Crazy high temperatures in UK bring the worst in parents. I swear. It’s mentally hot here and I don’t want to take my toddler out much. The only time we venture in the outside world is very early in the morning. Otherwise I need to entertain her indoors. I hate sticky heat. Makes me sweat, makes me feel uncomfortable and therefore cranky. Take me by the beach and we talk differently but until then I am stuck here with a very energetic two year old.
Today I had to get out the house around 12 noon and I can tell you it was a nightmare. I’ve made huge efforts to stay calm, not faint and also keep my child hydrated, fed and in the shade as much as possible. Looking around at other parents I noticed similarities but also so many approach differences. I am not going to blame it all on the heat as one can clearly see that parenting styles are different. I couldn’t help but thinking: just how does everyone parent?
I never followed a pattern in raising my daughter. just embraced positivity, kindness and patience. I thought about when and why I judged my parents for their skills and tried not to make the same mistakes.
Before I became a mother I judged all parents thinking I will never do this or that, my child will never roll on the floor screaming in the middle of a shopping centre and definitely will never ever eat snacks instead of food. I also said she will never watch TV until the age of two and so many other things. I judged parents for losing it, for raising their voice and for being maybe too radical when it came to raising their kids. We all do it and what is worse is that we do it before we ourselves become parents.
Once your baby comes into the world, you are sleep deprived, you have no idea what you are doing and how to balance everything without failing, that is when you stop judging others.
I still strongly believe that positive parenting is the way. It’s all about empowering children and unconditional support. It helps develop their self esteem so as to prepare them to get the most out themselves and of life. I see it as making my child happy every day and educating her through games, singing and dancing, treating her like she is equal to me and talking to her about all I do and feel. We learn every day new things and everytime I feel a tantrum approaching I hold her in my arms, I ask her what is the issue and we try to solve it. (don’t think I never lose it cause I do and I sometimes want to scream and shout and throw stuff against walls but I am trying to keep it together when my daughter is around)
Some parents might not agree with me. They might show me their right way of parenting. Some think that a strict and authoritarian or disciplinarian parenting is the way to raising a child. Psychologically speaking, authoritarian parenting is a parenting style characterized by high demands and low responsiveness.
Parents with an authoritarian style have very high expectations of their children, yet provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance. Mistakes tend to be punished harshly. When feedback does occur, it is often negative. Yelling and corporal punishment are also commonly seen in the authoritarian style. For this I will never embrace such a parenting method. It involves little or none warmth or nurturing and it involves punishments with no explanations as well as yelling. In my opinion this will only have negative results long term and the child will grow up thinking it’s normal to be punished, will become an introvert and also never have self esteem
Another parenting style is what doctors describe as authoritative parenting.
As a definition, authoritative is a parenting style characterized by high responsiveness and high demands. Authoritative parents are responsive to the child’s emotional needs while having high standards. They set limits and are very consistent in enforcing boundaries. Studies show that this is the most successful parenting way and children raised by authoritative parents tend to be happy and content, are independent and self-reliant, develop good social skills, have good emotional regulation and self-control, express warmth and cooperate with peers, explore new environment without fear and are competent and assertive.
There are many more parenting styles but we are not doctors. I am a mum trying to raise my daughter as best possible. I don’t yell at her, I don’t hit her and I don’t call her names. I encourage her to discover new things, to be brave to learn, I encourage her to explore and I teach her to be kind and grateful. Yes, we have screen time and yes she is having snacks instead of lunch sometimes cause she is a fussy eater and I am happy seeing her eat anything at this point. We do things that parenting books do not recommend (who doesn’t?) and we don’t always socialize with other kids because we are not in the mood. But you know what? She goes for a nap when she has to and every night at 8:30pm she goes to sleep until the next day, she is two and she was praised in Nursery for knowing numbers, colours and shapes so I must be doing something right.
We all choose to raise our children the way we think best. I just want to say that you can and it’s your right but please don’t ever hurt your little one, don’t punish them without explaining why. They are innocent and at this stage they only test our limits to know what they can and cannot do. A warm cuddle and mummy kisses can solve tantrums and not a slap on the face or making them more vulnerable by shouting and screaming and pulling their arms.
Play with them, keep them safe from arguing, don’t confuse them and specially, show them how appreciated they are, how good they have done. Teach them the small things, get them involved in your daily activities and make it all fun. The happiness on my daughters face when she presses the power button on the hoover is precious and does not cost me anything. The laughter when we try and pick up toys from the floor while I fool around and make weird noises it’s priceless. And she knows when she has done a good thing cause I make sure she does.