What She Wore: Gray, short-sleeve shirt with a mandarin collar and black polka dots (have I mentioned that I LOVE polka dots?); black capris; black strappy sandals that are as close to flat as I get. I’d include a picture, but frankly, my feet are starting to look like their own fat cousins–I just don’t know if I’m willing to go there.
Before I begin this blog I’d like to say that I very much like the colleauge that I am about to discuss. I think he’s an amazing teacher, father, Christian, all-around great guy. I have no fault with him, but today he said something, and it struck me the wrong way, so I thought I’d mention it here.
For those of you who don’t have children, lucky you, you haven’t been exposed to the controversy that is "where should baby sleep?" Basically, there are two camps: one says that the baby should sleep in its own room as soon as it comes home from the hospital. The other says that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents until they reach the age of two or three. They should then be "transitioned" into their own room and their own bed.
For the last 100 years or so, this country has leaned heavily toward the "own room" philosophy. I, myself, was raised that way, and did not even know that there was another method until I began planning to have my own child. My husband, however, was raised by mother earth, and slept in a room with his parents until the age of three. When he began lobbying to have our new addition in the room with us, I thought he had lost his mind–nobody does that! My co-worker feels strongly that babies need their own space–he and his wife are passionate about their stance on this issue. They are the only contemporaries I have that are also parents, so I take their opinion very seriously.
Whenever I’m presented with an situation where I’m unsure, I do what most people do–I research the crap out of it. Books, the internet, and asking people who’ve been there before. I asked parents about their chosen technique and neither side had any regrets or doubts that their method was the way to go.
So, I was discussing the issue with my co-worker, and I said, I think it’s just one of those things–whichever way you decide to do it, is the only way to go in your mind.
To that, he replied, well, one method has a clear objective, and the other does not.
What’s the objective?
To get your kid to sleep in his own room.
And you don’t think parents who do it the other way have an objective?
No, I think they just want to do it that way. I don’t think they think about it at all.
And here’s my problem: my mother-in-law is perhaps the best-researched uber-parent of all time. She has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood, so kids are her thing. She raised two boys that anyone would be proud to call their children–both officers in the USAF and devoted husbands. They both excelled in school (my brother-in-law was high school valedictorian), and participated in a wide range of extra-curriculars. Now I know that good parenting is not a catch-all–plenty of good parents raise children who go wrong, but I know this–she sure as hell didn’t screw them up in any way.
It just bothers me when someone suggests that a different method of parenting is, in fact, an unthinking method. Many parents will read the same books, read the same magazines, talk to the same people, and come to different conclusions. Every parent is trying to do right by their child–even if we don’t understand their choices. When someone does it differently and it works, don’t suggest that this is an "exception" to the rule. As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one hard and fast rule when it comes to parenting–try to do right by them the best way you know how. The rest is just details.