I give people my opinion about all things parenting for a living, yet I can effectively say that I have no idea what I’m doing. Every time someone mentions a parenting style I think, “oh shut the eff up. It’s all luck.” Jesus Christ people, can’t you see that it’s all dumb luck?
Well, not all of it. But if you’re caring for your children and feeding, loving, clothing, and talking to them – you’re probably doing okay. We’re probably all doing okay. I think we can agree that parents who devote any time at all in their days to reading and responding to parenting articles online are probably decent parents, right? At least we’re thinking about this stuff and wondering if we are doing it right – that says something, doesn’t it? Does being concerned that you aren’t totally effing up your kids count for anything? I think so.
I’m thinking about this because of an article I wrote the other day about attachment parenting. I’m including parents who practice attachment parenting in the group with the rest of us who are probably doing a stellar parenting job. Clearly they care a lot about their kids and spend A LOT of time thinking about all of their parenting decisions. The reason I poke fun at them so much is because I have a hard time understanding parents who think every little move they make is really transforming their child into some super version of a human, they wouldn’t otherwise be had they not been held all day. Or had they slept in a crib instead of a family bed. Or been fed formula instead of breast milk. Or pushed around in a stroller instead of worn on their mother’s back.
I’d like to argue that we’re actually moving away from the true potential of humans when we hypothesize that they all need very specific conditions to thrive. Here are the conditions they need; security, safety, love, food, water, speaking. Is the way that we deliver that to them really that important?
That’s why I’m done with “parenting styles.” Well, I’m not done making fun of them of course – because I need to get paid for doing something. But I’m done actually believing for one second that anyone really has a formula for doing it better than anyone else. Let’s give our kids some credit and realize that more often than not they are great in spite of us, not because of us.