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Have you changed your parenting styles?


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#1 Mung bean

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:01 PM

I was thinking today about how much my DS has grown and what a journey it has been. I found myself reflecting on parenting styles and how much they can change.

For example, to begin with I was very narrow in my thinking and believed there was one optimum way to parent, which for me was attachment style parenting.

Now TBH I still love the ideologies around attachment parenting BUT I believe there are also other ways to do things, and at the end of the day as long as your child is loved and cared for then that is the main thing, and there are many ways to achieve this.

I would defiantly say I'm far less judgemental now with a toddler than when I was trying to be perfect first time Mum. I also find I care a lot less about the politics of parenting.

The main parenting style that changed for me, *puts on flame suit* was that I ended up doing sleep training with my DS at 16 months. I always said I wouldn't, in fact I was outwardly against it, but in the end the sleep deprivation and importance of my studies took over. Not to mention the strain it was having on the whole family.

So have you found yourself parenting in a completely different way than you expected, maybe from pregnancy or later down the track?

Look forward to hearing your replies original.gif


#2 PurpleWitch

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

Oh hell yes.

And the more children I have, the more I change.

Some things I just don't bend on though, my ideals are the same but you learn to pick your battles.

That's why I LOL when people say "When I have kids, they;ll never do xyz"

Yeah. Right.

#3 BadCat

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

Well I had a few ideas before they were born but essentially no, I haven't really changed styles along the way.  I started out laid back and I stayed that way.

I could never be bothered with the perfect way to parent.  I just make it up as I go along.

Edited by BadCat, 15 November 2012 - 07:08 PM.


#4 Mung bean

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:14 PM

I agree, there are some fundamental things that haven't changed for me and other things that I used to care about, that I no longer give a one toss about.

So often now I'm seeing different debates or judgements on pro this and pro that pages on FB (parenting related) and I just roll my eyes and how militant people can be about how other peoples kids should be raised. It also scares me a bit to think at one point a small part of my brain was wired to that kind of conversation.

Seems like the more you parent the more empathy and open-minded you become (or can become).

#5 raven74

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:17 PM

I just do what works for me and sits within my beliefs.  I'm a pretty chilly parent.

#6 LookMumNoHands

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

I think my parenting style is constantly changing, depending on what stage the kids are going through. The one thing that I've said throughout their lives, is that I won't back down, and I won't give in. Other than that, I'm pretty flexible.

#7 Mung bean

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

QUOTE (LookMumNoHands @ 15/11/2012, 08:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think my parenting style is constantly changing, depending on what stage the kids are going through. The one thing that I've said throughout their lives, is that I won't back down, and I won't give in. Other than that, I'm pretty flexible.


I think they are good qualities to have original.gif My personal mantra with my DS is 'Gentle but firm'.

#8 Duck-o-lah

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:25 PM

QUOTE
Seems like the more you parent the more empathy and open-minded you become (or can become).
I believe this is true in most cases however I do know parents of multiple children who believe their way is THE only way and insist on proclaiming that they raised x children this way therefore it HAS to be the right and only way rolleyes.gif

I was very regimented with DS when he was a newborn. I had no idea about kids and followed instruction from MACH nurses without question. Not helpful when given conflicting advice at times sad.gif When I look back on how I was killing myself trying to get things right with DS it makes me sad. I will definitely be taking the newborn stage with #2 more in my stride.



#9 Mung bean

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

QUOTE (duck-o-lah @ 15/11/2012, 08:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I believe this is true in most cases however I do know parents of multiple children who believe their way is THE only way and insist on proclaiming that they raised x children this way therefore it HAS to be the right and only way rolleyes.gif

I was very regimented with DS when he was a newborn. I had no idea about kids and followed instruction from MACH nurses without question. Not helpful when given conflicting advice at times sad.gif When I look back on how I was killing myself trying to get things right with DS it makes me sad. I will definitely be taking the newborn stage with #2 more in my stride.


I feel exactly the same about the idea of a second baby. At least second time round you know what you're in for and you know that even after 4 hours of crying, you will live and the world will not cease to exist.

#10 FiFo

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

I have definitely changed my view of parenting from when I was pregnant. I was one of those "I'll never do..." type people and would dismiss others who told me that would change... but since DD has come along guess what...she does use a dummy and she does leave the house with snot on her nose and the world hasn't ended. LOL

Parenting is all about learning as you go!

#11 PurpleWitch

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

I said I wouldn't back down too. Until he hit the teens.

Someone has to thrown down their weapon first though.

#12 Mung bean

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:38 PM

Purplewitch that made me giggle.

Yep I said he wont have a dummy, at 18 months he still has a dummy!

#13 Ice Queen

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:55 PM

My basic fundamentals have not changed but I have somewhat 'softened' and I am so much less judgemental of others with their own kids.  I would never judge the parent of a toddler in the midst of a toddler public meltdown!  

OP, prekids I was the opposite of the attachment mother and thought I would be routine, let them cry etc etc.  As it turned out I was much softer, much more flexible, happy to follow my own instincts not a book, breastfed on demand (I never ever thought I would!) amoungst other things.  Although I did do sleep training without a second thought!

I am a chilled mum.  Which I always hoped I would be and am thankful I am.

#14 Mung bean

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:07 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 15/11/2012, 08:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But what if you know you're wrong?  I think I bigger lesson can be learnt in teaching your kids that it's ok to admit you are wrong.

Back to the OP, I did change for a short while.  When my second was born and I didn't have the patience or time for an attachment style of parenting.  I needed 'quick fixes' (ie sending to room) But if felt wrong and was not successful at all.  I forgot all my previous readings and experience and kept trying to be stricter instead of going back to how I've always parented.  Anyway I finally had a 'light bulb' moment and went back.  At least I am true to my ideals even if I don't have well behaved angels.


Madame Catty, I have seen your post and I would say we probably share similar idea's about some things. In fact you commented on one of my sleep issue threads a while back when I was struggling with DS.

I think it can be about balance, I still love my babywearing, still using cloth nappies, really enjoy reading different gentle parenting authors but at the same time have intervened with DS sleep in a way that wouldn't be viewed as 'AP'.

But I guess now I don't mind, I can still see great value in my old way of thinking but am more open and flexible perhaps?  I think in the beginning, being so lost in Motherhood there was a sense of identity in carrying a strong ideology about certain parenting aspects.


#15 Bluestocking

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

I was going to be a stay at home mum.

Can't finish this degree soon enough to get the hell out of the daily grind!

#16 Mung bean

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 15/11/2012, 09:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
See I think you can sleep train and be AP.  I know some hard-core AP mums don't believe you can, but sometimes it's best for baby and family.  Plus you can 'gentle' sleep train.


Indeed, it's still about using your instincts. At the end of the day, and in my case the lack of sleep was more detrimental to my relationship and feelings towards my son than 3 days of sleep training.

I look back at the hell that was and can't think of one good reason why I wish I didn't do it. After 18 months of struggle to a kid who sleeps 7-7 every night and sometime sleeps in later I feel human. Resentment vanished and a lot more fun and positive playtime.

#17 mysonsmum

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

Yep & my son is 9 months. When he was born I was just doing what I needed to do to get through the day, my midwife said the first month (at least) is survival mode & u just do what ever is easiest for u & it worked well for us. When my son seemed hungry I feed him, he cluster fed for 3 hours most afternoon, when he was tired I wrapped him & put him down, by the end of most feds he had fallen asleep so I put him in bed & it was an easy & beautiful time. Then every human I came into contact with that had kids or knew someone who had kids started to tell me that letting him fall asleep while feeding is the worst thing u can do, it will create terrible sleeping habits that I can't break, same with the cluster feeding I should stop letting him snack all afternoon because he will do it forever instead I should feed him for 10 mins because that's all he needs then just let him cry. Buy 3 months started to buy into this & decided I should do as I was told & put him into a routine, not let him fall asleep on me anymore ect (feeding times shortened on their own) so I got my son into a routine & he was fine with it (he's fairly easy going) but I hated it. I never felt relaxed I was too busy worrying about what he should be doing, so I decided to just do what I wanted & follow his lead & if I created bad habits I would worry about it then. So I went back to letting him fall asleep on me when he wanted to, he fed whenever he wanted & he slept when he wanted & he continued to sleep through the night & at 9 months he still sleeps through the night. I just needed to do what worked for us & not worry about what might happen, just deal with what is happening. Next time I might have a 'routine" because #2 might have different needs. I'll just follow my babies lead & relax & enjoy (I HOPE) biggrin.gif

#18 bambiigrrl

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:24 PM

QUOTE (Mung bean @ 15/11/2012, 07:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was thinking today about how much my DS has grown and what a journey it has been. I found myself reflecting on parenting styles and how much they can change.

For example, to begin with I was very narrow in my thinking and believed there was one optimum way to parent, which for me was attachment style parenting.

Now TBH I still love the ideologies around attachment parenting BUT I believe there are also other ways to do things, and at the end of the day as long as your child is loved and cared for then that is the main thing, and there are many ways to achieve this.

I would defiantly say I'm far less judgemental now with a toddler than when I was trying to be perfect first time Mum. I also find I care a lot less about the politics of parenting.

The main parenting style that changed for me, *puts on flame suit* was that I ended up doing sleep training with my DS at 16 months. I always said I wouldn't, in fact I was outwardly against it, but in the end the sleep deprivation and importance of my studies took over. Not to mention the strain it was having on the whole family.

So have you found yourself parenting in a completely different way than you expected, maybe from pregnancy or later down the track?

Look forward to hearing your replies original.gif


i was just talking about this the other day, i totally agree 100%...now i roll my eyes at all the first time mums with new borns and remember i was like that once lol

#19 belindarama

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:25 PM

I think my ideas about parenting have changed a lot. Some of the fundamentals have remained the same but I have become more interested in more child led parenting, for want of a better term. I have relaxed a bit.

I don't back down either but by that I mean if I say no, it means no and if you have a consequence it will be followed through.

Equally I don't like letting my kids down, if I say we will do something we do it. I hate it when people tell kids something to get their cooperation or to save themselves the bother of saying no but don't follow through and disappoint them. There is one person in their lives who does this and it drives me crazy. DH and I don't let it happen anymore but it did go on for a while.

I think your kids have to be able to take you at your word.

Other than that lots of things have evolved in ways that sometimes surprise me.

#20 PurpleWitch

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:39 PM

Good point Madame Catty,

When I'm wrong, I admit I'm wrong.

I think it's good for my kids to learn that I'm human and I eff up.



#21 Duck-o-lah

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:48 PM

QUOTE
I feel exactly the same about the idea of a second baby. At least second time round you know what you're in for and you know that even after 4 hours of crying, you will live and the world will not cease to exist.
True. Except I will be writing these sentiments down before #2 arrives, so during those desperately sleepless nights I can read back on my own convictions and try to believe that the world will not cease to exist! laughing2.gif

#22 ShamelesslyPooks

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

My new parenting style is to get to know my son as much as possible and work with him instead of against him.

I have learned that I need to let go of what might be 'generally' best and focus on what is best for us.

It's the only tip I will ever give a new mum without her asking wink.gif

#23 bambiigrrl

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

i think there is just alot of stuff that first time parents get told they should do which is seemingly so incredibly important at the time (dummy/no dummy, sleep training, breastfeeding etc etc the list goes on) but what you discover as you go along is that these things arnt really important at all in the grand scheme of things and they all still manage to grow up eventually just the same weather they breastfed till they were 4 or coslept till they were 10 ate only organic etc etc or not.

the important things i havnt changed my mind about at all - i am honest with my kids about everything and make sure we have a totally open relationship, i dont tell them white lies or sugur coat stuff because i dont want them to decide one day they cant trust me or be open and honest with me in return. and that totally works for me, but may not for other mind you..


i dont take crap and my kids know how far they can push the boundries, but in saying that im a pretty laidback mum, i dont put a million rules on my kids i just let them run wild in the backyard or whatever..i just make sure if they do something they know they shouldnt have done then its off to the bedroom for a time out! gotta love super nanny lol

i definatly do some things i would have frowned upon pre children...like letting people smoke around them (dh smokes), i sometimes still swear around them, i let them go outside without a hat on sometimes..some days im having an off day and wont bother giving them a bath lol but i do still make sure they dont eat too much junk and i never give them softdrink, i still breastfed them till they were one, and i make sure they play nice together, share and respect each other and dh and i.

and its working really well for us...our kids are well behaved the majority of the time, they are happy, sociable and relaxed, confident little kids...so we must be doing something right!

#24 kay11

Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

QUOTE (Excentrique @ 15/11/2012, 09:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I was going to be a stay at home mum.

Can't finish this degree soon enough to get the hell out of the daily grind!


HAHAHAHA - me too ph34r.gif

Attachment parenting and breastfeeding - both out the window within three weeks!

In the end I did whatever minimised the crying and maximised the sleeping and the smiles (from baby and from myself).

It was the only way to stay sane. And yes it was different again for number two.

#25 Cath42

Posted 15 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

Before my first child was born, I was adamant that my children weren't going to eat junk food or watch TV. Now I have four kids. At least once per week I can be heard to say something like, "Eat your chips and do not MOVE from that television set while I do this phone conference". Yes, my parenting style changed over time. I was anal with my first child, and am so easy-going with my fourth child that I can't believe the two kids have the same mother.

What else have I learned? It IS possible to go without a single unbroken night's sleep for over 11 years and not completely lose your mind. It IS possible to anticipate an unbroken night's sleep in the near future with the same fervour with which many people await the Second Coming. That motherhood involves light and darkness, and it's important for the sake of new mothers to acknowledge both. And that when you look at the kids in your child's class at school, it's impossible to identify who was breast fed and who was bottle fed; who wore cloth nappies and who wore disposables; who slept with their parents for years and who slept in their own room from day 1; and who lives with two married parents, who lives with a sole parent, who lives with their grandparents and who lives with two parents of the same gender. The things that seem to matter so much when kids are little stop mattering as time goes by. Really, all that matters is that kids are loved and wanted, and equipped with a moral compass they can use to navigate their way through the vicissitudes of life.






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