Today we ate:
- Breakfast: Blueberry smoothies for Dad and LP. Mom had some cereal.
- Mom and LP munched on almonds all morning.
- Lunch: More delicious Thanksgiving leftovers!
- Dinner: Blue potato and tempeh hash and coconut milk pancakes.
Today we visited the train park and did lots of puzzles in the playroom. And the G-man made bread. No money spent!
As we tackle new parenting dilemmas every day (nap-time debacle anyone?) it always amazes me how we are able to come up with any parenting strategy at all. There are so many parenting philosophies, systems, tips, and tricks out in the world. They are all at our fingertips thanks to the amazing world wide web (damn you internet for making my life so complicated! But I do love hulu – we can keep that). Before I became a parent I thought I would have more of a system. My husband and I would have a very grounded philosophy about child-raising and all of our actions as parents would naturally flow from that philosophy.
We do have our parenting philosophy somewhat intact. We believe that children should have opportunities for control and choice in their lives, as long as it doesn’t endanger them or others. We believe that children should have ample opportunity to figure things out for themselves and make lots of mistakes (with the same no-harm-to-anyone caveat). We believe that children should feel safe, and should know they are cared for, even while they are also consistently disciplined.
Some of our actions do flow directly from these fundamental beliefs. We both strive to explain the reasoning for our rule to LP. We give him choices. Even with IP, we are avoiding “cry-it-out” as much as possible. However, we don’t buy into one version of parenting completely. I’m pretty sure no parent does. Instead, our actions are a hodge-podge of parenting strategies that we use to do the best we can, to support our children, and stay remotely sane.
We used the “5 S’s” from Harvey Karp, but I also let me my baby cry from time to time when I needed to get something done. I have no problem with IP napping in a swing, but I did whatever it took to get her to sleep in a crib at night. We didn’t do “cry-it-out” with LP until nothing else worked, and we only do it with IP for 10 minute increments before I go nurse or comfort her to sleep, even though that is a cry-it-out no-no according to some folks.
We didn’t use rewards for potty training – until LP was having his nap-time potty issues. We used rice-cereal for LP’s first solid food at four months, but we will probably just let IP eat what is interesting (and safe) for her around six months. Or not. Who knows? It’s all a day at a time. That is the healthiest thing I have learned from having kid number two. It is not about which parenting system one follows. It’s about what tools make sense from you. And if you mix-and-match from a bunch of “systems” more power too you!