Friday, July 2, 2010

Parenting Styles

I belong to a great group of twin moms that have been really helpful in dealing with different ways of parenting kids.  There are those with just twins and those like me with twins plus one.  There is even a mom with 2 sets of twins under 2, crazy I know!  There was a recent question posted to the group with an answer that made me think about my parenting styles.  As I have often written, I have had difficulty with getting my older son to sleep well.  I did a combination of CIO (cry it out), sitting and rubbing his back, changing his diaper, and finally giving him some milk.  The CIO worked great for getting him to fall asleep, and even then it was modified where I would let him cry, but after some time I would go in and rub his back and help him fall asleep.  So far he has been going to sleep without trouble, but has recently been waking in the middle of the night.  I started letting him cry, and my husband said "I thought we weren't just going to let him cry.  I thought we were doing the middle of the road".  I have to admit that at that point, I wasn't sure what we were doing with regards to his sleep.

So now I am thinking about my parenting styles in general.  Am I a believer in attachment parenting like I originally believed?  Do I just go with whatever anyone suggests?  Do I believe in the whole positive disciplining?  ETC!

When I think about the answer to what my parenting style is, I think about my social work class that wanted to know what my theoretical practice was.  The answer I came up with for the class and also for my parenting style is, I am eclectic on how I practice for my professional life and my job as a parent.  I believe that there are more than one way to deal with clients and also with children.  I also believe that within practicing one theory, you can also practice another.  I am learning by trial and error that each situation and each child may need a different approach.

I am not one that rushes to my child unless there is a serious need.  I try to let them figure things out for themselves.  When they go to bed or cry out in the middle of the night, I give them some time to soothe themselves and figure out how to calm down without my intervention.  I have found that with sleep sometimes they can get themselves back to sleep, but sometimes they need a diaper, some water, and a little TLC from mom.  They are only little for such a short time that if they need me to help them feel better, I want to be there for them.  If they are fighting with each other, I don't rush in and try to fix things, I try to let them figure things out, while I observe from the sidelines and intervene if needed.  If they are dong something that is a little scary for me, I try to let them do it with me keeping an eye on them to keep them safe.

I have plenty of times that I feel guilty about my parenting, feel like I am not a good parent, question my beliefs, and more, but then when I watch my children and think about how they act and what they can do, I get more confident in my skills as a parent.  I guess these are normal feelings.  At least I hope that they are.  I have great kids that are growing and gaining skills every day.  I love watching them change and learn new things.  I love that I am the type of parent that allows my children to learn and explore.  But what I love most is that I have a support system of other twins moms and most importantly the support of my husband to help me through the most difficult, yet the most amazing job that I have ever had and will ever have!


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  2. Even if I didn't know you or had never read this blog before, I would say from this post alone, that you are a good parent. Because good parents do exactly what you're doing. They think about how they parent, take in advice from others (other moms, doctors, authors, etc.) and then make up their own minds about what is right for their child(ren) and their family. A lot of it is about trial and error and learning from our kids what they need from us and when we can step aside. You're doing great! Don't doubt yourself!

    And have a great 4th of July weekend!

  3. So glad you wrote this post. I have had issues with my "style" as well b/c my kids are so different...this leads to different parenting styles with a set of twins. I always said I'd do everything exactly the same, but that doesn't make much sense when their needs are so different.

    Matt wakes in the middle of the night while Hailey sleeps right through. We've tried several different things, but have come to realize that this is his cycle. He wakes up a lot. It's not a test...he's in confused arousal. Sometimes he can get himself back to sleep and sometimes he needs one of us. That's just him.

    Parenting styles are in a constant state of evolution too...I'm really glad you posted this b/c it's nice to know that I'm not the only "wait and see what they do" parent out there!

  4. Reanbean-Thanks for this comment. I really needed it from someone that knows me.

    Rebecca-I am slowly learning that not only is it different parenting styles for different kids, but different styles for different situations too, maybe even different for the same situation at different times. With regards to waking, I try to let them cry for a short time and if they don't seem to calm, which I know they can do, I get them up and deal with the situation. I am trying to remember that even though I am so tired, this time will pass quickly and at some point they won't want or need me to hold them and comfort them. Thanks for the comment and also for letting me know that i too am not the only one out there like this!

  5. I'm with ReanBean. Sounds to me like the fact that you even question yourself means you care extremely, and are a great parent.

    Try to be easy on yourself...this parenting thing is VERY tough...and with twins especially, as Rebecca has said, different kids require different styles at different times....and for us as twin parents, at the SAME time! Hang in there, and know you are not alone.

  6. I love the word eclectic. That's exactly how I feel. I couldn't put a label on my parenting style if I tried. As much as my kids change and go through phases, I think my parenting style does too. I feel like I'm learning and developing as a parent almost as much as they are as little people!