Monday Musings - Can’t We All Just Get Along?

by Samantha on May 13, 2013

Helicopter Parents vs. Free Range Parents.

Elimination Communication vs. conventional potty training.

Tiger Moms vs. Permissive Moms.

Apparently there’s a war of not only words but ways of life and parents are being made to draw a line in the sand…or  sandbox as the case may be.

Depending on your vantage point, you may be in the right or you may be totally wrong. You are likely doing wonderful things for your child or you are ruining them as human beings forevermore. You just can’t win.

Never  has there been a time in our history where there have been so many  different ways of parenting and, more importantly, so many parents arguing, disagreeing and generally condemning those who choose to raise their children in a different way than their own.

Add to this fact the reality that our multi-ethnic, socially-stratified society adds even more variables to the mix, including culture and ethnicity as well as social economic class, to name a few. Is it any wonder that there are almost as many ways of raising your child as there are children in the world (alright, not quite, but it certainly seems that way)?

Yet, although most of us know this, we stick to our guns, insisting that our way is the right way. Perhaps it’s human nature; perhaps it’s our stubborn belief that we’re right and…well…everyone who doesn’t agree with us is wrong. No more so than in the parenting plane are those who continue to bicker and argue about what is the best way to raise a child. If you’re not with us, you’re against us, end of story.

Though intellectually, we know that this type of rigid, black-and-white viewing of the world is wrong, we can’t help ourselves. Somehow it’s not wrong when it comes to us and our choices on how we raise our kids. Again: we’re right, everyone else is wrong…right?

So the question this week is as follows: Do you think that it’s possible for us to finally all get along? Can conflicting and different parenting styles exist? Is there any hope of us finding common ground and celebrating our similarities as parents instead of our differences? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

VIDEO: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joani Plenty May 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

THANK YOU!! It’s not about right or wrong as much as it is about what WORKS! This should be common sense! For instance, I’m a HUGEEEEE (did I stress that enough? No?) fan of the Ferber sleeping method. Why? Because it works…for ME! Other’s think it’s cruel and that may be true, for YOU whereas my twins learned to sleep through the night in ONE day at age 2! So, for someone who has tried it or had more difficulty than their kids with the tears; well no…it may not be for you but for someone else (like myself and my kids who head into their rooms, sing 3 songs, turn out the lights and don’t make a peep until they wake up the next morning) it may be the best option.

Instead of judging other moms for their parenting choices (unless they are causing actual, proven, long-term harm or it affects my family/home negatively) I choose to support and learn from other them by encouraging and sharing stories/resources. Parenting is hard enough as it is. If we’re divided, how can we teach our children to be united?
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Samantha May 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Yes, Joanie - It’s all about finding out what works for each of us as parents, and not bothering to stress about what we are or are not doing. At the end of the day, we know our kids best, right? For that reason alone, we should know what would work for them over and above what anyone else thinks. Yet we hear time and time again about how parents are being chastised for their choices. Why not try to look at it from their perspective? We just might learn something. Thanks so much for your insightful comment :)
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Jennifer May 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm

What a great post and oh so true! What works for one parent may not work for another so who are we to judge each other. It’s not worth the battle in my opinion.
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Kerry May 17, 2013 at 2:53 pm

It’s a tough question I think. It’s true any style of parenting can be right for different families and maybe even different kids in the same family but it’s such an emotive issue. We all want to believe we’re doing the right thing for our kids, and mostly we’re not 100% sure. I think if people are really aggressive about other people’s parenting style it’s usually because they are insecure about their own and they want to reassure themselves.

There are so many attempts to convince us of the rightness of different styles, I wonder if there are parents out there who are switching from one style to another so often that their kids have no idea what they should be doing at all!

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Kathy Radigan May 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I have always prescribed to the belief that if it works for your family that is great. I am always amazed when I come upon someone who is just convinced that one way of parenting is just not the way to go for them, but the way to go for all and if you disagree you are a bad mother and your kids are doomed. I think a lot of it comes from insecurity, and not believing that they are doing the right thing. It’s as if another point of view shakes their world. I find it’s easier to just not engage those people in conversation. Thanks for a great post!!
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Samantha May 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Thanks for your insight, Kathy! I agree - what works for one may not work for another, but at the end of the day, who cares? As long as it works for your family, that’s what should matter, right? If we all just kept this in mind, we’d have a much easier time with this whole parenting thing, wouldn’t we ;)

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