I don’t know when, but I was asked before about my Parenting Style.
Heeeeeyy. I haven’t seen you here before. Is that your son? OMG, he’s sooooooooo cute! Are you Asian? OMG, that’s sooo adorable. I love Asian!. Sooooooooooo, what is your parenting style?
Possibly not a very accurate depiction of what really happened, but you get the picture. A well-meaning (I hope!) stranger asking me a personal question, at a park. As you do.
I find it too personal to be asking about someone’s parenting style. It’s like being asked if I am a folder or scruncher.
Was it a trick question? Who’s listening? Who wants to know?
I answered the well-meaning lady , “A little bit of everything really”. Which is possibly true.
But what the heck? Who answers like that? WHY DID I EVEN ANSWER IT? To be polite. I was raised to be polite. I was probably feeling some form of pressure to break the awkward silence too
and the fear of being kicked out of the park?
She wasn’t too impressed with my answer. I am not sure because my allegiance to one parenting style is not established? Does she know something I don’t about my parenting style? Maybe because I didn’t ask her back, What about you? What’s your parenting style.
Maybe I should have just answered, “I refuse to answer on the grounds that I may incriminate myself”
I don’t want to be in a conversation about how parenting should really be, in a public place, with complete strangers, so I chose World Peace.
Playback my answer: “A little bit of everything really”
If I were to answer it today, I would say…….
Not that it’s your business, but I follow a very PRAGMATIC approach to parenting. I do what works best for my family.
Yes, I breastfed my child.
Yes, I gave him formula too.
Yes, I did controlled crying when I needed him to understand boundaries.
Yes, I cuddle him a lot. ( I mean A LOT)
Yes, I do time-outs.
Yes, I praise him a lot.
Yes, I shout at my kid too (I mean, who doesn’t? Introduce me to someone who has not yelled at her/his kid ever, I want to know the secret to perfection too).
Yes, I let my child sleep in his room on his own
Yes, I co-sleep too.
Yes, I give him milk in the middle of the night.
Yes, I nag him about asking for milk in the middle of the night.
Yes, I laugh at my kid
Yes, I display authority (I am the boss most of the time)
Yes, I let him win too. What would you like for snack, banana or apple? This kind of winning.
Yes, I question myself, for the decisions I make.
I mean, parenting is personal. It’s customised to the family’s needs, values, beliefs, etc. I don’t think it’s a topic to discuss with strangers. I personally think there is no right or wrong way. It’s only ” what’s right for your family” way.
The shaming that happens when one parent disagrees with another parent’s parenting style is not something I’d like to get involved with. No one should really shame anyone about their parenting styles. It’s a waste of bloody time.
The Judging bit is inevitable. We’re human. We judge when we don’t understand. I am guilty of this! Once you’re in that same situation, the one you judged, I am pretty sure you will feel
like a dick bad for judging at all. I was the perfect parent of a toddler until I had a toddler myself.
Why not discuss each other’s achievements and our little parenting successes instead of shaming and judging other parents’ parenting style.
Why not have an open mind to people’s individual choices and praise each other for job well done.
Why don’t we encourage each other to be happy for our choices?
Discussions with other parents on how you parent should be a healthy discussion and not a debate. No flags of “I am better than you” should be waved. Don’t be a dick.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Sure. But it doesn’t mean you need to force it to be the only case of truth (or norm).
We all have one goal, and that is to raise decent human being who will (hopefully) change the world for the better.
Other people’s choices on how they parent their child is theirs to own, and not yours to worry about unless it has a direct effect to your child’s well-being. Save your worries on “real things to be worried about”.
We should be building a community together. We should helping out each other.We should be encouraging each other.
PS, I am a folder! LOL
Hope you the start of the week has been good for you!