Re: Parenting labels. Anyone ever break free?
When I was pregnant with my first and again as a new mom of just one, I read everything I could get my hands on regarding parenting. I decided that I liked the idea of AP parenting. DH and I knew before we had kids that we didn't want to spank, that I was very much intent on nursing, and some other things.
Well, I very quickly discovered that doing things the AP way for the sake of being AP was not going to work for us. We wound up figuring out that we all got more sleep if we co-slept. But, we also discovered that DH and I had a better marriage and our whole family benefitted if DH and I got time together as a couple (which meant leaving the kids with MIL or *gasp* a babysitter. I breastfed my first for exactly a year. It was a tough stressful time for both of us and I discovered that it is possible for a baby to self-wean by a year (the last time he nursed was on his 1st birthday and he never once after that wanted to). I also discovered that a 2 1/2 year old can still want to nurse all night long, but that if you have daddy put her to bed (in her own bed) she will sleep much better and with the breasts not accessible, she won't care.
We do what works for us. We don't spank. But, we do yell at times. We have dinner as a family whenever possible. But, we also leave the kids with sitters and have a full schedule that prevents family dinners every night.
My kids are getting older and I have learned what works fo us. It isn't a style of parenting or any one philosophy. I no longer study parenting books. Honestly, the only parenting philosophy I really subscribe to is from Dr. Ray Guarundi. He says that if you want exceptional kids, you have to parent exceptionally -- i.e., you are your child's parent first and foremost, not their friend and they don't need to "keep up with the Jones's" So, basically just because little Janey has a cell phone does not mean that my 7 year old needs one too because they come fraught with possibilities for bad behavior.