Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Snarky Post about Parenting Styles

When I read this, it sounds a bit snarky.
I apologize in advance.
I'm just a bit annoyed with the wars that we put ourselves and each other through!


Are you an Attachment Parent? How about Permissive? Are you permissive? How about Conventional? Mainstream? Uninvolved? Love and Logic? Authoritative? 

What are all of these parenting labels and why in the world should I choose one? There are MANY different theories, opinions, and parenting style. None of which are perfect for every child in every family in every stage of their life with every child's temperament, and every culture. It is absurd to assume that your way is the "right" way for any one but you.

Yes, I do have my own parenting method:  I do what works. When it stops working, I stop doing it. I respect my children. I assume they are being honest, trying their best, and doing ok unless I see evidence against it.

I am not the slightest big interested in PARENTING WARS!  If you choose to use a paradigm you discovered in a book, a great video, or a wonderful weekend conference, well more power to you! But, as in every other aspect of being an adult, feel free to choose your own path, but don't judge mine!  I do not fit into any of those lovely little boxes and definitions.  This is ON PURPOSE.
I do not seek to follow a guru or authority figure of any kind, thank you.

Besides, as sure as you are that your "method" works, that's how absolutely certain I am that your child will provide you with an opportunity to see just how inadequate it is...and soon!

Please, with my blessing, nurse your child for 13.5 months, co-sleep until your child is 3.74 years old, begin using a pencil at the age of 5.7, homeschool in your proscribed way of choice, insist on teaching another language and an instrument, maintain a special diet, always use your "inside voices," allow only "G" rated films, invade their room/laptop./cellphone whenever you feel the inclination, tighten up/loosen up your hold on your teen, be hyper-involved or only peripherally involved, have strict bedtimes or no bedtimes at all, whatever makes sense to you!  If you have done your research and feel comfortable with your decisions, then I am happy for you!

But, PLEASE, under no circumstances expect me to explain my decisions or to switch over to what you consider correct. My decision-making process has been prolonged and complex. I can't explain it and I have no desire to do so.  Besides, surely I make decisions with my kids that would appall you.
I have plenty of disapprovers.  LOL

  • I allow my children to "curse" and to choose their own language and to live with the consequences of those choices.
  • I allow my children to make their own decisions about what tv/movie is appropriate for them. They have learned many lessons from their mistakes and make excellent choices for themselves.
  • My children are often responsible for creating their own meals for breakfast and lunch.
  • They are unmonitored when they are with friends.
  • I have no rule about when it is OK to date.
  • I allow pretend gun-play and violent video games.
  • I encourage them to consider differing points of view from those we possess in our family.
  • I TELL them what to do for chores.
  • I intervene in arguments and require them to speak with respect to one another.
  • I allow them to question me.
  • I do not use any form of reward or punishment for chores or lessons.
  • I provide my daughter with anti-depressants and sleep medication to take PRN.
  • I do not now, nor have I ever, used a curriculum or followed a series of lesson plans.
  • My daughter has her own cell phone.
  • They are often encouraged to figure out their own consequences for their behavior infractions.
  • I am inconsistent about many of these things.

My point is, I am a parent without a box.

I encourage you, every single day, to create your own "bests" for parenting. I encourage you to avoid the "parenting wars", and wars of all kinds. You can do this! I believe in you!

And, most importantly, I accept and respect your parenting choices. 

Acceptance and Respect:  Spread it around!


Upon reflection, I need to add:

If you suspect that you hold onto your "parenting style" very strongly, perhaps it is because you feel the need to have that safety net. Maybe you feel some fear of letting go of the 'rules' and figuring it out yourself.
Can you see that it might be fear that makes you need those rules? OK. I can dig it.
And, even then, if you want to hang on to them it's okay with me!

Let's support one another!
Starting now.


If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy reading:
Getting it Right

Some Days Suck

Note to my Former Self


  1. "Let's support each other!" I concur. Every choice has it's good and bad consequences. Every kid is different. Every parent is different.

    I am doing the best I can to love and raise up my children with the abilities and options and information I've been given.

    Help me, sure. Give me information I don't have, yes please. But don't judge me. Don't assume I'm stupid or mean spirited.

    Our starting place needs to be assuming the best in one another.

    1. *Our starting place needs to be assuming the best in one another.*

      I completely agree with this statement.
      I wrote this post as a response to events that friends of mine have experienced lately. I think it is important that people are doing their best to do their best.

      We generally don't need authorities with answers, we need love and friendship.


  2. "Our starting place needs to be assuming the best in one another.'

    I was thinking along these lines earlier this morning, but in relation to my daughter's sports team. Many of the parents disagree with how the head coach runs the gym and how she communicates (or doesn't). They are filled with all sorts of criticisms and ways it can and should be done better, and this discontent just feeds on itself. Very rarely do I hear anyone wondering WHY she makes the choices she makes or WHY some things fall to the wayside. They assume she doesn't care or just doesn't understand. Yet, she is clearly a rational human being and thus tries to go about life in that manner as best she can.

    Honestly, I got caught up in it for a little while, too. Somehow, I was lucky enough to realize the corrosiveness of that attitude and can now handle some of the more frustrating things with a greater degree of understanding.

  3. Hi Karen!

    At the risk of sounding ridiculously, childishly gushing: your blog is AMAZING!
    I stumbled (figuratively and literally) upon it while doing a search for homeschooling blogs (My husband and I have been seriously researching and considering homeschooling for our children--our 4 year old will be of school age this summer.)

    This post was the first to catch my eye. And it struck me so deeply, I think I must have reread it at least twice, consecutively. (And then I read it to The Hub.) It was very cathartic for me, because (like many moms)I think every single day about how what I say and do will affect my kids. It's like that scene in the movie "Stepmom" where Susan Sarandon's character talks about being there from second one of her kids' lives, worrying about how every decision will shape the people they become. But, I digress...

    I feel like I am surrounded by people who are judgmental of other parents (including me). If I mention that my son is having trouble lately going to sleep, I get knowing smirks shared between family members and a comment like "Our kids never slept with us unless they were sick!". If my one-year old daughter has a meltdown, I get wide eyes and comments like "I've got to be honest--I've never seen anything quite like that before." I've even been told (repeatedly) by others how their kids never acted this way or that way... And all that eye-making and unsolicited commenting has made ultra-sensitive Mommy-me feel like c-r-a-p. (And, as Eleanor Roosevelt would say, I gave them permission to have that affect on me!)

    Reading this post, this unapologetic parenting pronouncement, has healed something in me. The Hub and I just need to continue doing what we do, what we feel is best for our kids. I shouldn't and don't need their approval of my parenting. We have two outwardly and inwardly adorable, smart, funny, articulate, sensitive, confident, loving, thinking, playful, compassionate kids--so we can't be doing everything wrong?! I feel rejuvenated!

    So, thank you for your blog. Thank you for sharing your thought-provoking outlooks on various aspects of this crazy journey of life. Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my thoughts about this. (I intend to comment on other posts that have particularly struck me, too.)

    I actually started a humble blog almost two months ago. It's not as far along as I'd like; it's the ol' Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans element. But, I'd love for you to read it sometime... http://beaningoflife.blogspot.com/

    Thank you again! Peace, Love, & Joy to you!

    ~ Mama Bean

    1. By now you know that I read your entire blog and loved it!
      I sincerely WELCOME you here and APPRECIATE your words...they mean so much to me. I put my honest story out there for a reason. Not because I enjoy having my rear end hanging out there all of the time, but because so much of our struggles as parents is internal...so much of our struggles comes from feeling inadequate and judged.

      So THANK YOU for letting me know that I am accomplishing what I set out to do...it's wonderful to hear.

      I look forward to hearing more from you...soon!

    2. OH! One other thing, my siblings (NONE of whom have children) constantly roll eyes, give each other knowing looks, and suggest to me that we are raising the kids wrong. It's SO obvious that they are talking about us behind our backs.
      But you know what? I see my children and I KNOW we are doing GREAT. I no longer allow their disparaging out looks on life to bring me down...usually.


Leave a comment!