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Why trendy parenting styles can make parenting harder

Someone asked me the other day which parenting method I follow. Seems like it has been popular recently to pick your method and rework your life to follow that philosophy. I think it also makes people feel in control and purposeful when they can safely say they have chosen a particular parenting method. Like diet lifestyles (South Beach©! Raw! Clean!), there is comfort in having found a system that works for your family and gets you the results you want.

But like popular diets, in vogue parenting methods don’t work for everyone. If you are not careful, you can spend your children’s entire lifetime reading parenting book after parenting book and changing strategies every time you hit a road bump. You can become so enamored with a book’s description of a peaceful home that you don’t realize that style would never work in yours.

I think the hardest part of parenting is the introspection it requires. Children mirror our best and worst qualities, which is both wonderful and uncomfortable. If you want to do it well, you need to look inward to understand how your attitude, mood, temper, and overall lifestyle play into your family dynamic and children’s behavior. This is at best difficult and often exhausting. Sometimes this even requires therapy for you to overcome some of your parenting struggles and inner conflict.

And just when you are making peace with yourself and setting your own goals, you have to look at each child. The best parents seem to understand the individual quirks of each kid and learn to parent that child in the unique way that works best for them. The child that resembles you most closely is often the hardest one to parent.

Nevertheless, there are some great parenting methods out there that can be used as a guide. Here at Bundoo, we are reading and writing about attachment parenting, RIE©, and Conscious Discipline© just to name a few. We include overviews of each method in Bundoo A-Z so you can quickly figure out which method might be a good fit for you and your family.

Personally, I really identify with Conscious Discipline© as well as RIE©. The book “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline” by Dr. Becky Bailey sits on might nightstand permanently, as does “I Love You Rituals” also by Dr. Bailey.  I’m reading “Baby Knows Best” by Deborah Carlisle Solomon, which is the newest book describing the RIE method on my iPad. I really like the way RIE approaches parenting an infant and reminds new parents to take good care of themselves as well as their baby. Parenting in our house is not so much a method, as an ongoing study of us and our children with some great books as a gentle guide.

 

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About Dr. Sara Connolly, Bundoo Medical Director

Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP, is a Bundoo Pediatrician.

Comments

  1. I’ve read up on several parenting styles (more so lately since my son is growing up and entering his teenage years about 13 years too soon…), and I don’t think there is a single style that works best for me and my family. I like taking bits and pieces that work for us and combining them. Maybe I should make that my own style and write a book! 😉

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  2. I honestly feel that all children are different. Just because one method worked for someone else, it doesn’t mean that it will work well for all children. Just as with all trends, parenting methods come and go. I have never been one to follow any method or book. There are not written instructions that come with raising your child. You know your child better than any author. Parenting is trial and error and you should do what works best for your child.

    Reply
    1. Very true! Parenting books should be used as a resource and not followed to the letter.

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