As I’m a first time mum I find myself looking things up a lot, reading a fair share of parenting books and desperately seeking help from more experienced mums and dads. There seems to be two mains styles of parenting:
1. The tough love approach
This approach relies quite heavily on a routing and sticking to your guns with it! These types of parents have a plan and a way of dealing with situations and there is no flexibility on this. If your child wakes up at night then you ignore them, they remain in their own room and you’ll be dammed if they end up in with you! If you are discussing sleep issues with these parents they will normally pin point what you did wrong to deserve the sleepless nights and zombie look. They are the type of parents who aren’t afraid or embarrassed to have firm words with their kids in public when they aren’t doing what they have been told and seem quietly confident in their methods.
2. The spoil them with love approach
This method works on the basis that you can never give a child too much love and that love is better for your children than material objects (well that seems obvious). These parents don’t see any issues with co-sleeping no matter the age, letting your kids stay up late to cuddle and spend time with you and encourage their creative side no matter what that involves. After lengthy conversations with this type of parent you usually walk away feeling guilty as hell for letting your child self south for 10 mins before they fell asleep and end up going home and reading them 11 bed time stories and taking 2 hours to put them to bed to avoid seeming cruel in your child’s eyes! These parents always seem oddly happily no matter how tired they are and can always smile at what their kids do….
Obviously there are many types of approach to parenting other than these and it’s worth knowing if you are given advice from a certain type of parent that usually they are never trying to shame or make you feel bad. Parents simply like to share what works for them and find it hard sometimes to grasp that the same approach doesn’t suit everyone. Personally I go for a mix of the two, I am quite an OCD person so I like routine and my child copes better with routing. I do let her settle herself at night and if I hear her cry out I leave her for a short while (depending on the type of cry)… But on the other hand if she’s unwell I will sometimes let her sleep with me, I will read ‘oi dog’ for the 11th time before bed and I do encourage her to be independent as much as possible.
Lets face it – there’s no right way to parent every child is different and so is every parent, some have cracked what works for them quickly and easily and others are still trying different things! What’s important is that we all recognise that parents do what they think is best and need to be encourage for this, be careful that you inky offer advice when it’s asked for, and if it feels like you are being shamed by someone else’s winning parenting… They are probably just overly proud they finally cracked it and don’t mean to make you feel like crap.