Saturday, July 30, 2011

10 Beliefs: Shaping My Parenting Philosophy

gratuitous baby bum shot
While I identify strongly with many of the principles of Attachment Parenting (complete with the cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding, co-sleeping and natural childbirth) there are also some ways that my parenting choices might differ from other AP parents.  I try to think proactively about my parenting and verbalize what my goals and hopes are.  So beyond the attachment principles, the obvious and basic (keeping him clean and fed and warm), and the end product (a happy, decent, kind man) - what do I want to guide my parenting?  I'm still figuring out the details of my parenting style, but here are some basic principles that guide my parenting choices: 

1.  I believe in having high standards for my child, but also in showing understanding, patience and compassion should he not meet them every time.  Likewise, I believe in setting lofty goals for ourselves and realizing that if we fall short we are probably still headed in the right direction. 

2.  I believe it's my job to model behavior and good habits for my child.  (I may not always succeed at this, but I try to be conscious of the example I'm setting) 

3.  I believe in being on the same page as your partner (should you have one) as much as possible when it comes to parenting philosophies and decisions 

4.  I believe in the importance of family and ensuring each member has responsibilities and commitments to each other and the team as a whole.  I believe in a division of labor and mutual respect and support.  I also believe in working to prioritize and maintain relationships among family members even if they can get challenging sometimes (assuming a basic level of love and respect). 

5.  I believe in trying new things (and if they don't work out, trying something else).  I believe in challenging our comfort levels while also instilling a sense of security and developing and maintaining chosen traditions. 

6.  I believe in being playful and silly as often as possible and incorporating dance and play into the less fun aspects of daily life.  This is so hard to remember as an adult. 

7.  I believe in looking to longstanding parenting traditions for guidance.  If it's worked for generations upon generations or has been unnecessary until recently; that's an important thing for me to consider.  This influences my decisions about breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping and controlling my lust for all the new baby gear and gadgets (except of course for all the diapers and carriers, cause they cancel out - right?). 

8.  I believe in limits, manners, speaking kindly to one anther and common sense. I believe this is a two-way street between parent and child.  And while I hope to explain my reasons for rules most of the time, I reserve that "because I said so" is reason enough sometimes. 

9.  I believe in peace.  This is probably the one I struggle with the most.  I believe in remaining calm and kind in every situation.  Not reacting with fear or anger.  Allowing that serenity to extend to others around you.  Not raising your voice, not gasping at every bump or fall, not saying or thinking unkind things, and not taking the bait when others try to engage you in non-peaceful interaction.

10.  I believe in reassessing our parenting regularly, and even if it's working acknowledging that things change quickly, every kid is different (and I suspect we got a pretty easy one - probably to trick us into having more), and we are really darn new at this.  I believe that any judgement about others' parenting that might creep into my thoughts is unwelcome as is any judgement towards my parenting.
These are off the top of my head (at 11 pm) so perhaps there are major holes - but that's alright, I'll be reassessing soon anyway, right?  What's important to you in your parenting philosophy - or life philosophy - or aren't they the same thing?


  1. Great post. I've been winging this parenting (solo since my daughter was 8 months old, she's 14 1/2 now) every single day. These teen years are tough waters to navigate.

  2. It's the little things, but just the way you phrased #3 made me want to reach through my computer and hug you. Thank you for the totally normal aside comment that some are parenting solo.

    Fantastic post.

  3. Great post. I really have never thought through much formally (and that's a disturbing though). My main ideas are seek moderation, own your decisions, whatever they are and choose your battles with intent not through default of frustration.

    The closest I ever came was one sentence I wrote when my older son was about 2.5: "don't sweat the little things, know and stick to your big things, be willing to discuss and explain anything, including the big ones, even if it's the nth time."

  4. Wonderful post. I am so with you. Your son is very blessed to have you as his mama!

  5. Dora Romero2/05/2012

    Nice Post

  6. Sandra Marasco2/06/2012

    I agree that a parent's job is to be a good model to their children. Adolescents are very good observers and parents must give importance to that.
    nyc moms