No, I did not begin this way. I gave birth to my first child, a daughter, in the hospital just like everyone else I knew did. I listened to other mothers in the nursery and read the baby websites for my parenting advice.
And then my world turned upside down.
The advice I gathered had me nursing constantly, feeling fear that my daughter was not eating enough. Catering to every whim and whine of a newborn. This led to a colicky baby, and two worn out adults! Modern parenting suggests that a baby who cries will be insecure and will struggle with such for the rest of their lives.
10 months later I had a spoiled whiny daughter who told me “No!” She still did not sleep through the night and could not stay in the nursery for the dramatic fits she would throw.
I had enough.
We sought counsel from some godly sources and learned that children are not capable of realizing their own needs and, therefore, should not be given the responsibility to make their own decisions. There are many implications here, and I will not go into them all now, but suffice it to say we changed the way we ran our household.
To apply it to our current situation, I have a 2 1/2 year old. Many people are advising us to allow our children to make as many of their own decisions as possible to develop their individuality (pretty sure my daughter was born with plenty!). I do allow her to make decisions, don’t get me wrong, but in a limited way.
“Adelle, would you like to wear your monkey nighty or flower one to bed?” This was the question of the night. She tried to change her mind several times, even after she was already dressed. The very idea of making a decision is stressful for a 2 year old. She does not understand decision-making or have the ability to think about what she may wear tomorrow. It is my job to teach her those things.
I am not sure what the recommended course of action, but I have decided to choose when she can and cannot make her own decisions and stick to them. “Adelle, you have already chosen *such and such* and you can only make a decision one time.” I know it sounds cruel, but I want her to one day understand that decision-making is a very serious responsibility and it is a privilege that is earned.
My point? I am not suggesting that you follow my path, although it has been profitable for me, but that you challenge the advice you are given. What is their authority? What are their children like? Do you want your children to behave like theirs? What are your actions teaching your child. God has given you a special job, so do not let any one else guilt you into parenting like them.