Let's Show Some Respect - For Each Other
Working Mom vs. Stay-at-home Mom. Tiger Mom vs. Panda Dad. Two-Parent families vs. One-Parent families. Married vs. Unmarried. Traditional vs. Non-traditional.
Where does it end?
It ends here, with me, and with you.
When we see families with different parenting styles, we may find it hard to accept their methods. Whether they are complete strangers, close friends, or even family members, it’s easy, and very common, to let the comparisons begin.
Sometimes different styles are clear cut. More often though, the lines are blurred, and we’re not quite sure WHY they use strategies or techniques that make no sense to us.
At those times, let’s find common ground, for the sake of the child. First of all, though, let me reassure you, our children will be JUST fine if we (the grownups) can’t agree on which parenting style works best. As long as we are committed to our child’s well-being and meeting their needs, shouldn’t it be a parent’s choice, not the popular media, as to the method of raising a child?
So let’s do the kids a favor, stop defending our own style and discontinue the finger-pointing. In fact, let’s respect each other’s differences and become more tolerant. Here’s what I wish more parents would do:
- Stand up and be an advocate for ALL parents - even if they choose a different way to raise their children. We all know how difficult parenting is, and the lines between "Right" parenting and "Wrong" parenting are very blurry.
- Take a first step with a loved one and acknowledge differences out loud - Create a time to calmly discuss parenting differences. It's likely that the child is loved and cared for by many adults with a variety of parenting styles. When differences are acknowledged, collaboration can begin.
- In the community, recognize that our picture of a situation may be limited. If another person's parenting style is of great concern to you, reach out in support, rather than criticism.