Is parenting "old school" frowned upon today?

Corinne - posted on 05/20/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )




With these attachment parenting articles, new finds from research and hype about changing the way we parent I feel like sticking to the way I was raised is just not good enough anymore. Mind you I was born in 1991 so I don't know what it was like growing up in the 70's or 80's most people think of as back in the day but my mom did a pretty good job with sticking to the way she was raised. Combined with the small town we lived in I was never watch 24/7, I never had a playdate, hand sanitizers were for hospital staff and I respected my parents as my parents, not my friend. I was spanked when I deserved it, I got soap in my mouth when I swore and I was expected to be independant and a watchful older sibling.
Seeing parents "wear" their baby until they can't carry them comfortably anymore, breatfeeding until they're going to preschool and having such flexible disipline skills is confusing for me. This doesn't seem to do anything but satisfy the parent's wants and needs to be a caretaker. The children I've come in contact with that were raised this way are spoiled, self centered and very dependant. With our world becoming such a mean place how is this helpful to the kids?
I have a 20 month old and am 7 months pregnant. I am raising them the way I was; my daughter knows I am in charge, knows that if she acts out on purpose she will have consequences BUT that I love her unconditionally and will always be there for her. I have friends that say I'm too hard on her and that I remind them of how their parent's raised them and they never liked it. Isn't that the point though? I don't want my daughters to think that they can act out and get away with it or that being disrepectful to ANYONE was ever ok. My job as their mother is to prepare them for the world and to do the best I can to make them productive women. When adults aren't used to the sometimes heavy consequences life can deal them it's a huge slap in the face and they have to learn what they should've grown to know.
Becoming a parent has opened my eyes to a lot of things. It's hard to keep a straight face and not cave in when my baby is crying when she gets in trouble. It's so much easier sometimes to let things slip more often than I should. But it's easier for me. Not for her.
Maybe I'm just too stubborn to conform or have seen bad examples of attachment parented kids but it doesn't feel right to me to be more of a friend and comfort object than an actual parent. All I can do is what I feel is the best for my kids and pray to God it was the right way to go. I don't think I turned out too bad... hopefully I can get the same results my parents got with me with my own children.


Jodi - posted on 05/20/2012




I think you will find that today, we have the benefits of more psychological research than was available years ago. The science of child development has changed, and even when you study psychology now, while many of the basic principles are the same, the research methods have developed and scaffolded so that we know MORE about child development (emotional, social and physical) than we ever did and are applying that knowledge to our parenting.


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Anna - posted on 05/21/2012




I think you've got it right. I fully believe all the new "research" is hog wash. If it's so wonderful then why are the children being brought up with it so extremely self centered and think they have to have everything that everyone else has and they need it right now? My husband and I will also raise our children "old school" and not feel at all guilty about raising our children right!

Johnny - posted on 05/21/2012




I don't think it is frowned upon, just that not everyone does things that way anymore. We all have our own styles.

I was into baby-wearing because it was convenient for me, but I can tell you that when she started to get too heavy, that was over with. I certainly wasn't going to be wearing a toddler whose feet descended to my knees (I'm rather short). I enjoyed wearing my daughter, the cuddles while she slept, chatting while we walked, and it was really good for building my abs. If my new baby likes to be worn, I'll probably do the same. But for me, a stroller is just fine when they start getting bigger. We do a lot of walking, I don't see hobbling around under the weight of a 50 lb kid on my back to be an enjoyable experience for me.

I breastfed until my daughter was two. It was my goal, it was what is recommended by our national pediatric association, and it was what worked for us. After that, I was ready to be done and I had to take a hormonal treatment to stop some bleeding and I wasn't comfortable taking it and nursing. It was the right time for us. I think it is up to each mom and baby to see what works best for them. Not nursing doesn't mean that a child isn't bonded to mom any more than nursing until they are 4 means that they are coddled and overly dependent. I really disagree with any sort of generalizations like that.

I consider myself to be an attachment parent, and I aim to practice positive discipline, but I am by no means a push-over. I am firstly the parent and as I have explained to my daughter, "I'm the boss, Papa is the boss. There is no negotiation on that." We don't spank, we do not believe it is effective. But that does not mean that we do not discipline or that our daughter is not aware that there are consequences for her actions. I don't see that not having physical punishment will lead to a child growing up not knowing that there are serious consequences for their actions. Part of practicing positive discipline is having my child know her boundaries and what occurs if they are crossed. She knows that following our rules will lead to things being much better than not following the rules. We work together towards goals that she wants to achieve, and she knows that not staying within the rules will get in the way of that.

I will say that I was born in the mid-70's and I am raising my daughter fairly similarly to how my parents raised me. I was breastfed until I was one, carried around in a Snugli a lot (I was tiny) and my parents were not overly authoritarian, although it was never a question who was really in charge. In their case, they did spank me about 4 or 5 times when I was little, but one of the reasons I don't do it is because they didn't find it to be all that effective. So I suppose I could make a reasonable argument that I too am parenting "old school". To be honest, I think that means different things to different people. Mostly to do with how you were raised yourself. I grew up with kids who were parented in a very "free love" "intense attachment" kind of way, so for them, attachment parenting might be "old school". Personally, I think it's the best thing to do what you are comfortable with, and what you think will make your kids into the best that they can be.

Liz - posted on 05/21/2012




I was JUST thinking about this the other day! It is very encouraging to me to read your post and to know that there are other parents out there who think like I do. I think it is pushed very strongly by "experts" to allow our children to decide if, when, and how they will do something and that if we just leave them to their own devices, they will grow up to become great members of society with strong morals and a great work ethic. Not so. All this breeds is a selfish person with no convictions.

[deleted account]

I don't see a lot of babies on hips - when I do see it, it's usually the practical decision rather than getting the pram out to put baby in.

Times have moved on and so is the awareness of what techniques work better than others. Certainly I found that my girls (like most of the children I know) are aware of what they are doing and have a good degree of what's right and wrong.

The best techniques that I've found that work with my girls - is explaining to them what behaviour is 'good' and what is 'bad' - they get praised for the good and told off/punished for the bad. Yes there are some things that come under the grey area in the middle - where they have to learn where something is appropriate in one setting and not in another situation. That only comes with time and experience, part of life's lessons. Also time outs, and having privledges taken off them is useful as well.

Certainly most of the children I know aren't self centred or spoilt, it depends on the parenting and what the family's value system is, which dictates how the child(ren) react in different circumstances. Most of the children I know are polite, respectful and know right from wrong. My girls, like all children, need guidance/reminders on occasion, but that is normal. All you can do is set the best example that you can for your children, and praise/discipline where needed that is appropriate for the action/age.

Gwen - posted on 05/21/2012




I agree with almost all of what you said, except the baby wearing part. I did keep my daughter near me a lot as an infant and did not believe in the "cry it out" method, but have never been a hovering parent. So far (at age 4) she is growing into a very intelligent, independent and caring child. It doesn't sound like you are abusive in the least, so I say stick to are doing a great job!

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