Saturday, January 17, 2015

ACK! Parenting Wars!

parenting styles
Are you an Attachment Parent?  How about Permissive? Are you permissive?  How about Conventional? Mainstream?  Uninvolved? Indulgent? Love and Logic?  Authoritarian? 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!  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 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 13.4 months, co-sleep until your child is 3.64 years old, begin using a pencil at the age of 5.2, 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 and you are not neglectful or toxic or abusive, then I am happy for you!

But, please, under no circumstances expect me to explain my decisions or switch over to what you consider "correct".  My decision-making process has been prolonged and complex.  I can't explain it in a thirty-second blurb!  Besides, surely I make decisions with my kids that would appall you.

I have plenty of disapprovers! Surely you would make different decisions than I have made.

  • I allow my children 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 and they are expected to contribute to the household with their time and efforts.
  • I intervene in arguments when it seems necessary and I require them to make every effort to listen and understand other points of view.
  • 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, or ever have, used a curriculum or followed a series of lesson plans in a box.
  • My kids each have their 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.

In fact if you hold on to your parenting style so strongly that you can't or won't consider any other points of view, maybe it is your safety net, maybe your fears keep you connected so strongly.  If so, OK. I can dig it. Parenting is hard and our generation is lucky enough to have the internet for sharing and learning and connecting.

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!

You might also like these posts:

Parenting the Myers-Briggs Way


  1. This may be my favorite of all of your posts so far. <3

  2. Couldn't have said it better myself Karen!!


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