I read up about different styles. When my guys were small the buzz phrase was attachment parenting. I think now the buzz phrase is gentle parenting.
I don’t have the personality to really do either. I’d say that we raised our kids as ‘free range’ or ‘benevolent neglect,’ which fit our personalities better.
I think it’s worthwhile to read up on the philisophies, I also think it’s good to be realistic about what works for you, and also, your child.
Editing to add: I was so happy we had free range kids when the pandemic started. Our ‘homeschool’ was teaching them to make lunch and coffee, and they spent hours on their bikes that summer exploring while we worked.
Personally, I approach my parenting very academically. Like a lot in my life, I like to optimize stuff and I like to be deliberate. This is not everyone’s personality, and neither option is wrong. You’re allowed to “just parent” and figure it out as you go! Some people do best with that, I have a friend who gets very angry at what she feels like is experts telling her what to do. Meanwhile, I dont want to default to my personality and my own parenting (anger, explosive, combative). So I relish those resources. I think you can apply how you respond to life in other arenas to this. Do you LIKE having identities/scripts/researching stuff to death? Or does that make you anxious or feel dictated to?
I read a lot and chose the bits and pieces that seemed to fit best for us. Leave the other stuff by the wayside with no guilt.
One thing I like about parenting in the internet age is that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel, so I can read other peoples’ examples of what worked for them and how it played out. Sometimes their kid reacts how I think my kid would react, sometimes it’s very obvious that their kid operates differently from mine. Or that I operate very differently from them and don’t have it in me to do things how they did it. But I have a larger toolbox to choose my tools from.
I looove researching and having strategies and scripts. I think the thing I will run into though is GM is a very go with the flow person and I suspect will feel constrained by scripts, so they would have to be for my use without expectation that the child would always be parented My Way.
There are a few issues I’m firm on about both of us following where I’ve done research and found that inconsistency in how we do it could cause headaches or specific actions or methods are shown to have harm without substantial benefit.
So far for us that means we will be vaccinating, will not be spanking, are going to try and avoid bed sharing, and I don’t really care how we decide to do bedtime as long as we both do it as close to the same way as possible every night.
Oh, and not to discuss specific parenting styles BUT two lesser known “vibes” that have resonated with me are “slow parenting” (some intersections with minimalism and simple living stuff), and “playful parenting” (much more my vibe for gentle parenting, I can’t always be zen lol, it works much better for me to redirect to silly when I can summon the energy). Figured I’d share those so if you opt to go spelunking you have some additional terms other than the Big Ones.
I do think a larger picture value statement really, really helps. It’s easier to collaborate on parenting strategies when you’re both already on board (example for my marriage) “we value outside time, we don’t see much value in screen time, we would like to do more of one than the other” because then you’re starting from a place of joint agreement- how you opt to get there then can be your own thing, but you’ve got those basic “family values”. (He’s much more prone to take her to a playground and fling themselves off tall things, I’m much more prone to go on a mushroom hunt or do yard work). Because YES you hit the nail on the head, a huge part of parenting style struggles isn’t even you, or your kid, it’s the interface of the whole family unit.
We read a couple parenting books and listened to a couple podcasts together when I was pregnant which I highly recommend because it gave space for discussions about what resonated and what didn’t before we had an actual human to parent. For example, we both did not like Janet Lansbury, something about how she approaches gentle parenting does not work for us. But we really liked how to talk so little kids will listen which is still a gentle parenting approach but with a slightly different vibe.
It also gave us space to discuss things like “what happens if one parent feels differently about a topic in the future?”
This is a really good point too, and reminds me that I think one of the most important things to discuss is how you were parented as a child, and what you regard is the best and worst choices your parents made. Because ultimately, our default will usually be what we were raised with. And it really helps to understand where your partner is coming from on all of that.
Well, it was actually born out of a pre-existing statement that we wrote when we first got married. We wrote it the same time as we were writing our vows while driving down to our wedding. I have it all written in a notebook that we’ve used for stuff like that throughout our dating and married life, usually on road trips when we’re working through existential stuff ha ha. We actually never finalized and polished it up, I always meant to go back to it for the child raising philosophy aspect, that’s a good reminder.
I am interested in the raising of small people. So before deciding to be a parent I had already seen some articles and documentaries and stuff.
During pregnancy I’d say I sought more information - like looking up information on topics or checking what people meant when they said bed sharing etc.
I made sure to have factual sources for everything big for the first year. And thank 2019 me I did! I got a big authoritative Canadian doctor/hospital approved book about things. So that if I had 2 am questions I could go to the book instead of google. I also worked with a lot of healthcare professionals with a lot of information about healthy parenting.
Now I look up i formation as problems come, but no, I’ve never stuck to just one philosophy.
Yes, I was similar. I’d already absorbed enough through semi-passive diffusion that I didn’t need to start from scratch in learning stuff, but what I did need to learn was my own kid. I grew up basically “gentle parented” by my mom* before it was really a term (I can picture where the book How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk sat in the living room for many years), so starting with the basic premise that “my child is a person” serves to both set my general approach and guide the learning about the specific child.
So then I had a chill baby who ate, slept, and entertained herself surprisingly well in the first 18-24 months. How I parent her is as much about how she is and what she needed/needs than any particular parenting method choice. If she’d needed something else, I would have done something else.
Oh, and I’d been snagging baby-care opportunities since I was like 5 years old, so I wasn’t overwhelmed by like the basic idea of how to hold, soothe, feed, burp, diaper, etc. That was clutch when it turned out no one could visit for over a month.
*Dad was another story, but there’s a reason I’m more comfortable as a single mom than I would be in a partnership.
Our 3 year old has been sick for a week with an on-and-off-again fever, stuffy nose, and cough, and I have no idea what it is. Not Covid, theoretically, I tested twice, two days apart.
WTF is it? Neither of my kids has ever been sick for this long before, and of course it’s the weekend when I can’t call her pediatrician when I get most worried.
She had a sad, sad, high-fever day last Saturday, just laid on the couch and slept and was tired and cranky. But since then she’s had some days where she’s sick all day, and some days where she’s almost normal in the morning but devolves into more fevers and early bedtimes. Even with tylenol her temp isn’t going all the way down to a normal range. She’s just so miserable
Possibly sinus infection? Unfortunately it’s really hard to know on symptom sets like that. But I would definitely go in since sinus infections can sometimes benefit from antibiotics esp when they’re not clearing on their own.
Each time my 3 year old has gotten a cold this year it has taken at least 2, if not 3+ weeks for the cough and runny nose to go away. The doctors are annoyed with us and keep saying to plan on 2-3 weeks for any virus they get this winter.
Ha. Took her to the doctor and she was the peppiest she’s been in a week. They were like “hm, she seems good. Her temp is normal, no congestion, no cough…” And then when we got home she immediately got a fever and took a 3 hour nap.
So, at least she doesn’t have a sinus infection? But I still have a sick toddler at home