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Middle of the Road Parenting as a method

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I’m a huge advocate of middle of the road parenting. Yet, I rarely see parents claiming to belong to that “sect.” Parents tend to define themselves by all sorts of labels. I’d like to define myself as a “middle of the road parent” – as a parenting philosophy.

 

Many people will fall into the middle of the road parenting category, yet I like to think of it as a method. Read about it here, and learn why I do it, and how...

 

Parenting and labels:

There are all sorts of parenting labels, and many of them have a positive connotation to me. Between natural, attachment, positive parenting, authoritarian parenting, and all the other categories you’ll find out there, you’ll find someone who claims to belong to one.

Yet, I never (rarely?) hear a parent saying “I’m a middle of the road parent”. They’ll say “I’m kind of crunchy, I do some attachment parenting, and sometimes I actually allow my child some screen time…”

Not here, not there.

The thing is, people like to belong to a group. Having a classification for your way of thinking, your method of making decisions helps to clarify things. It helps you feel like you belong to something. It gives you a perspective to promote.

But what about the “sometimes I use cloth diaper” parents?

What about the “I breastfeed but don’t co-sleep” parents?

What about the “I wore my baby until three months old” parents?

Do they not belong to a group?

 

Why middle of the road parenting?

I consider myself a middle of the road parent. Each decision is a decision on its own. Each child is unique and each family situation is unique.

I’ll give an example that falls both under the natural and attachment parenting methods: breastfeeding. It’s a long-battled subject. Both natural and attachment parents will say it’s the only way. But then there are those that it simply does not work out for.

Sometimes it’s the child that couldn’t breastfeed.

Sometimes it’s the parent that couldn’t handle it, or couldn’t produce milk.

Sometimes it’s simply a personal decision that each parent is entitled to make.

And sometimes, creating a sense of balance helps allow some of the good in, without eliminating it for the sake of a movement.

What I mean is, a parent who simply can’t handle the round-the-clock breastfeeding need not give it up, because she can never handle the attachment parenting it requires. She can breastfeed once a day. She can not breastfeed, but choose to wear her baby. She can then go on to feed the “never tasted breastmilk” baby only organic foods and it is in no way a contradiction.

Because each family is unique. Each child is unique. Each child is paired with the set of parents he or she will need to go through life. And each parent is entitled to make every parenting choice a separate, personal decision.

Practical examples of Middle of the Road Parenting:

I truly believe that screen time should not be allowed until age two. After that point, it should be very much limited. Yet there are circumstances that demand otherwise. This month, we will be taking our very restless toddler on a very very long trip. He will be allowed as much screen time as he wishes.

I use cloth diapers occasionally, when my baby just pooped and I hope he won’t again in the next few hours.

There is a place in parenting for “trying to eat as healthy as possible” without going totally gluten-free, organic, and/or Paleo.

There’s also a very strong place in parenting for some measure of tough discipline, with a dose of “your choice, you deal with the consequences”.

Positive parenting is highly recommended, and I’m a big advocate, but… sometimes my toddler just needs to hear “no!” He grabbed a knife the other day. It was a few inches deep on the counter. He’s TALL. The sharp panic was all he understood, and he put it down right away. There simply was not time for “Sweetie, would you like to play with the stacking rings or the Mickey Mouse piano? Knives can hurt us.”

Sometimes it even means that you’ll do things one way with one child… and differently for the next.

 

It’s not wishy-washy. It’s not undecided or weak. It is a conscious decision in parenting, to meet various methods somewhere in the middle, so that you can tailor your parenting style directly toward your family.

It’s about understanding each circumstance as a unique one, each child as an individual, and applying it accordingly.

Leaving your mind open to change will allow you to be a much more relaxed, accepting parent. It will help you eliminate the judgement that comes along with peer-pressure based parenting.

 

And while we’re on the topic of being a relaxed parent, what have you done for yourself today?

 

Many people will fall into the middle of the road parenting category, yet I like to think of it as a method. Read about it here, and learn why I do it, and how...

 

If you liked this, you’ll love: 

 

Dislaimer: I am not a parenting expert; I am simply a fellow mom sharing her thoughts and ideas on parenting. Please do not take this as expert advice, rather as “food for thought” as intended. This is not meant to disqualify the other parenting methods mentioned. Each family must choose what’s best for them.

 

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Alice @ Mums Make Lists

Tuesday 4th of August 2015

Love this ... am totally with you that the biggest trick in parenting is balance and practically finding the right balance for our kids personal needs at (and our own!) at any time. Thanks so much for sharing.

3 Steps To An Organized House - BonBon Break

Saturday 28th of February 2015

[…] Middle Of The Road Parenting As A Method […]

Amanda Bernard

Saturday 21st of February 2015

I love this. If I had to classify my parenting, it would probably be middle of the road style. I've never felt the need to categorize my parenting. And, to be honest, I've often wondered if many parents only do things a certain way because they feel they "have" to because that's their parenting style. For example, if someone identifies as a "crunchy mama", do they feel the need to do things just because that's what a "crunchy mama" would do? Anyways, I prefer to parent based on the situation and the child.

Sarah Elyce

Monday 16th of February 2015

I don't do well with labels so I enjoy this perspective. I recently had a mom inform me that I am, in fact, "crunchy." Who knew? hehe

michelle oakley warner

Wednesday 11th of February 2015

im kind of a wierd parent so i guess im a middle of the road parent, i prefer to let my kids explore and be who they are inside. i have a teenager that i used to be on him and on him with his homework and he always had bad grades and no homework, well as he got older i figured i would just leave him alone and told him its his own choice to have bad grades, since then it has been amazing, his grades have gone up to honors. trying a little something different helps every once in awhile.

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