I’ve been wanting to write about this for months and months – it keeps coming back to me in little scraps of thoughts now and then and so now I feel I need to say it.
It is ok if you are not a parent who uses EC, BF, AV, NVC, AP, BW, BLW, BSL or CS!!
For those not ‘in the know’ I will decode:
EC – Elimination Communication (helping children become aware of their toileting needs from an early age)
BF – Breast feeding
AV – Anti-Vaccination (SUCH a hot topic!)
NVC – Non-Violent Communication
AP – Attachment Parenting
BW – Baby-Wearing
BLW – Baby-led weaning
BSL – Baby Sign Language
CS – Co-sleeping
I encountered most of these terms when I first began running play groups, and yes, all of these ideas fit within my philosophy of parenting to some degree, and yes, I have tried all of these things with varying success – but you know what? I have also used a form of control crying. I have used disposable nappies. I have fed my children tinned baby food and there are many times when I have suffered massive communication break downs that no amount of NVC is going to fix.
In the end it doesn’t matter what style of parenting you belong to.
What matters is this:
The choices you make about what is healthy for your family – and each family is different. It is the task of each parent to bring their own consciousness to their family needs and family values.
Showing a respect for other people’s parenting choices – we all judge others because that is partly how we form our values and decide what feels right for us, but your values are right only for you, and no matter how well they work for you, they may not resonate with others. We can share our values by sharing our success stories, rather than sharing critiques of others.
Offering help when it is asked for (and also when it isn’t, but only when you see a genuine need for support – because sometimes we don’t know how to ask!) Offering to help another needs to happen in the genuine spirit of community and love and physical action rather than from your ‘knowledge’, your position or opinion.
Understanding that everyone is on a journey, and that they will find the balance that is right for them, in their own time. If we think others would benefit from our values, then we can demonstrate them in our every day living. And leave it at that.
Not everyone has to be on the same journey as us, no matter how much we feel it would benefit them.
There, I’ve said it.
I’m on my journey … and I wish you well on yours.