When I found out I was pregnant the first thing I did was buy the expecting mom's bible WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN EXPECTING. I read through the chapters, tracking the development and reading sections out loud to Mark.
I looked at chapters ahead of where I was and couldn't wait to see things like tiny fingers and tiny toes. When we lost the baby at 11 weeks I looked up Partial Molar Pregnancies. It was there. A small section on things that might happen, but rarely do. It was then and there that I realised I was the exception and not the norm...and that's the story of parenting.
So I vowed never to read any more self help books or how to manuals. I'm an individual, my children are individuals and we'll get through each phase, hopefully unscathed.
I did once again, admittedly, when Emma was 18 months old, google 'how many words should a 18 month old baby say?' and the answer left me feeling inadequate. I think it was around 100 words and suddenly I found myself writing down all the words Emma was saying. To make up the 100 I included words that sounded like what I thought were words and I kept asking friends with kiddies round about the same age what their their little ones vocab was like. The pressure was too much. For me. For Emma.
And so I once again vowed never to google or read those kinds of books. Only recently did I found out about the different styles of parenting via, you guessed it, google. And this is my take on it.
Diana Baumrind identified four parenting styles, which includes the authoritarian, the authoritative, the permissive and the uninvolved. My parenting style is a bit of a fruit salad of styles. I take a little bit of 'authoritarian, throw in some 'authoritative', sweeten it up with 'permissive' and every now and then a big dollop of univolved' gets added to the mix.
When Emma's about to stick her finger in a electric socket I'm very much the authoritarian. Sometimes I'm more authoritative when we're negotiating bath time, dinner time and bed time. More often than not I'm permissive, letting Emma play how she wants to, letting her get dirty and exploring the world around her (always in my vision of course). And there's times when I'm uninvolved. It's not often, but when I feel like I'm going to snap and lose my fluff I remove myself. I take some time out, for Emma's safety and my sanity.
I also have my own style of parenting, which I affectionately refer to as 'say or do anything hurtful or mean or nasty to my child and I'll kick your teeth out and make a pretty necklace out of them'!
There is no right or wrong style of parenting. Each one has a place and I think if you can balance your style out, then chances are you'll have a balanced child...if not, well then go for Parenting Style #5, the evil cyborg.
Happy parenting ya'all!