typed text) don’t follow a particular method of parenting style. The conversation never came up as to what method we thought we would all follow. We just sort of get on with it. But I need to tread carefully, because I don’t want to upset anyone, my online friends, my Twitter friends and Blogging friends (although, to be honest, well, they could be hairy Mary loggers called “Bill” from the woods pretending to be mummy bloggers for all I know really…*narrows eyes*).
So it came as a surprise to me to become very aware, very suddenly that there are a lot of people out there that do follow a type of parenting. And they are pretty strict with it – not the rules per se of the parenting type they choose to follow, but about saying they belong to a style and method of bringing up their child.
I did a Pyschology Degree, I know my stuff to do with child development. But methods of parenting is all new to me (although of course it has been going on for donkeys years)…Attachment parenting… Baby led weaning…Gina Ford method…. controlled crying…Focker-is-ing…
These parents have obviously taken a lot of thought and sat down and said to their partners “lets do it this way. Lets follow baby-led weaning/ attatchment parenting/ co-sleeping/ Gina Ford etc”.
I have had to look each of those words up, you know. That may make me sound like an idiot, but I will put my hands up. I was ignorant of these terms. However, I was not ignorant of what they actually are. Heck, I even do some of them at times. But I don’t suggest that I am a co-sleeper, or a controlled crier. Sometimes I cry in a controlled way (often hidden in the laundry room cradling a G&T).
But my husband and I tend to do what works for us at any one time.
Monday. “Shall we let him cry himself back to sleep tonight?”
*listens to his type of cry* “Yes”.
Thursday. “Shall we let him cry himself back to sleep tonight?”
“JESUS NO! Lets just give him the bloody dummy and bring him in here with us NOW!”.
Anyway. I am aware of a friend of a friend who doesn’t allow her child to mix and socialise with other children. There is a theory behind this. I am not sure what, and would rather not begin to guess what it is. Because these choices are personal to that parent and if they feel this is in their child’s best interest then who am I to judge? It isn’t what I would do, but then I expect I do a hell of a lot of stuff that they would disagree with. I don’t care, to be blunt, what they do, as long as their child is fit and well and happy.
What I really don’t understand, is why there has to be labels for “types” of parenting. Why does there need to be a label attatched to how people choose to parent their child? And why should you care what anyone else thinks about how you bring up your children? It is almost like school in this sense.
“Yeah but no but, B says she doesn’t think I should be a co-sleeping parent with H”.
Who gives a damn? Just don’t listen to those people. You don’t need these people in your life if they are bothering you. They have no bearing on your life whatsoever.
As I said, these methods are age-old, but I have just seen a lot of it for the first time. And what I have seen is when people do attach themselves to a method they can (not all of course, but some) become defensive and therefore, ultimately aggressive about how they parent. No offense intended to anyone who does choose a particular method of parenting. I am just curious. I would very much like to hear why you choose to pledge allegience to a method. Hand on heart, and not taking the piss, enlighten and educate me a bit maybe.
In summary, again, I believe that as long as your baby is happy and healthy who CARES what other people think about how you parent. Ultimately we all want the best for our children – to raise them in the best way and for them to become strong and level headed individuals.