Parenting Styles Are About You, Not Your Baby

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Figuring out your parenting style is all the rage lately. Are you an attachment parent, an authoritarian parent, a gender-neutral parent or a traditional tiger parent? Every style has its own list of pros and cons and although each style has its own loyal following, it’s important to keep in mind that your parenting style says way more about you than it does your little baby. Let’s be honest, your baby doesn’t care what style of parenting you subscribe to as long as you feed them whenever they’d like. And at the core, it doesn’t really matter what label you give your parenting style. Your child has the ability to grow and develop into a decent human being irrespective of how many toys they get or how long they cried without you checking up on them. As long as the parents are responsive half of the time, your baby will figure it out.

Do Parenting Styles Really Matter?

Do Parenting Styles Really Matter

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As long as you don’t practice an archaic and harmful form of parenting style that is detrimental to your child, parenting styles are really not the secret to raising good human beings. You can defer in terms of technique but still raise a responsible and socially adept individual as long as your goals and motives are good. For example, teaching your kids not to lie can be quite challenging for parents. Especially because little children just love spinning tall tales. It doesn’t matter if you sit them down and talk to them about it or employ effective consequences as a way to get them to stop repeating this unpleasant behavior, as long as they come out the other side as truthful people, your job is done and your child will reap the benefits.

Besides, there is a rich history of different parenting norms and an enormous diversity of cultural parenting practices around the globe that don’t follow any one parenting style. Of course the obsession behind parenting styles can be due to many reasons. Namely a deeper understanding of children’s health and research conducted in order to help parents better raise children. It was one such initiative that gave way to a book called The Common Sense Book Of Baby And Child Care written by a pediatrician called Dr. Benjamin Spock which was the basis for intensive parenting styles. Unfortunately, the idea that parents cannot parent their children by their own violation is stronger than ever in today’s age. Moreover, many parents assume that expensive and time consuming activities are key to unlocking their child’s potential, happiness and success which just isn’t true. If it were, every millionaire should have had parents who were always available and able to invest a ridiculous amount of money towards different extracurricular activities.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy Into Parenting Styles

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

It’s no surprise that parenting can be extremely stressful in the world we live in today. Your children face many risks and repercussions that you cannot account for or prepare them for. One major point of contempt when it comes to raising a child is the current economic climate. You are probably thinking about where your baby is going to end up and how they will fair long before those considerations even mean anything to your child. Although it is true that some parents take up a particular parenting style for fun or to better bond with their baby, most often, intensive parenting practices in infancy are a byproduct of anxiety. Many parents pick a parenting style in order to have some kind of guide in order to parent their kids properly in a chaotic world.

This is especially true with mothers. Many mothers go to work now and there is undue stress to deliver as a working professional and as a mother so that they are not perceived as a selfish person for “abandoning” their children. So they take up the role of a helicopter mom, tiger mom or attachment parenting styles in order to prove that they can do it all. Unfortunately this does little other than stress them out further. Doing everything by the book and second guessing yourself in every situation can get tiring and frustrating. Parenting is personal. After all, every child and family is unique and no one knows your kids better than you do. It’s best to play it by ear and work on the way you handle things as situations arise and time progresses. This is what has worked best for children throughout history. Respond to your baby’s needs instead of overthinking every decision. You know more than you think. At the end of the day, parents must come to the terms that there is no supreme approach to parenting. Just do what feels right for you and your kids and the rest will sort itself out.

Is there a specific parenting style that you follow and would you rather give it up? Let us know in the comments section!

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Kezia John

Kezia holds a deep interest in writing about women adapting to motherhood and childcare. She writes on several topics that help women navigate the joys and responsibilities of being a new mom and celebrate every stage of their baby's development. When she is not writing for MomJunction, she sings in a classical Western choir and reads endlessly.