That’s right… a bad parent.
- According to the attachment parenting theory, I’m a bad parent – I didn’t let the kids co-sleep, occasionally let them “cry it out”, and encouraged them to follow a feeding schedule sooner rather than later.
- According to the authoritative parenting theory, I’m also failing – I let my kids express their feelings and desires way too much.
- According to permissive parenting, I’m too strict. You know, my husband and I set the rules and expectations in our household and uphold them, unless we think there’s a good reason for an exception.
And the list goes on. You pick the parenting style, and I guarantee you my husband and I aren’t following it correctly.
Luckily, though, our kids don’t critique us by the books or articles. They haven’t read them yet, and won’t for at least another 20 years. Phew. We’re safe. According to our little darlings, we’re great parents – our kids are happy, healthy, fulfilled and developing wonderfully.
Remember – “the book” (whatever book or article you’ve been reading) isn’t about a real baby. It’s about an abstract conglomeration of the “average” baby. No baby is actually the “average” baby. If you read books and articles, take what makes sense and put aside what doesn’t seem right for your child. The book doesn’t know your child – you do.
I love some of the techniques I’ve found through articles on parenting. I’ve never found a theory I agree with 100%. I rely on my maternal instinct. I trust it – God gave it to me for a reason. I care for my kids. I try to be attentive to their needs and respond to them. I communicate with them. Above all, I love them.
When you truly love your kids, you can’t go that far off, regardless of whether you breast or bottle feed, co-sleep or not. Deep down, you know whether your child feels loved. The child that is loved smiles. The child that is loved laughs. The child that is loved explores and communicates. The child that is loved, loves back. If you have a happy, laughing, loving child, which I’m sure you do, you are a GREAT parent. Regardless of whether your child breastfed or bottle fed, co-slept or had his own crib, and followed a schedule or not.