Friday, 30 October 2015

My parents do not agree with the way I parent. What now?

When parents choose a different way of parenting than their parents did, this can cause some friction in some families.
This happens somewhat more frequently when parents choose to use Attachment Parenting (AP) or The Continuum Concept (TCC) styles of parenting, while they had been raised in a more mainstream style.
The choice to parenting AP/TCC is always made very consciously. Parents want the best for their children.

In the time that our parents were parenting us, there was a whole lot less information available than there is now. Not a lot more than the books of Dr. Spock and such. So our parents were usually counselled by Health Visitors, GP's and their own parents. Those people usually only knew the mainstream way of parenting and not really any other way. It's what everyone did.
Some parents didn't feel right about it and did some things differently. This could lead to being judged by their peers. Those are usually the most understanding parents to your parenting choices, simply as they have been through it as well.

These days there are more people making different choices than there were back then, as there is so much more information at our fingertips. There are websites and many more books by a variety of experts. Many of them give very good information. Some have done research and have written about that. It is quite doable to find studies about all kinds of psychological issues, parenting, education and such.

Depending on the relationship you have with your parents, it could be possible that you could explain to them why you choose the path of AP/TCC. You could explain to them that the newest research has shown that these practises are much better for growing children and will let them grow up to be the stable and caring adults you want them to be.
Some people can say something like the following to their parents and things go smoothly from there:
I've become the person I am because you were my parents and raised me to be a caring and thinking person, because of this I can make these choices, I am grateful to you to have made this possible to me, so that I can raise my child this way.

I myself have not had to explain much. My mum wasn't really bothered. However, my in-laws have asked quite a few questions. I have been lucky that they have always been interested in my reasons. They weren't judging.

When it fails to explain it or have at least a civilised dialogue about it, than there is no need to keep trying. Respect has to come from both sides.
Do remember this is your child and you are raising it to the best of your ability. There is no need to justify it to anyone really. Of course you can always explain your reasons, but when those are simply wiped off the table as irrelevant then there is no need to continue to try. In time these things tend to settle and people get more curious. Once that time has arrived you can give it another try. Until then agree to disagree. Maybe that is the only way it will ever be.

Often the reason for being judgmental is that some people feel it is an attack on their own parenting style, because you choose to go a different path. Unfortunately some people cannot see that the way they raised their children resulted in the caring thinking people who want to do the best for their own child, therefore it could also be seen as a compliment in stead of an attack. In some cases it is possible to explain it as such.

Of course there is also the possibility that you came to the conclusion of wanting to parent in the AP/TCC style because you had such a difficult childhood. In that case it may simply be best to let things be. Maybe it is even best to keep a distance for a while or in some cases even permanently.

In the end it's your child, therefore your rules go.