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Parenting Values Holding Strong or Not

Jackie - posted on 07/28/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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So I am constantly hearing "well just because it worked with your first doesn't mean it'll work for your second" or "you'll see, just b/c you didn't do it this time doesn't mean you won't next time". Basically implying that my parenting values mean nothing and I will throw them out the window with child number 2 because they will be different.

Now of course I realize child #2 will be different, but I refuse to believe that I will give in on the values I feel strongest about. Prior to child #1 being born I said she would sleep in her own room in her own bed from the nite we left the hospital - she did. I said she would NOT sleep in our bed at any time for any reason - she hasn't. I said she would go down for bed awake within a few months - she did. I said she would not have a bottle past 1 year - she didn't. I said she would not get to keep her pacifier beyond 9 mos - she didn't. So I have no reason to think even for a second that I would bend on any of these issues with baby #2 because these are some of the infant parenting techniques that I feel the strongest about.

So I am wondering what everyone else thinks as far as sticking to the parenting values that you truly believe in? Did you do it? Do you think you will do it? Are you a nay sayer that thinks it's impossible?

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Jodi - posted on 07/29/2010

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Jackie, what you are failing to understand is that we are not talking "special treatment". For instance, my youngest was born so small she was hospitalised in the Special Care Nursery for 10 days. Do you think I put her in her own room at night when I finally got home. No way!!! With my oldest, I did. My daughter has ALWAYS struggled with her weight, so I kept her on bottles with toddler formula until she was almost 2. My son went on cows milk at 12 months because that is what I strongly believed. I also discipline them differently, because they respond differently. Do you think that is "special treatment" or "recognising the needs of that individual child"?



Some kids are more cuddly (and need more cuddles) than others. Some need more structure, some need more stimulation, some can breastfeed, some struggle.



So yes, circumstances, personality and many other things DO affect your decisions in relation to parenting.



I don't agree with people jumping down your throat about it, and telling you that you would NEVER stick to your values, but I do think that inflexibility can also be counter-productive. But telling you it couldn't be done makes it sound like you are almost using it as a challenge to prove something, and I just personally believe, based on my own experience with 2 children and 2 step-children, you just need to keep an open mind and make your judgements based not ONLY on your values, but on many other factors as well. And until you have had that second child, you won't really know and should keep an open mind.

Jaime - posted on 07/29/2010

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I think that with parenting one has to be open-minded at all times. If someone is adamant about certain things they might find it more of a struggle the second time around if baby #2 doesn't catch on as easily as baby #1. I had a lot of preconceived notions about parenting before my son was born and all of them are out the window. I don't coddle my son, but I'm not militant either. I believe in 'picking your battles' and not letting strong opinions override the learning and developmental stages of a child. I don't think I'm a perfect parent--far from it and there are a few things I want to improve on, but I don't think it's worth stressing out about when people make comments like "just wait and see" or anything else suggestive of a flaw in one's master plan. We absolutely cannot predict what happens in the future, so as long as parents are informed and prepared and can make room for changes and adjustments then I'd say ignore the idiots that try to impart empty wisdom onto a situation they know very little about.

[deleted account]

There is only one parenting style that I will never, never change my mind about. I don't care how many children I have I will never spank my child. As for everything else....I'm flexible within reason. I had my opinions prior to becoming a parent but I soon realized that life and parenting is all about compromise. I don't feel too strongly about anything except spanking and I'm always open to learning and adapting when it comes to children...EXCEPT spanking.

[deleted account]

Values? I won't change, but I don't exactly consider any of the things you mentioned as values. I think of values more along the lines of teaching your kids that lying is wrong, we go to church, treat others w/ kindness and respect, etc... I won't change any of that.

When my girls were little I was against co-sleeping and nursing an older toddler. Now, I'm not. Whether it's because my son is different, our circumstances are different (they are), or I am different now.... I really couldn't tell you for sure though.

Krista - posted on 07/29/2010

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Yeah, there's nothing that aggravates me more than the "Just you wait and see" crowing that a lot of people love to do.

Before I had kids, I could not even mention that I was tired, and I'd have all of my friends/relatives with kids saying, "Oh, you think YOU'RE tired! Just wait 'till you have kids!" The same thing would happen if I mentioned I was busy. It just pissed me off...was I not allowed to be tired or stressed out or busy, just because I hadn't yet spawned? It's smug. And I hate smug. So now I make a real effort to not pull that kind of shit with my child-free friends. And so yes, I can understand how it would definitely make you dig in your heels when you've got smug jerks crowing about how they'll be proven right when you've got your second kid. It'd make me want to dig my heels in too.

But at the end of the day, those jerks don't matter. Your kids do. So you do what works for you and what works for them. And if it's the same stuff that worked with your first kid,t hat's great. If you have to make some amendments and changes for your second kid, that's fine too. And if any of those jerks say "I told you so", feel free to tell them that they're being ugly.

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User - posted on 08/26/2010

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I have to say that each baby is different and they are their own little personalities. And honestly what may work with one child, a parent may NOT have the choice but to adapt differently to their 2nd or even 3rd child. Now the basics, like the bottle and binky may stay the same for you, but you just dont know for sure about the little things.

LETICIA - posted on 08/25/2010

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I said the same thing that the way I parented my 9yr; old I would do the same w/ my 4mo. old. Now given that my oldest is a girl & my youngest is a boy & one is a sagittarius & the other a taurus.I have still stuck w/ the same methods from my first. I feel that parenting in itself is a life altering experience & children need structure & routine. I must admit that my daughter the Sag was very easy-going, slept thru the night from the time she came home from the hospital, enjoyed just hanging out in her swing & was not bothered by much (i.e. climate, noise, light.) My son on the other hand the Taurus is very high maintenance he needs my undivided attention 24/7, has issues w/ heat, light & noise, he also wants to be held all the time & I simply refuse. I didn't do it w/ my daughter because I didn't want her to become so use to it that she wouldn't fall asleep w/o being held. So when nap & bedtime came around I would give her & hug & kiss & she would go to sleep 5 minutes later. My son on the other hand I do the same nap/bedtime routine w/ him & he will cry for about 20minutes until he finally decides that his crying isn't going to get me to pick him up. I do go in every 10mins. to give him his pacifier, but that's it.

Sarah - posted on 07/30/2010

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I think there is some flexibility and some things you should stick to your guns about. And I believe that is your job as a parent, to decide which is which. There are a lot of things I said I was going to do with Punky that i absolutely did do and there are others that I realized just weren't that important to me in action. You'll do what you think is right, and that's what really matters.

Rosie - posted on 07/30/2010

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it really is dumbfounding how different each child is, lol!! but when you really think about it, they are different people, chances are they are going to be different, hehe!!
i thought all babies like rides in cars, and they would just fall asleep blissfully like that. take vinnie out in the car, and he would scream bloody murder the whole ride! one time we went to my grandmas house 2 hours away. he screamed the WHOLE WAY THERE. he's definitely his own little individual!! after him, i learned never say never. definitely!

[deleted account]

I don't don't know. I'll just have to wait and see. =) Sorry, couldn't resist.

There are certain things I will stick to my guns on. But "flexibility" tends to be my parenting style, so I'll likely do things differently with my second.

[deleted account]

As the other have said each child is different. I personally believe that when a child is born its like starting all over again. Forget what rules you had the 1st time and take each day as it comes. Obviously you don't start all over again as you have some idea of what needs to be done but... don't think that just because you did things a certain way with your 1st that you will be able to do that with your second or third or any other child you may have.
And values and parenting styles are 2 very different things.

Isobel - posted on 07/29/2010

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even now, he still sleeps 12 hours a day at 7 years old, and he loooooves to cuddle. ♥

My girl is super independent, and I love her just as much, but it's a different relationship, that's for sure.

Isobel - posted on 07/29/2010

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Hey Kati, my first one was the devil! haha

She never slept. she had trouble with her latch and made me bleed, I used to have to walk her up and down and up and down and she needed to be rocked super fast to fall asleep...she was just bizarre.

I was actually really scared to have a second, imagine my surprise when Q arrived and just slept, ate, and pooped. ahhhhhh.

I never tell people "just you wait", but I do try to tell people not to hold themselves to too high of a standard...if you do find that you need to change your plan, it's not the end of the world.

[deleted account]

I aim for my parenting style to be fluid and so adapt to each situation - although yes I have core values for how I want to parent for example I will never spank any of my children, but for other things I am open for example we decided not to give our son a dummy for several reasons BUT if he had needed one we would have given one to him.

Before I had my son everybody kept telling me 'I would have a suprise babies are hard work etc' now they tell me 'you won't know whats hit you when you have more than one child' - I take it with a pinch of salt!

Rosie - posted on 07/29/2010

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i think that saying never is foolish. i have stuck (ffor the most part) to the things you've mentioned with all 3 of my boys, no bottles, pacis and no sleeping with us. however my third child won't stop sucking his thumb which irritates me to no end. my main "value" behind these things is that i don't want my child to have control of situations where i should be in control. so i guess i am not sticking to that particular value with him, cause i can't get him to stop sucking his damn fingers!! and he doesn't cry, or anything, he just won't take them out of his mouth while sleeping (usually the only time he does it).

my second child was the devil, lol!! really, he was! my first was so easy going, and just wonderful with everything, then he came along and ruined my picture of sunshine, rainbows and butterflies. after his brother went to sleep through the night as 6 weeks i assumed vinnie woudl too. WRONG!! after about 6 months of trying to get him to sleep through the night with nothing working, i resorted to sleeping with him, i was desperate!! luckily for me, he's such a stubborn little twerp that even me being with him wasn't enough to make him sleep through the night!! he's 5 and still doesn't!

basically, i agree with the naysayers. you never know, you never know....

however i do think that people could just use a bit more tact when saying these things. it's often sarcastic, with a you just wait and see attitude. it's almost like they are doing exactly what they are advising against-they don't know how YOUor YOUR children will respond, just as much as they didn't know how they would respond to their 2nd or third kid.

Celeste - posted on 07/29/2010

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You know, I will say that there are a few things that I did feel pretty strongly about with my first. But now, with my twins, I feel much more stronger about it, if that makes sense..

Amy - posted on 07/29/2010

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I think all those values you mentioned are things that are easy to keep the same with both kids.

We plan to stick to what we did with our second for all of the things we did with our first. We agree on sleeping in there own room and never in our bed. We also think starting punishments at 6-12 months is good (I don't mean give a 6 month a time out, but you start to say no and start with re-direction to get them to not continue such behavior). We also plan to feed our second with table food as soon as they are able.

Jackie - posted on 07/29/2010

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Oh I didn't bring this up because I stress about it. At the current time I am confident about the guidelines I mentioned earlier b/c those are the ones that as Dana said I feel extremely strong about. I know my strengths and weaknesses when it comes to dealing with something that important to me. I started this conversation to see what others thought.

[deleted account]

P.S. I try not to form opinions or judgements until I've specifically tried something....each situation is new and individual just like each child.

Jackie - posted on 07/29/2010

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And obviously there is no way to no for sure unless I revisit this post after baby #2. But I had everyone jumping down my throat that I'd NEVER stick to my values (styles if you want) when for instance my baby was up crying all nite, or when i saw how little and dependent she was. People told me I was nuts and it couldn't be done....they were all wrong. So as I clearly stated in my original post, I agree, all kids are different, but to me that doesn't mean they get special treatment. Just b/c they have a different personality doesn't mean they should get to cling to a bottle for 3 years...because I don't believe in that.

That's kind of my point I guess...because the issues that are biggest to me have nothing to do with personality and everything to do with either allowing habits to form or not. And in our house (and my husband is 250% in agreement with all of the things I originally listed, and ADAMANT about a few), I don't see us every allowing those to go beyond when they are necessary and turn into habits.

Jackie - posted on 07/29/2010

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OK fine we can call them values, we can call them parenting styles...it doesn't matter...it's all semantics, call it what you want - question is the same.

Jodi - posted on 07/28/2010

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Just to add, I think values and parenting styles are two different things :)

And it is true that what works for one child won't always work for the next one.

Isobel - posted on 07/28/2010

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I think another part of it is that with our first, it's easier to follow the "rules" that we set out for ourselves...it's easy not to use the TV as a baby sitter when you have one baby, but when you are nursing a newborn while your firstborn is learning to climb...Dora the Explorer can save your life (and possibly the life of your little climber).

I agree with the other posters that values don't really change but parenting styles do.

We all find ourselves doing things we never thought we would, just because it is what the situation dictates.

Jodi - posted on 07/28/2010

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I'm fully in agreement with the others. The older my children get, the more I realise that I have different parenting styles with each of them. Also, with such a large age gap, I have had a lot of time to review the way I do things!! As they get older, you start to see the results of your parenting, and sometimes tweak it with the next one. My kids are such polar opposites in personality, I couldn't possibly use the same methods for both of them.

Mae - posted on 07/28/2010

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I only have one but I don't think that I would give in on the values I felt strongly about. My parents didn't and neither did my in laws. If they are important enough to you I think they will stick with you.

Celeste - posted on 07/28/2010

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I agree with Teresa and Loureen.

I have three children. I think it's important to be flexible because all children are really indeed different. My twin boys are just completely different than my daughter (and they are just as opposite of each other as well).

I didn't cosleep very long with my daughter and didn't want to cosleep after awhile with my twins. For my sanity, I ended up bending that one. I also said I wouldn't nurse past a certain age, but again, that also changed. I've changed a lot of my parenting beliefs after my twins came.

However, there are things that I haven't changed on, ie. sippies at bedtime, nursing for at least a year, etc.

I don't think it's impossible to stick to what you feel is important but I also think it's important to be a bit flexible and understand that you *might* have to bend your rules, if that makes sense..

Charlie - posted on 07/28/2010

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I agree with Teresa , i wouldnt consider those values as such more a parenting style .

I feel we go into parenting knowing the foundations of what we would like to achieve and how we might do so but i think parenting should be evolutionary , it should move and grow , i dont think as with anything in life we should assume to know the exact way , i will never stop learning and applying what i learn to my parenting style once we stop learning on any topic we become ignorant to new information .

I know with my first i had a certain parenting style but my second born is different person with different needs and an individual personality that needs to be nurtured , to be honest my style hasn't varied too much but i am trying new things that i have learned since having my first son , we have set boundaries that we stick to , rules of the house that wot change but how i raise my sons will be similar yet as individual as they are .
Different people , different needs i feel it is my job to recognize them and nurture them .

I think its wonderful that your first born was so compliant to your parenting style and your second my very well be too but dont be too surprised if that isnt the case .

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