Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sensitivity & Parenting Styles

I've been having a hard time policing my thoughts of late. Increased stress and anxiety has increased my worry and rumination. Rehashing social interactions is a common worry magnet for me and any conflict that involves my family is a common pitfall as well.

The fireside talk with my parents and hubby replays in my mind often. I remember them dismissing my concerns, telling me that I don't have to worry about my nephew, and summing up the conflict as a difference in parenting styles. Not only was it invalidating, it was sad and reinforced my concerns for my nephew.

I know that there are different parenting styles. I know that there are different styles of loving, communicating, and living. I understand that and I also believe that those different styles fall along a spectrum spanning from healthy to unhealthy.

I think that there is no firm line between healthy and abusive-it's subjective. What scarred me for life may have left someone else with a lasting, loving relationship with their family; maybe spurred them on to great achievements and success. I was not so lucky. I don't think my nephew will be so lucky. Maybe things will change directions for him (I hope they do) in the meantime, I do not thing my opinions are unfounded or simply "differences in parenting styles."


BB enjoys accessories! Including random
barrettes found in the hair salon toy box.


All that has been rattling around in my head and heart. I've also been questioning how I parent and what type of parent I am. I've thought about this all before, it's just more nagging lately. Months and months ago, I had decided it was one of those "life's mysteries" that can't quite ever be completely explained and decided to stop worrying about it. Lately, my parents' words have burrowed under my skin.

Am I too sensitive? Am I too "easy" on Baby Bananaface? Should I be more strict? Should I be drilling him on words and shapes? Should I draw a line when it comes to neatly eating instead of letting BB "get all up in it?" Do I come off "hippie dippy" or "laissez-faire?" Is he gonna turn out to be overly sensitive and unmotivated?


Let BB have a cakepop the other day and
rocked his world! Use change (like that nickle)
to distract him and keep him focused while
out and about :o)

I don't think so.

Being around my family has shaken my footing. I think the hubster and I have made specific parenting choices that are quite different from my family's. So what kind of parent am I? What's my style?

I'm patient. I'm kind. I am gentle whenever possible and firm when necessary. I give BB room to explore. I am strict when he needs to be reined in. I distract instead of discipline whenever I can. I try very hard to not take my frustration out on him. I try very hard to stay in the now. Often, I let him lead. Sometimes, I show him the way.

I don't know how he'll turn out. I know he'll have struggles. I know I'm not perfect. Every child is different and what (I think) works for him may not work for others. I think I strike a balance between what he needs and what I can give. I didn't gain a lot of self-assurance from my childhood and I want to try and give that to BB. I'm trying to do that the best way I know how.


Another outfit BB put together himself.
I don't put much effort in "styling"  him myself.

What kind of parent am I? What's my style?

I'm a good parent. I'm loving. I'm sensitive. I'm dedicated.

My style is VERY different from my family!


So that's a peep into some of my pondering of late :o)

22 comments:

  1. You are doing your best, and have used a lot of resources to achieve stability for yourself and your family. You're also aware that help is available for parenting and other issues and have been willing to get help. That says a lot about your strength and insight and your desire that your child have a different and healthier family life. All good!

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    1. Thank you e :o) I certainly appreciate it!

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  2. 'I'm a good parent. I'm loving. I'm sensitive. I'm dedicated.'
    It is hard to ask for more. You will make mistakes. We all make mistakes, but those are most excellent foundations to build on. Hugs.

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    1. Hugs. Thank you Sue. That is beautiful!

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  3. I agree that there are different parenting styles, Hannah. I also think that no matter what style is used, love, concern and kindness should be a part of it. Sending you warm hugs and much love, dear friend.

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    1. Thanks Linda :o) Hugs and love right back!

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  4. Parenting is hard. You can do everything right and a child ends up getting into all sorts of troubles. My husband was raised by two horrible alcoholics. His father tried to kill him and his family more than once. My husband, all things considered turned out to be a good person. Hannah, I think raising kids is a crap shoot. Just do your best with what you have at the time. The only thing you can do is let your boy know he is loved. Talk to him about anything and everything. And then let him know he is loved.

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    1. This is true. I think expressing that love no matter what is so important. Realizing that no matter what we do, their lives will always have that element of luck is important too. Thank you :o)

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  5. Just the fact that you question what kind of parent you are and what effect you'll have on your son shows that you are a good parent. Nobody is perfect but most of us do the best we can. Love and kindness and a soft place to land are things that I felt were important when my kids were young.

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    1. Well said. Thank you Martha! :o)

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  6. There are not enough parents like you, who are kind and giving and loving. Fuck what everyone else thinks. I never met anyone who said, "My parents were way too patient and loving."

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    1. Hahaha I'd never thought of it that way! That is soothing :o) Thank you!

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  7. All you can do is your best, but however well you bring your kids up they can still get into trouble just as Birdie said. We did the best we could with our two girls and one is turning into a sensible young woman, the other one is have all sorts of issues.

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    1. This is true. I think my only true hope is that he feels loved and supported no matter what happens. It's not about the coolest toys or perfect parties, it's about being as healthy a family as we can be and being there for each other. Best of luck to both the girls!

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  8. You may have been having ruminations and increased anxiety recently, but you are handling them so well. You have turned them into productive thoughts about an important issue. You are remarkable to be able to do that.

    As for what kind of parent your are? Sounds like you are using everything you have to be the best parent you can be. And BB will flourish because of that.

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    1. Thank you ;o) I'm trying and hoping!

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  9. I think you're wise in your thoughts about your nephew and how there isn't a clear line of healthy or not, and abuse or not abuse. I think that resonates so much with me because I've experienced those blurred lines first hand. Perhaps you can be a ray of light for your nephew! He might have some tough times with his parents, but he's got an aunt who sees a bit deeper. His experiences with you can help shape what his experiencing with the rest of the family.

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    1. Thank you for this, I appreciate the positive perspective!

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  10. As a parent, all you can do is your loving best. And you're doing that.

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  11. Anyway, I think you are brilliant by keeping your head screwed on right! And I can't wait for your trip away to start!


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    1. Thank you! I can't wait for our adventure either :o) Although temps gonna be higher *cue the sweaty sunscreeny mess that will be my skin*

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Thank you for reading and commenting!

Be well, HBF