Have you ever considered what type of parent you want to be?
For me, almost thirteen years ago, I knew what type of parent I *WASN’T* going to be.
However, the actual parenting tenets that I now employ were a slow manifestation over time as I learned what it actually meant to parent a child. I fumbled through reading any parenting book that seemed to resonate with my instincts, and chose the techniques that were generally the complete opposite of the way I was parented myself.
Clients that I have worked with tend to fall into a couple different categories- BUT, since everyone is a unique individual lots of them tend to be some type of hybrid of the following parenting styles- and that’s ok!!
Who needs a label anyway?
According to Psychology Today, this parenting style usually includes the following principles:
- Co-sleeping- either in the same room as parents or (with appropriate safety precautions) in the same bed. This may involve having bedtime occur on the child’s, not the parent’s, schedule.
- Feeding on demand- allowing the child to set the timing of feeding (whether breast- or bottle-fed), along with self-weaning.
- Holding and touching- keeping the child physically near, whether through cuddling and cradling, or by wearing on a front- or backpack arrangement.
- Responsiveness to crying- not letting the child “cry it out,” but instead intervening early in the crying bout, reacting to the child’s distress before it gets out of control.
The key thing to remember with this style of parenting is that you need to find a healthy balance between your complete sacrifice of self, and the legitimate needs of your children- that can be a difficult task for many.
This type of parenting really just involves a bit more scheduling and structure. Boundaries are a bit more defined. Parents tend to lean towards scheduled feeds, scheduled sleep for babies in their own sleep space and more. If you have multiples, this style of parenting tends to be the most favored as it helps to streamline the care of your babies while maintaining your own sanity.
This is really a simplified and watered down version of these two parenting styles, and I love that the families we work with are so varied in their own parenting choices.
We definitely have had clients that don’t fall into either of these categories, they march to the beat of their own drums, and we respect that.
If you’re already a parent, did your parenting style manifest over time, or was it entered into wholeheartedly as you began your preparations for birth?
Please leave us a comment below sharing your experiences.
As a team of doulas, we enjoy helping parents find a type of parenting that meets their needs. It doesn’t have to fall neatly into one of the columns that have been predefined for you.
Would you like to schedule a free consultation to discuss what may work for your lifestyle? Great!