Sunday, 13 October 2013

My parenting technique

(it's not to lock him away, although I've been tempted!)
I've been thinking a lot recently about my parenting technique. I guess you could call it attachment grace-based parenting, plus spiritual training and gentle parenting mixed in. But here's the thing fellow Mamas - I don't want to label my parenting technique as anything other than 'what works best for my family'. Some of these techniques are great and I use a lot of suggestions from them, but I think what is most important is that I pick and choose the parts that are right for my family. For example, here are the bits we've chosen that work for the frog:
  • We don't spank and try not to yell
  • We do say no, but try to leave it for when he's about to do something dangerous/damaging. Instead we try to offer choices and explanations.
  • We believe that continuous training is more important than punishment
  • We don't ignore the frog as a punishment, nor do we isolate him
  • We believe that comforting and calming are what toddlers need when they're throwing a tantrum
    We want our children to express their emotions, but we expect them (as much as they're able) to do that in a respectful way
    We think that manners should be a priority lesson, even with the youngest children.
I've been on an attachment group before where someone asked a question and instead of giving loving advice, the other participants jumped on the mother's technique, saying it was not attachment parenting. They were so concerned with her following the 'rules', they didn't even hear her struggles.

Like I said, some of these techniques are great, some (quite simply) are not. Here's why I am cautious about following only one technique:
  1. It might not allow for a child's temperament /personality - the same strategy will not work for for every child.
  2. It might suggest that one punishment/correction fits every infarction your child makes - I worry about how can a child learn a sense a justice when they are punished the same way for throwing food and biting another child.
  3. Most importantly, it might make you feel like you can't follow your own intuition because what you think is right isn't listed as 'approved' by this particular technique.
Some of the techniques I've read promise to change your child - that you will have an angel by Friday. Well you know what? I don't want anyone to change my child. God made him, flaws and all, and I want him the way he is. Sure I'd love if he was a better sleeper, if he didn't have his health struggles or if could sit for longer than a minute. But he was gifted to my husband and I so we can train him in the way he should go, not the way someone who has never met him thinks he should be.

Parenting styles and techniques can offer advice and suggestions when you just don't know what to do. Some follow the most recent scientific findings about child development, and have come a long way from "beat it out of them" or " treat them like little adults". So, if they help you and you agree with what they say, I say go ahead and use them. But if something just doesn't feel right about how it's advising you to raise your child, it probably isn't.

Don't forget your God-given ability to raise YOUR child. That ability wasn't given to your mother or mother-in-law, your preacher and certainly not a stranger. It was gifted to you. As I've spoken about before, this doesn't for a minute mean we always know what do to! It just means that when we quiet all the voices around us (both helpful and unhelpful), that is when we'll hear the prompting of the Spirit guiding us as to how to raise our children.

1 comment:

  1. Really well written - it's a shame that people see children as a thing to control when really we are here to guide them through love.