Margaret asks: “What informs your way of parenting? Did you read books about raising children? Do you follow any particular philosophy in parenting? “
I haven’t really read any books on parenting thoroughly though I do read an occasional parenting article. I do not subscribe to any single parenting philosophy as that would become limiting very quickly. It also has a tendency to become dogmatic and borderline religious with some and that can turn otherwise intelligent people into ignorant zealots. I generally adopt different ideas from different places that I find appealing and that seem to work. I try many different things, fail at many, and keep the ones that I am successful with.
As far as where my “style” comes from, I am naturally non-violent and that permeates through my entire life. Part of it is nature and part is nurture. My selflessness was (unconsciously) modeled on my mother who always put her children first. Regardless of what teenage rebellion issues I may have had, in my adult life I have come to realize and rely on that selflessness when it comes to putting my children ahead of my wants. That doesn’t mean that EVERYTHING revolves around the children- I still try to make time for other things- it just means that there is always a filter that asks “Have the children’s needs/wants been met properly?” If the answer is yes, then I allow myself to be concerned with other things.
The other part of my parenting style comes from Sarah. Much of what I learned, I learned from her and it would be an understatement to say that had we not wound up being partners I would not have been even half the parent that I am now. Being able to discuss parenting with your partner without fear is invaluable. Sarah and I both approach things as troubleshooters- poking and prodding at a problem to see where it would break. Sometimes we agree, other times we disagree, but the discussion is always civil and whomever disagrees at the least gives the other person a chance to try out their ideas.
In the end, Sarah and I are partners. We are a team. We approach parenting as such. In that way, I would say that half of my parenting style is informed by my upbringing, and the other half is Sarah.
Hope that answers your questions.
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