I've been having several conversations over the last year about parenting styles, what to do, what not to do, who's "right", etc, and I have come to this conclusion: I am right when it comes to my kid. My husband is right when it comes to our kid. No one else knows him as well as we do and no one else gets the pleasure (and pain) of living with him full time. If I tell you he doesn't need anymore dessert, you respect it and don't give him anymore. If we have to go home because he's getting grumpy and needs a nap, trust me when I say he only sleeps in his own bed and we have to take him home to nap. Believe me, I would love if he'd nap other places. I hate having to pack it in and go home just because the kid is tired and grouchy. But I know him and I know he will not sleep anywhere else. I've tried. Just take my word for it.
I have been mildly lectured about my son getting scraped and bruised because he plays "too rough" and falls. He's a kid! What do you expect? If you'd prefer, I won't bring him around you when he's scraped or bruised, so you don't have to see the horror of raising a toddler, but I can tell you right now, if you choose that option, you won't be seeing him very often.
I've noticed two major breakdowns within parenting styles (with variations and ranges therein): helicopter parents and laissez faire parents. I (obviously) fall into the latter category.
I believe that kids will make mistakes. I know I did (a lot) and you learn from them. Yes, he might get hurt, but I bet he'll learn to look where he's going to avoid running into walls, and/or tripping over his own feet. I do not believe that the toddler gets to make major decisions. Sure, he can pick out what he wants to wear, whether he wants milk or apple juice, what kid-friendly movie or tv show he wants, but he doesn't get to decide what's for dinner, or how much dessert he has. Those are decisions made by adults, typically myself or my husband. Oh, and my all-time favorite: No means no. When I tell him no, that's it. The end-all-be-all. No debating, no fighting, no fit throwing. If I say no, it's for a reason and everyone will respect that decision.
If you disagree with my parenting, that's cool. If you are going to tell me I'm doing it wrong, that's where we have a problem. You raise your kids, I'll raise mine and we won't have a problem. The instant you step in and try and re-parent a decision my husband and/or I have made is the instant you lose all respect from me and possibly (depending on the decision you tried to overturn) you will lose out on seeing my son, indefinitely.
Everyone has their own parenting style. If I ask for advice, feel free to share, but don't parent me on how to raise my kid(s) and don't you dare try and undo the parenting I have done.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community