I say why conform to any “parenting style” at all. From helicopter to free-range parenting, why follow any? Don’t give me a quiz to take. I don’t care what category I fall into. My husband and I have made mistakes with our kids like any other family. We have learned on our own what works best for us and for each of our children.
As the old saying goes, each child is unique and what works for one may not work for the other. We have found this to be very true in our house. Lets take for example time outs as a form of punishment. With our oldest son, the first time we put him on time out feels like yesterday. We explained to him, as best we could for a 2 year old, what time out was. Sat him on the 2nd step of our back split home and said that he was to stay there for 2 minutes. He had hit Pompeii our Manchester terrier, so we crouched down to his level to look him in the eyes and explained what he had done wrong and how it upset us. We had let him know that next time Pompeii does something that he doesn’t like he is to tell her, no Pompeii and then let Johnny or I know, he was not to hit her. From the moment we sat him on the steps he was crying. By crying I don’t mean the please feel bad for me cry, I mean the its the end of the world why are you doing this to me cry. I wanted to cry as he sat there for what felt like 1 to many minutes. He understands timeouts and no he doesn’t like them.
On the other hand, our daughter doesn’t get timeouts. We did the same thing when we put our daughter on a time out for the first time. She was around the same age, 2 and it was for hitting her older brother. Well she is a talker. She can talk your ear off if you listen to her or not. So that carried forward into timeouts. She would sit on the stairs talking away like nothing happened. Yes, we explained to her that timeout was a no talking punishment but you try to keep a chatty 2 year old quiet. It doesn’t work. If she is quiet, her mind begins to work. So at the 1 minute mark when she is silent we look over and find her slowly, very slowly trying to escape timeout and get one of her nearby dolls. Yes, we have tried over and over again, I can definitively say that timeout does not work with her. So we have resorted to putting her on the steps and sitting in front of her while she completes her timeout or we have put her upstairs in her room. She doesn’t being punished in her room even though it is filled with a ton of toys because she doesn’t have anyone to talk to. So this tends to be the best for her but we are still working on it.
Our 3rd isn’t even a year yet so we will have to wait and see what works for him. Hopefully no timeouts are needed…I can dream right?
Parenting style? I say it needs to be fluid. Don’t try to put me in a parenting category because I don’t fit in one. I learn everyday what works and what doesn’t work best for our family. With each child my husband and I adapt to what they need, not what we want. Helicopter, free-range, do what works best for you. We all make mistakes, we all regret doing something, not doing something, we all learn. I learn from other parents, reading articles or books that I find interesting. My mind and attitude towards raising is always changing and adapting to what is best for my kids because in the end I am doing all of this for them.
Till next time.