Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Parenting Style

I have purposefully tried to keep silent on my chosen parenting style on my blog so as not to exclude other moms. I would never pretend to act superior because I don't think I have at all "arrived" in that arena. On the contrary, I have said before that I know now that being a mom is extremely difficult and although I have become much more confident as a mom as Steven approaches 1, I still sometimes have to throw up my hands and say "God help me...I don't know what I'm doing." This is why it makes me angry (ok, down right furious) when one parent attacks another...especially when it's two Christian parents. If we can't build each other up then who can?
Charlton is in a google group chat with friends from college. Somehow a discussion on parenting styles (i.e. babywisers vs. demand-feeders) came up. Some on the other side (demand-feeders) got a little nasty so Charlton wrote a response (with some input from me) and posted it on his blog. I wanted to link it to my blog so that any who were curious about our parenting style could do away with any assumptions out there about babywise and here it from our own mouths. I would like to say that although I strongly believe and advocate our style, I know many mommies that come from all spectrum's of parenting style and all of them I know to be wonderful moms. Also, no two mom's styles are alike just because they follow the same general idea. If we truly believe in the grace of God then we need to start passing that grace onto other believers and a good place for us parents to start is with each other. Every mom I know despite style and method is sacrificial and loving (two things babywisers were accused to NOT be in the discussion). I'll leave my comments at that and let you read our very purposefully (and calmly, thanks to Charlton) written post; although, as you can imagine I had some other "choice words" to say to one person from the previous discussion in particular. My husband wisely deemed them as inappropriate and unedifying for other ears. However, if that someone attacks my mommy character again I might not be so nice. No matter what your parenting style is, Mom, you are welcome here.


Jamie said...

Thank the Lord for husbands who filter us :) Kris had edited me many times (and I am grateful!)

Also, I wanted to say thanks for addressing this issue. It is sad how devisive it is when, really, if we focused on the fact that we are all united in wanting the very best for our children, we would see we really aren't that different.

It may be overstated, but I beleive it bears repeating-- "In essentials: unity, in non-essentials: liberty, in all things: charity."

~the seven of us~ said...

Hmmm... Have to admit I'm stumped ... After being a mom for 18 years and 5 kids, I didn't know that I had a parenting style. I had never really though of it.... guess I would probably fall under the 'demand-feeders' (Didn't know there was a name for it , or that it was hotly debated :o)

Although one thing that comes to mind, these two parenting style do align with our personalities and lifestyle at the moment, more then to any Biblical direction. I agree with Charlton, haven't found anywhere that tells me what time to put the kiddos down for a nap, how long, at what age to stop or anything like that.

Our current lifestyle and my personality are very 'demand-feeder' friendly :o) Try putting Billy down for a nap about the same time and same place everyday .... someone has to be at work, or activity, or who knows what else .... with teenagers there is always something. As I have looked back over the years I see that my 'parenting style' - if it is defined by naptimes and feedings has changed a great deal depending on the child and our life at the time.

There are way more important issue and with these we are consistant- how children behave in public, respect for parents and others, desire to search for God's way in all they do, immediate obedience, and so many more issues. Are my children a joy to be around??? ... is far more important to me, then how I pick what time to feed them.

Charlton and you are great parents and Steven seems so content. God will continue to guide you in the right way to make choice that are the best for him. Look at Billy and Steven both the same age but will certainly face different things the next few years (Billy with 4 older sisters he will need to be extra flexible :o) and beyond. How could God not direct us a little different in the day-to-day raising of these super boys!!!!

Bolline Family said...

I'm honestly shocked that people are debating your parenting style. Every child is different and every family is different, parenting/mothering is hard work and we have to do what works best for our own family.

To say that there is a right or wrong way (or godly and ungodly way) when it comes to napping/eating is beyond me.

Steven is extremely blessed to have a mama that loves him enough to give him what he needs even if it's not always what he wants.

Thanks for sharing!

thelittlefields said...

I have to agree with Jamie about what a blessing it is to have a husband to filter us and to lead us in a way that silences our knee-jerk reactions. It has been a huge blessing! The only conversation I have ever had with a true demand-feeding parent was very calm and informative on both sides. In fact, I enjoyed the exchange.

I would definitely say that I have more of a schedule/routine style, but that is what fits our family better. I can also say that we see many biblical principles evident in what we do (ditto to Charlton's explanation) but we by no means have this parenting thing figured out.

Thanks for discussing this! It seems there are many new parents that are not deliberate in what they are doing and float along without a thought about what they are teaching their children by their actions--naptimes, feeding times, play times, so it is good to discuss this--if only to get some people thinking about what their purpose in parenting is and what is their expected end to all of what they do.

Whatever we decide for our family, we should at least have forethought in what we want for our kids, and know that it applies to US, not all people everywhere.

Thanks again!


Krajca Family said...

What a thought provoking post! I knew that this subject was debated, and I myself have debated with other moms on the whole "demand-fed" or "scheduling" subject. How far it went is so sad.

Personally, I've been on both sides of the discussion. When my first was born, we were schedulers. When #2 came, we were demand-feeders. With #3, we have been a mixture of both. It's been neat to see how God has grown me as a mom. It's also neat to see how you can adapt and change as a mom to the needs of your entire family.

From what I can see, you guys are rocking this whole parent thing!