There are these traitorous thoughts running round my head.
Things that I’m sure the Guild of Parents would probably condemn me for.
Off with my head then, because if I’m thinking it, I’m more often than not saying it.
I believe that parenting “styles” are more important to parents than for their children.
That’s not to say that I don’t believe parenting in a specific and conscious way is wrong.
But I do believe that in the majority of cases, the way we parent has more to do with “us” and less to do with our children.
I believe that a parenting style is about the parent doing what they believe is best.
Parenting as a rule most often is about doing what you think is best.
But, I am not convinced that parenting “styles” are all that important to our children, long term.
And I don’t believe that parenting in one way as opposed to another (for example, attachment parenting vs controlled crying) is actually going to scar our children for life.
I have this feeling that other than helping us – as parents – survive, love and care for our children, parenting styles are pretty much beside the point.
Which is why, when I see a parent standing on their child’s shoulders, pontificating to the world that their way is the best way, I get a little angry.
Because by best what a pontificating parent really means is only.
And everyone seems determined that their way is the only way.
And I’m absolutely certain that parents should have evolved to a point where we can accept a different way of approaching a life of
vomit sacrifice and poo servitude. Which we do all for the sloppy wet kisses love.
In my experience, pontificating comes from two places.
1. Converts – people who have had their thinking changed and are so impressed, pleased and amazed by their new way, they preach what they practice.
Converts are well meaning, but more often than not annoying.
Advice is welcome.
Fevered rants in the form of Facebook thread hijackings and thinly veiled guilt trips are not.
2. The Defensive – people who believe their way of doing things is under attack.
Usually, these people feel victimized and attacked by the majority.
A sideways glance is interpreted as disapproval.
Information is power.
Pointedly flooding my social media and email inbox with links to articles that support your point of view or blatantly disregard mine is not powerful.
I love to learn and I love to find the motivation behind a certain way of thinking.
Religious Education was my favourite subject at school.
The history and doctrine of different belief systems have always been fascinating to me.
The fact that people believe so fervently in their god, their scriptures and their leaders that they persecute and convert in the name of their god?
It’s profoundly complicated and interesting.
Parenting is equally so, for me.
Especially the part where we condemn and minoritize other parents for daring to try something different to our own, known way.
Especially when I’m pretty sure that my breastfed, baby worn, co-sleeping daughter will be as decent and able to function in society as my routined, mixed fed, locked in their pram, sons.
Parenting styles are about doing what we know how, the best way we know how, for our children.
Parenting styles are about surviving with our sense of self worth attached.
Parenting styles, ultimately, are about parents.
You can lead me to the guillotine now.