I have been speaking to a few girlfriends lately who are about to give birth, which prompted me to write this post.
My advice to them is always this. Every Tom, Dick and Harry will give you advice on parenting. Everyone thinks their way is the right way. But it’s not. No one knows your child like you do. Your intuition lets you know what is working and what isn’t. EVERY child is different so no “parenting style” works for all children and neither does all their advice. Respect that they are just trying to help and listen to what they have to say but just trust your intuition and listen to the bits which resonate with you.
When I was pregnant, people would ask which style of parent I would be and then throw names around like Pinky Kay and Tizzie Hall. “I don’t know” I would answer. “Can’t I just be a parent? I just want to be a mum”.
I remember when Axel was 6 months old and it was Christmas Day at our house. I was told “you gotta leave him to cry it out otherwise he will never learn”. So I did. On Christmas Day, one of my absolute favourite days of the year I let my baby boy cry alone in his room. He didn’t fall asleep. He was just sad, as was I. Everyday since I have regretted ruining our first Christmas Day together. What was I thinking?!
I was so busy listening to what every person was telling me, because I wanted to be “the perfect parent” – whatever that means – I forgot to listen to my intuition. I tried the hardcore way and I soon learnt that I have a very stubborn child (not sure where he gets that from haha), who needs a lot of love and affection – just like I do.
When researching parenting styles for this piece I found all these different styles listed: Attachment, Conscious, Holistic, Slow Or Free-Range, Permissive, Authoritative, Tiger, Helicopter, Baby-Led, and I feel that if we parent in a certain way, we belong to that “group”. Reading this list, the last thing I want to be to my baby boy Axel, 3, is a helicopter parent. I am a firm believer that kids are here to teach us. We as their parents are here to guide them, but not to control them. I want Axel to make his own decisions. I want him to grow up without fear. I want him to be who he is meant to be, not what I want him to be. I have spent half my life searching for the reason I was put on this earth. So I want to guide Axel to be who he wants to be, believe in himself and not be fearful to do so.
So my advice. Trust in what you already know – your intuition. Absorb as much information you can on the elements that sit right with YOU.
Again this is only my opinion on parenting. You might have a different opinion and that’s ok, because whatever parent you decide to be, is the right way xo
Jacintha is the founder and managing director of the social media marketing-agency and PR firm House of Mouse.