You know there was once a study in which a women's clothes shop replaced all their labels so that each item had a tag stating it was two sizes smaller than it actually was. What resulted was 87% of shoppers believed they had lost weight rather than questioning the size of the clothes. Fascinating huh? Also I made that up but I'm willing to bet that if such an experiment had occurred anywhere other than in my imagination, those would be the results because people are just far too attached to labels.
I don't think there are any styles of parenting really, there are just parents getting through it - any way they can. The impression is sometimes given that parenting styles are laid out like some kind of fruit platter and you should just pick whichever takes your fancy. This is preposterous. When you're a parent you simply play to your strengths, the result of which is you relate to your child in your own unique way. If you value control this may make you more authoritarian; if you're fairly easy going you might be more free range. Of course we're all different it's just society feels the need to separate people like they're M&Ms in a rock band's rider. It's not that we can't learn from observing child rearing habits, it's just unnecessary to make the way you feed your child your whole identity.
Attachment Parenting aims to promote the attachment of mother and child through immediate responsiveness and continuous bodily closeness. If this sounds like your idea of a good time, please do give it a go. Studies have shown (real ones) that children raised in this way have increased confidence but to be honest, as I've explained before, I have beef with such research. In this case to be an attachment parent you need to have time to carry your kid round all day; if you have time to carry your kid round all day it's unlikely you can let a pesky thing such as work get in the way; if you don't have to work you probably have someone to support you and your child financially; if your partner can support you and your child they probably have a good career and if they have a good career they probably had a stable upbringing and a smattering of good opportunities and it's likely the case that your youngster will too. If your child is confident could a factor be the the relative privilege of his or her home life and not three years in a sling?
I'm not saying it's bad, in fact I think it sounds wonderful, I'm just saying it's no magic feather. As parents we want to believe things are right because we're desperate to have all the answers and when we think we have the answers we can bury our insecurities under a great big pile of smug. This is the terrible truth - there are no answers; you could raise your child with textbook precision and they might still end up as a contestant on The Bachelor. Don't read that and disregard parenting styles and theories - examine them all and choose what works for you; if we can recognise the fluidity of sexuality, why not parenting? I myself am a pseudo-crunchy, semi-permissive with Tiger Mother tendencies and proud.
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