I was removed from a peaceful parenting Facebook group because I asked a question about pacifiers. It was against their guidelines. I felt so hurt! At the time I had just moved country, and was feeling very sensitive. A couple years later, while my two oldest children were still enrolled in preschool, I attended a local homeschooling meetup to get some advice from other homeschoolers as my heart was being tugged in that direction already. When a member found out I wasn’t a full fledged homeschooler, I was banned from this group – with some pretty hostile language I’ll add!
Again, I felt like such an outsider, such an outcast, and like nothing I did was 100% right for a particular group. I wasn’t fully RIE, or fully attachment parenting, or fully homeschooling. I’ve had parents tell me in hushed whispers things they didn’t want other people to know. The shame and guilt around these choices is unparaelled!
When I go down one rabbit hole, I inevitably end up feeling like “No, this isn’t totally for me,” or “I don’t fully agree,” or “I don’t quite check all of these boxes.” Which reminds me, there’s no one way to raise a child. As Magda Gerber herself said,
“There is only one rule in parenting. It depends.”There is only one rule in parenting. It depends. - Magda Gerbervia @ParentingJunkieTweet This
Every child, family, culture, and home is unique. The choices you need to make each day are going to depend on so many things. The following things add up to a unique, individual, highly specialized, particular cocktail of what makes you you, and what makes your child unique.
- Your emotional resources
- Physical abilities
- Spiritual beliefs
- Financial resources
- The support system you have
- Your own childhood baggage
- How all of these things apply to your partner + your other children
If you feel like you don’t belong to any one parenting group you’re so not alone! You’re also so not alone in picking in choosing.
Picking and choosing means you learn everything you can and then apply your critical thinking brain, and you use what works for you – right now. I want you to embolden your own parenting voice. If you want to parent from a place of love and enjoy parenting, you have to choose your own philosophy and be your own parenting coach. I think that you can listen to all of the podcasts, watch the YouTube videos, read all the blogs, and take all the courses and then throw half of that in the trash if you need to say, “That’s great for someone else, but it’s not right for me.” If a group kicks me out because I’m not a carbon copy of them, that’s OK. If a group offers no diversity, complexity, or understanding that there are exceptions then it’s not a group that I want to be a part of.
When I see a parent yelling at their kid, or even hitting their kid, I understand their struggle. I may not agree with their technique, but I get it. We all do the best we can with what we have. I don’t think there should be a dogmatic way of raising kids because human life is so diverse. If a group is rigid with their rules that they aren’t open to interpretation, it just doesn’t make sense to me.
I want you to remember that every single parenting philosophy was still developed by a person (or people), each with a specific and unique exposure to certain ideas and philosophies- who don’t know you personally, or your child. So take the wisdom and ideas, apply them in your life, but don’t forget to pick and choose. These are not G-d Given truths, nor a blueprint for everyone everywhere. At the end of the day, parenting is NOT always a linear path. Sometimes breastfeeding through the night works for one child, but not for another. Sometimes babywearing is a connecting experience for one mother and her baby, but it builds resentment and back ache for another. Sometimes unschooling brings out the best in one family, and the worst in another. Sometimes Montessori is available to one family, but totally out of reach for another.
We have to respect our unique and individual paths, and enjoy what we can learn, pick, and choose from the various styles that are out there. That’s why everything that I teach in my courses, memberships, and podcasts do not rely on dogma. They’re not a one-size fits all. This just wouldn’t be within my integrity to say this works for everyone, because nothing works for everyone all the time. Instead let’s focus on what connects us, and what we have in common! When a parent reaches out because they want to be a part of our group, let’s welcome them with open arms and rely on the fact that we will probably organically select those who are likeminded. Generally speaking let’s open those doors of conversation. Let’s cross-reference, and intersect those different philosophies to actually create the best of all words for our unique child. Let’s love parenting, and parent from love. Join my Love Parenting Facebook Group.
Let’s start a conversation! Tell me in the comments below, what are some of the parenting philosophies that you pick and choose from? What works for you and your unique child, and what doesn’t?