We at The Next Family are thrilled with the lively reader response to recent advice articles in our Parenting section. It’s a powerful topic; people are invested, offering up informed opinions and feedback.
There are obviously two (or more) sides to every parenting issue, but it has come to my attention that slight confusion is being created by the posting of two very different, very strong “expert” voices on the site.
I remember the moment I realized that parenting requires a steadfast effort in order to maintain both a sense of self and the ability to navigate through the maze of advice and ideas surrounding all parents. I was pregnant, standing in line at Starbucks. I ordered a decaf mocha with no whipped cream. Out of the blue, a woman I had never seen before walked up to me and said, “You know you really shouldn’t drink coffee when you’re pregnant, not even decaf.” I wondered how anyone could believe she had a right to give me any opinions. This woman knew nothing about me and yet felt she should weigh in on the safety of my unborn child.
Moments like this continued through pregnancy, breastfeeding, disciplining, etc. It never stops. We as parents have many big (and small!) decisions to make and it’s seldom easy. Although I tend to be the type of mama who is open to trying a little bit of everything, I am actually just another opinionated parent who would give anything to share her thoughts on parenting with the mom across the way. I think this is (no matter how unsavory) natural. We spend so much time researching, understanding, and discussing the type of parent that we hope to be that, once we have finally cultivated a very strong opinion, we want to share it with others. No two parents will be alike, no two kids will be alike, but one thing I do believe is that it never hurts to be exposed to options, and plenty of them.
So this is why it is important to me that TNF expose you to both sides of the coin (and many coins at that). Your child may not fit the personality described by one writer but he may very well be like another.
In an effort to paint this picture a bit clearer for you, each week we will juxtapose two parenting philosophies in our Q & A section –one as proposed by Julie & Holly (more of an unconditional parenting style), and the other by Joe Newman, who provides a more transactional parenting approach. We will include writer bios so you can ascertain the source of the information provided.
We hope this gives you an opportunity to find your place, if any, in the vast parenting spectrum –or to at least help you unleash your inner opinionated parent.
Please engage with our writers and other readers. This is is an opportunity for us to learn from each other.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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