Conflicting Ideas About Raising Baby
There are underlying pressures that can impact on the development of parenting practices. I have outlined two common 'pressure points' for discussion - conflicting ideas between partners and families and other parents.
Specific cultural and religious practices in your own family when you were growing up may be influential on you as a parent. However, difficulties can arise when parents as partners have different beliefs/conflicting ideas as to how their child/ren will be raised. You may have a partner who has a completely different 'philosophy' (ideas and beliefs) as to how your baby should be raised. Together you need to work on developing the best parenting partnership possible to develop a secure and happy environment for Baby.
Therefore you will develop practices that will enhance the baby's development so s/he will grow into a happy independent person who feels worthy (positive self-esteem) knowing that s/he is loved, cherished and respected as an individual. It is emphasised throughout the information in the Bond With Baby program that the best outcomes for infants' development are reliant on parents' display of warmth, sensitivity with their interactions and being consistently responsive to their baby's needs, together with an understanding of supporting their baby's learning and development.
Other family members such as your own parents may influence your decisions about how to parent Baby. Many grandparents have an extremely positive part to play in their grandchildren's lives. Yet others may be caught in time in the good old days insisting that your baby should be brought up using a 'method' that they used. Today, we know so much more about infant development and how to appropriately meet babies' needs compared to 25+ years ago. Building on your knowledge of babies' development and gaining confidence as you interact with Baby will empower you in your role as a parent.
Other parents can also be influential, both positively and negatively, with their ideas and practices on how to raise children.
One negative influence that dominants among parent social groups is that of parenting competition – such as 'My baby is sleeping through the night! What is your baby doing?' In other words, other parents can create pressure causing you to have doubts about yourself as a parent. Adding to this problem, there is an abundance of YouTube videos on babies SUPPOSEDLY exhibiting brilliance which are giving the message, 'Oh, look at my baby. She is now reading and she’s not even walking yet! How good am I as a parent and what a genius is my baby!!!' This is NOT an example of nurturing a baby’s development and wellbeing. All this is showing is what babies can do when they are subjected to pressure - parents forcing learning. Such practices end up having negative developmental effects on children. To read more about this I have discussed the effects of hot-housing in Development and Learning → Be Baby's Most Effective Teacher.
So how do you deal with this type of parenting pressure? Speaking from my own experience as a parent plus adding my educated knowledge – there will always be parents who feel they need to gloat about themselves and their so-called parenting achievements. Your parenting success comes with the commitment of doing the best job you can. Find other parents to socialise with, who too enjoy watching their children grow with happiness as they delight in exploring the curiosities of their surroundings.