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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Of Parenting Styles

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Three years ago, my friend Stephen asked me about Stan's and my parenting style. He had watched a show on the Lifestyle Channel about parenting styles in raising babies - "Bringing Up the Baby". The series focuses on the parenting styles advocated by 3 experts from different decades. For the 1950's, the expert was Dr. Frederic Truby King, who advocated a strict routine method. For the 1960's, it was Dr. Benjamin Spock, who is for individualized routine parenting. And finally, for the 1970's, it was Jean Liedloff, for the continuum concept. The basics of these styles are as follows: King - Discipline -- Predictability -- Early detachment of baby and mother -- Order -- One size fits all -- Start as you mean to go on; Spock - Acknowledges individuality -- Tailor-made routine -- Relieves parental guilt -- Balance and Liedloff - instinct -- Based on human evolution -- Community.
N is now 3 years and 7 months old.  Since Day 1, I can say that we have been following some form of responsive parenting in dealing with her.  She used to nurse on demand and there were no scheduled feeds.  We also co-slept with her and shared a bed.  
I am doubly glad that (even if we never really talked about it) Stan and I share the same parenting philosophy style.  At this time, we both agree that N's needs (and soon Flower) will take precedence over Stan's and mine.  We schedule everything according to her needs.  With my parents having the empty nest syndrome now, I realized that it won't be long before N and Flower themselves will want to be independent and Stan and I will end up with more time on our hands than we want.

As for bringing her up, Stan and I listen to our moms, to our friends, our doctors, but we do our own research and talk about what we think is best for N and follow this decision. We don't necessarily follow what other people tell us. Also, we don't keep N with us 24/7. We're lucky to have a yaya (nanny) who takes really good care of her (especially when I'm at work), reads to her, perseveres in doing arts and crafts, putting hot compresses when she has booboos, talks to her, makes her laugh and MOST IMPORTANTLY, doesn't watch TV when Naima's around.
If I would need to choose among the three featured styles on the show, I would like to think that our style would be more of Liedloff. However, given the changes we make to adapt to our own culture, I will still say that our style is uniquely our own.  Stan and I live by this quote from Dr. Jay Gordon which I really like and try to apply in the way we bring up Naima: "What many people try to do is fit the baby in to their lives, rather than wrapping their lives around the baby."

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be live and updated by afternoon July 12 with all the carnival links.)
  • Between Love and Fear: On Raising our Children Sensibly — Mamma Earthly at Give an Earthly discusses the fear factor in parenting and how she overcame it, despite societal pressures.
  • really, when do i get my cape? — Sarah at small bird on fire is a working city mama trying to learn how to set aside her expectations of perfection and embrace the reality of modern parenting.
  • Baby, Infant, and Toddler Wearing — Child wearing is part of Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured's parenting philosophy. In this post, Sarah describes benefits of child-wearing and gives tips for wearing babies, infants, and toddlers (even while pregnant).
  • First Year Reflections — As her daughter's first birthday approaches, Holly at First Year Reflections reflects on how she and her husband settled into attachment parenting after initially doing what they thought everyone else did.
  • Making an allowance — Lauren at Hobo Mama welcomes a guest post from Sam about the unexpected lessons giving a four-year-old an allowance teaches the child — and the parent.
  • How to be a Lazy Parent and Still Raise Great Kids — Lisa at Granola Catholic talks about how being a Lazy Parent has helped her to raise Great Kids.
  • Philosophy in Practice — Laura at A Pug in the Kitchen shares how her heart shaped the parenting philosophy in her home.
  • What is Attachment Parenting Anyway? — Gaby at Tmuffin describes the challenges of putting a label on her parenting philosophy.
  • Of Parenting Styles — Jenny at Chronicles of a Nursing Mom talks about how she and her husband tailored various parenting styles to fit their own preferred parenting philosophy.
  • Moment by Moment Parenting — Amy at Peace 4 Parents encourages those who care for children (including herself) to explore and appreciate parenting moment-by-moment with clarity, intention, trust, and action.
  • Maintaining Spirituality in the Midst of Everyday Parenting, Marriage, and Life — Sarah at Nourished and Nurtured shares her perspective on finding opportunities for spiritual growth in every day life.
  • Parenting Philosophy — Lily, aka Witch Mom's parenting philosophy is to raise child(ren) to be compassionate, loving, inquisitive, and questioning adults who can be trusted to make decisions for themselves in a way that avoids harming others.
  • Long Term — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis thinks about who she would like to see her daughter become — and what she can do now to lay a strong foundation for those hopes.
  • Connection, Communication, Compassion — She's come a long way, baby! After dropping her career in favour of motherhood, Patti at Jazzy Mama discovered that building solid relationships was going to be her only parenting priority.
  • My Parenting Inspirations - Part 4 — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama looks at her biggest parenting inspiration and how that translates into her long-term parenting philosophy.
  • A Parenting Philosophy in One Word: Respect — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction summarizes her parenting and relationship philosophy in one word: respect.
  • Knowledge and Instinct — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment believes that knowledge and instinct are super important … as are love, encouragement and respect. It's the ideal combo needed to raise happy and healthy children and in turn create meaningful relationships with them.
  • THRIVE!The Sparkle Mama wants to set a tone of confidence, abundance, and happiness in her home that will be the foundation for the rest of her daughter's life.
  • On Children — "Your children are not your children," say Kahlil Gibran and Hannah at Wild Parenting.
  • This One Life Together — Ariadne aka Mudpiemama shares her philosophy of parenting: living fully in the here and now and building the foundation for a happy and healthy life.
  • Enjoying life and planning for a bright future — Olivia at Write About Birth shares her most important parenting dilemmas and pours out her heart about past trauma and how healing made her a better parent.
  • My Parenting Philosophy: Unconditional and Natural Love — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares what she has learned about her parenting philosophy from a year of following her instincts as a mama.
  • An open letter to my children — Isil at Smiling Like Sunshine writes an open letter to her children.
  • My Starter Kit for Unconditional Parenting — Sylvia at MaMammalia discusses her wish to raise a good person and summarizes some of the nontraditional practices she's using with her toddler son in order to fulfill that wish.
  • Responsiveness — Sheila at A Gift Universe has many philosophies and goals, but what it all boils down to is responsiveness: listening to what her son wants and providing what he needs.
  • Tools for Creating Your Parenting Philosophy — Have you ever really thought about your parenting purpose? Knowing your long-term goals can help you parent with more intent in your daily interactions. Dionna at Code Name: Mama offers exercises and ideas to help you create your own parenting philosophy.
  • Be a Daisy — Becky at Old New Legacy philosophizes about individuality and how she thinks it's important for her daughter's growth.
  • What's a Mama to Do? — Amyables at Toddler in Tow hopes that her dedication to compassionate parenting will keep her children from becoming too self-critical as adults.
  • grown-up anxieties. — Laura at Our Messy Messy Life explains her lone worry concerning her babies growing up.
  • Why I Used Montessori Principles in My Parenting Philosophy — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells why she chose Montessori principles to help her now-adult children develop qualities she wanted to see in them as children and adults.
  • Parenting Philosophies & Planning for the FutureMomma Jorje considers that the future is maybe just a fringe benefit of doing what feels right now.
  • Not Just Getting Through — Rachael at The Variegated Life asks what truths she hopes to express even in the most commonplace interactions with her son.
  • Parenting Philosophy? Eh... — Ana at Pandamoly shares the philosophy (or lack thereof) being employed to (hopefully) raise a respectful, loving, and responsible child.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Being Present — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses the changes her family has made to accommodate their parenting philosophy and to reflect their ideals as working parents.
  • Who They Will Be — Amanda at Let's Take the Metro shares a short list of some qualities she hopes she is instilling in her children at this very moment.
  • Short Term vs. Long Term — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes recounts how long term parenting goals often get lost in the details of everyday life with two kids.
  • Parenting Philosophy: Practicing and Nurturing Peace — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle sets personal goals for developing greater peace.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 1: The Yamas — In part 1 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie guest posts at Natural Parents Network about how the Yoga Sutras provide a framework for her parenting philosophy.
  • Yama Niyama & the Red Pajama Mama — Part 2: The Niyamas — In part 2 of a set of posts by Zoie at TouchstoneZ, Zoie explores how the Niyamas (one of the eight limbs in traditional Yoga) help her maintain her parenting and life focus.
  • Our Sample Parenting Plan — Chante at My Natural Motherhood Journey shares hopes of who her children will become and parenting strategies she employs to get them there.
  • Philosophical Parenting: Letting Go — Jona at Life, Intertwined ponders the notion that there's no right answer when it comes to parenting.
  • Unphilosophizing? — jessica at instead of institutions wonders about the usefulness of navel gazing.
  • Parenting Sensitively — Amy at Anktangle uses her sensitivity to mother her child in ways that both nurture and affirm.
  • how to nurture your relationships — Mrs Green at Little Green Blog believes that sometimes all kids need is a jolly good listening to …
  • Philosophy Of An Unnatural Parent — Dr. Sarah at Good Enough Mum sees parenting as a process of guiding her children to develop the skills they'll need.
  • Life with a Challenging Kid: Hidden Blessings — Wendy at High Needs Attachment shares the challenges and joys of raising a high needs child.
  • Flying by the Seat of My Pants — Heather at Very Nearly Hippy has realized that she has no idea what she's doing.


Yen said...

I enjoyed reading this. Rocky and I talk a lot about parenting styles. I believe we have different styles, but we make an effort to work together and not clash (especially in front of Marion). 
I like to read parenting books also-- even if I completely disagree with the styles/methods (some I disagree, others I think are just not possible for me to do). I also ask around a lot (my mom, sister, friends, etc.). If I had the time, I'd probably attend parenting seminars also (if I could get Rocky's sched in sync also). 
In the end, I believe parenting is a very personal matter and most of the time I just wing it (so far). :D

hobomama said...

What a beautiful quote that is! It really fits us as well. I love hearing about your perspective and experience, especially with the extended-family sort of experience you have with N's yaya, who sounds great.

Dionna@CodeNameMama said...

Isn't it interesting how the "experts" have changed their minds over the years? So many mothers of mothers express anxiety that we think they raised us wrong, since we're doing it differently. But we're all just doing the best with the tools and information we have. I'm just glad that I have the support of many online friends in this parenting style :)

Patti @ Jazzy Mama said...

It takes a long time for 'new' ideas to be accepted.  Hopefully responsive parenting is an idea that will be used universally by the time our children are themsleves parents.

Good for you for trusting yourself and your child.

Freedom and Joy to you and yours.

Rosemary said...

It's amazing how things have progressed over the generations. I agree with Patti, hopefully in the next generation peaceful, respectful parenting will be the norm! And I agree - a no TV house is a huge blessing when you're wanting a deep connection as a family!

I-RIBBIT said...

What an honest post!!!  I LOVE that you are wrapping your lives around your children and putting their needs first. I went on a rant on my blog a while back about this as so many moms feel like children should fit into their busy lives. Really a hot button issue for me! Much love to you!

Hybrid Rasta Mama (jennifer)

Gaby @ Tmuffin said...

I love the idea of responsive parenting. And the idea that your children's needs come first, no matter what. When I first spent time away from my first son (and it was maybe an hour standing in line at a free plant giveaway), I felt like I was missing a limb. And it's so interesting how what's best for one child may not be best for the next... responding to your children's needs is not as easy as simply following one philosophy.

Jenny said...

I love the thought of having date nights but really find it difficult to schedule.  we do try to get away when we can, without compromising N's needs/feelings and always do it with her permission. 

Jenny said...

thanks a lot!! it is difficult but we really try to live this philosophy

Jenny said...

you're right yen.. it certainly is a personal matter and definitely, we can't impose our own styles on others. we also wing it BUT i am definitely glad that stan is on the same page as i am! i know of dads who leave all the parenting to the moms - mala old chinese style ba!

Jenny said...

i really love that jay gordon quote!! it is on the top of my favorite quotes list!

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