One Size Fits All Parenting: The Parenting Myth That is Hurting Families
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the belief system that there is a “one-size-fits-all” style of parenting. Many people tout that there is one “right” way to do everything from discipline and feeding to education and playtime. It doesn’t stop with the “big” issues either – you’ll find devout warriors going to battle over the minutia of life.
It’s not enough for some people to find a strategy, tip, brand, or ideology that works for them. We are daily bombarded by articles, memes, facebook debates, and heated conversations telling us that we are doing something wrong – simply because we’re doing it differently than someone else. Perhaps we’re insecure about our choices. Perhaps we’re really just that passionate. Either way, we’ve bought into the lie that “good” has to mean “same.”
A few years ago, a friend posted a blog post about “the world’s best potty-training method.” Against my better judgement, I clicked the link and read the article. The article discussed this woman’s method for potty training in one day. Additionally, she went on to mention that parents MUST begin potty-training before their child turns 2 1/2. She was passionate. She was resolute. And if you weren’t doing it her way, you were wrong.
In case you didn’t see this coming – I wasn’t doing it her way. I didn’t want to do it her way. And after reading that pointed and one-sided article, I allowed doubt to creep in. I threw out the fact that what we do for potty-training works for us. I let her get to me. I let my mind run wild with anxiety and self-doubt.
Here’s the thing- when we hear a loud voice, we assume we must listen. They’re passionate and resolute – so surely they must have all the answers. Lots of others agree, so….why don’t I? Is there something wrong with me? Am I making a mistake? Why am I not doing this thing that everyone else is? (Isn’t self-doubt a riot?)
Is this lady’s method wrong? Of course not. It obviously worked for her and the many other mothers who pinned and shared it. It’s wonderful when parents find ideas that resonate with them and work for their family. That’s what we should all hope for each other. We should want each other to succeed…..and not just succeed like us.
Sameness in parenting does not equate with goodness. Following the crowd doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be successful. What works for some does not work for all. Kids, parents, and families are DIFFERENT. We must put aside the belief that have to make identical parenting choices – or listen to every “loud voice” that comes along.
Not following a parenting trend? Doing something a little differently than your friends? If what you are doing is working for you and your kids, don’t sweat it. Don’t doubt yourself. You know what works for your family. You do not have to be the “same” to be “good.”
When it comes to parenting, one size definitely does not fit all. Rest in your decisions. Be confident in what works for you. Learn to tune out the one-sided voices that scream you MUST do things a certain way. Cheer on mothers who are doing what works for them and concentrate on doing what works for you.
*I am passionate about helping mothers recognize their strength, intuition, and abilities. If you struggle with comparing yourself and your choices, I urge you to check out my “I Give You Permission” posts. They tend to be “fan favorites”, because they’re so different than what you tend to read – letting you know that being different isn’t wrong. You are free to do what works for you. You’re amazing. You’ve got this.
I also encourage you to check out the “Diary of a Supermom” tab on the blog. These are my favorite posts to write – and they often don’t get as much attention as the lists, recipes, learning activities, etc. Grab a cup of coffee and poke around a bit. Hopefully you’ll find something to perk you up and refresh your soul. ~Bekki