Friday, March 9, 2012

Not Parenting "By the Book" Anymore

Because there are way too many versions of how to raise kids "the right way".
I went by books the first 6-9 months. I didn't know what I was doing, so I did need help. I didn't supplement with formula at all except on days 3-5, made organic homemade baby food, etc. Never cloth diapered because I was told I would not get help changing diapers ;) I wrote a post about letting go, and how I am okay with not being "super mom" ;)

Now toddler books focus on how to train your kids to be "good". I have read several of them. I have used lots of good ideas from them. But, each book seems to have its own tone of superiority. Like if you don't follow this method exactly, found in this book only, you are going to be like those "other" parents. The ones with the out of control kids. You have to be a "insert method's name here" parent!

It's this tone that really gets under my skin. It turns me into a quiet rebel, and makes me just want to "wing it". (I am really not a rebel at all, but this is what these books are doing to me.)

I believe loving, supportive parents and a good home environment are the best things you can give a kid. So we are just deciding on the standards of behavior that we want, and being consistent. I don't want to be crazy strict on little things, because that is not my personality and I think it would stress the whole family out.

So, sometimes we hang out in our diapers in the morning (At least until breakfast has been eaten.. very messy meal in our house ;)
I let them wear shoes that they find around the house, even if they aren't exactly masculine shoes:
I let them carry around food at times, especially for a quick snack when I don't want to deal with the high chairs. (And it's not always something as healthy as broccoli, but they do love broccoli, and I had to get a picture :P)
I don't stress out if they throw a fit in the grocery store (simultaneously). Okay I stress a little because I think other parents are judging me. And I'm afraid someone is going to hurt themselves. But when it is close to nap time, and the kids are hungry, I don't feel it is the kids' fault at all. That is how they show over-tiredness and hunger at this age.

And we are very, very happy :) And I think Adam & Matthew are good kids. Alan and I are both mellow, so I don't feel like they got any crazy hyperactive genes. We do use "time out" a lot... that is their least favorite thing ever, and it has been very effective. Helps everyone have a breather, and they come out of time out much happier; just glad to be back with the family.

I will continue reading for ideas, but I refuse to feel guilty for not following someone's perfect method of child rearing. We have room to grow, but we will grow at our pace :)


Anonymous said...

I have been trying to post a comment on a few of your posts, but for whatever reason i have been unable to. Hopefully this time it works!
I love your attitude about how to raise your kids.... it seems everybody has a different opinion and a method that has to be done just so! Your kids look very content, confident and happy, so you must be doing something right.
I love the fashion choices your little ones make :)

Anonymous said...


the mom daze said...

People are different, family dynamics and personalities are different--no book will apply just right to everyone. We have to take a little of this and a little of that.

I detest the arrogant tone and "us" and "them" language that so many books have. Still, I can't stop reading books about raising kids--I guess you could say the subject is of interest to me.