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My Parenting “Style” Doesn’t Need a Name

posted May 7, 2015 by Moms in Tow (Kara)

My Parenting "Style" Doesn't Need a Name

By Elizabeth Morales

Helicopter.
Free Range.
Attached.
Tiger.
Crunchy.
Gag!
The shift that's occurred since I became a first-time-mom in 2002, to the way parents begin today, has been dramatic. In that moment that Reese was brought forth from my body (vacuum delivery and all), I simply became a mom. I felt no pressure to declare what type of mom I was planning to be. Nobody talked about "parenting styles." Moms shared stories, sought advice and found what worked for their families. I struggled with breastfeeding and mastitis for two straight months, but I wasn't compelled to include it in my e-mail signature.


The influx of information wasn't as unrelenting as it is today. Thankfully, I came of age and found my confidence as a mom in the previous decade. Before everyone felt the need to declare a parenting style like it was a college major.
Before Facebook.
Before blogs.
Before we were informed that everything we're doing now is Wrong. Damaging. Detrimental to the success of our children, our marriages, and the future of America.
That's a whole lot of pressure on us all.
I can't begin to keep up with all of the parenting styles that exist in 2015. I googled them, just to begin this post, and dolphin parenting popped up. What? Maybe I'm too old and jaded to bother learning the new lingo.
What I do know is that if I were to poll my circle of friends about their parents, we'd find they were raised by a variety of people who have produced some pretty successful adults.
Maybe their moms acted one way, and their dads, another. Maybe they were from a divorced home. Maybe grandparents raised them. Maybe they had several siblings or zero. Maybe their mom had an organic garden and made everything from scratch. Maybe they were latch key kids and ate TV dinners. Maybe nobody spoke English at home. Maybe they were forced to practice piano for hours every night. Maybe they never left the house for anything but school. Maybe they were surrounded by books and music and the arts.
Maybe...maybe...maybe.
Maybe, if we all just start to be parents to our kids in the way that we feel they need, in the way that is comfortable for us and for them, then they'll turn out to be content and successful, too.
The trends will change. That's guaranteed. You can choose to read all about them and follow them, or you can choose to ignore them.
No parenting expert is more of an expert for your child than you are.
As for my family, we don't aim to practice any parenting styles. I'm not wired that way. What I've learned through twelve and a half years of motherhood is that every year is different...every stage of development is different...every day is different.
Each of our children yearns different types of affection and responds to varying rules.
Every house we've lived in has required that we reevaluate the way we navigate life.
Our family works with a delicate balance, and on many days, we topple. If I forced six people to follow the guidelines that come with only practicing Free Range Parenting or specifically being an Attached Parent, none of us would thrive.
Maybe declaring a parenting style works for some people. Maybe having that style sets the tone for a family in a positive way. I'm happy for those families and their success.
Meanwhile, I'll keep piecing together what works for us as we go along. Someday, when my babies are grown, someone will ask them what it was like to be raised in the age of hyper parenting rules. I hope they'll say this, "My mom just loved us, and she liked to make pancakes for dinner."
For those of you who are struggling to follow a style set forth by a parenting expert on the Internet...why not join me in the ways of our own parents? Do what works for you!


I'd love for you to find me on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/mamalovesyouandchocolatetoo
http://mamalovesyouandchocolatetoo.blogspot.com/

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