Why do we label parenting?


older parents

[Shared by MummyGlitzer]

I dislike parenting labels. I think I almost hate them.

“Attachment Parenting”

“Elimination Communication Parenting”

“Totalitarian Parenting”

The list is seemingly endless.

I have my own way of parenting and it is “Make it up as I go along Parenting”. I consider myself to be fairly relaxed. Truth be told, some would say I am too relaxed.

If H doesn’t want to eat his meals, then I just take them away from him. It seems pointless trying to push him to eat or put pressure on him to do so, it’s a waste of time and energy and seems to just make him more determined.

We recently started to use time out, albeit our version of it. We shut him out of the room, in the hallway where upon he usually just screams. As soon as we let him back in, he gives us a hug and a kiss and, more often than not, that behaviour isn’t repeated, at least not for several hours when he will get another warning.

We have also recently introduced a star chart which we purchased from Kiddy Charts. We purchased one mainly because I wanted it to be reusable and to be laminated, we don’t have a printer and H isn’t particularly careful with paper still. This has been a huge success and H loves the whole getting stickers on his chart, it seems (for now at least) to be enough of a reward for him. He enjoys showing Daddy every morning how many stars he got the day before.

When he explores, I generally just let him do what he wants, with the occasional “Be careful!”, always watching him but not being his shadow. Obviously I wouldn’t let him walk along a wall without holding my hand or get too close to the pond at the nature reserve but I am mindful of the fact that, unfortunately, in my opinion he does need to occasionally hurt himself in order to learn.

There are, of course, things we are not relaxed on. H does have to help put his toys away, we do not tolerate kicking, hitting or biting, if he wants to walk somewhere (which is increasingly the norm) he must hold hands and is repeatedly told if he attempts to make a run for it, he will go in his pushchair (which I always take as well).

It feels to me like we are keen to put labels on everything, including our children and I wonder if this is a fairly recent thing or if it has always been the case? What are you more relaxed about and what do you consider yourself to be firm over?

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