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Why I refuse to Label my Parenting Style

Written by Julie Jensen

What does your parenting style say about you? One mother shares why she refuses to adhere to a particular parenting style and why she is a better parent for it.

I’m perhaps going out on a limb here, but I don’t think any parent in history has ever been under as much public scrutiny as today’s parent. Everyone’s opinions about everything is up online for all to see, which absolutely includes people’s views on parenting.  

I dabbled in reading blogs about parenting styles between baby one and two. There seemed to be a recurring theme- labels.

To me they did not offer sound solutions to try with my children, they were simply a direct and aggressive name calling session for what type of parent I was or could be and why that was awful.

Divide and conquer?

I get it. We all want the very best for our children. So naturally, we all want to know the precise perfect way in which we need to parent them. The words we use, the discipline we enforce, the independence and confidence we nurture. We all want that perfect parenting blueprint model to follow. And with that, to know the ones we absolutely should NOT follow.

Here’s my issue:

There are too many lines that divide us not only as parents but as people in general. These parenting styles are one of the many name-calling separation tactics used to elevate one group by discriminating against another.

And I’m simply not having it.

I am not better than Sally’s mom around the corner nor Louis’ mom halfway around the world. They are no better than me. We are the same. We are parents. We love our kids. And we are doing the best we can with the knowledge we have within our own beliefs and upbringings.

There is no right or wrong (unless a life necessity is in danger or abuse is suspected. Obviously.). So whether or not I hover over my child at the playground making sure they’re playing nice and/or others are not hurting them, or whether or not I use fluoride in their toothpaste does not make me better or worse than the next parent.

We act in love with the tools we have. It’s that simple. Parenting is hard but can be a lot harder for me when I sway with whatever the new parent trend is.

Parenting with confidence

The parents I often seek advice from the most are the ones that rarely offer it. These are the ones with confidence enough to not have to convert me to their way of thinking. They don’t need an article to justify their parenthood actions.

They are wise enough to know that there is not just one way to parent. They are also kind enough to not belittle another parent’s way in which they love their children.

Confident, wise, and kind also just happens to be the same virtues I want to instill in my children. So for me, the labels I put on my parenting or others just don’t fit in with the example I’m trying to set.

No one size fits all approach

I am not a fill-in-the-blank parent. I am a mother. And this title to me offers a vast space in which I can nurture. With three children, I can attest now more than ever that each child is different. Therefore each individual, including parents, is different. I am parenting my kids the exact same way in some areas and totally different in others. They’ll have time to resent me later for this, but they’ll understand once they have their own children.

I feel that though I may not be the best parent in the world, I am most certainly the best parent for my children. And I firmly believe that you are the best for yours.

We’re all in this together, and I’m not drawing these lines in the sand to divide us. Because at the end of the day, we are all just moms and dads who love our kids.


*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.