Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

The angel has transformed into a banshee. And I know that I am responsible. Who else can I blame?? It has to be my fault right? She is trying to tell me something and I, being a complete blockhead, am not getting it. Poor little thing is so frustrated.

It's so confusing sometimes this parenting thing. I'm trying to do my best to help her realize her full potential, but it seems I've already gone and screwed that up. Lord knows how many mistakes I've made already to damage her. But how do know what to do when what one ''professional'' says is good, another says is bad.

I was talking (emailing) with the editor at Root & Sprout about it recently. The internet is a fantastic resource for parents in today's society. You have information out the wazoo on every imaginable topic. But you also have to shift through a lot of bad advice. And it isn't always easy to tell the good from the bad.

Parents in more traditional societies don't have this problem, I'm sure. Their wisdom is handed down from generation to generation, specifically tailored to their unique environments. No need for trial and error. That was done a looong time ago.

I don't have that luxury. I have the internet. The One Stop Shop. But how do I know what I need to get??

I try to follow my intuition. That's generally a fail-safe method. But then sometimes that voice in my head gets muffled by the other voices of social conditioning and brainwashing. Then they start battling it out for the mike up there... whoooo headache!

And in the meantime, the angel continues screeching.

I'm sure that nature didn't intend for raising a baby to be difficult. That just doesn't make sense for the continuity of of our species. But along the way, we lost touch with nature. And now we have generations of the emotionally damaged hanging around, passing their damage along. Is that our evolutionary path?? Jeez, that's a sucky plan. Like a heroin addict, do we have to hit rock-bottom before we see the need to change?

Although, to be honest, I do think that things have started to turn around. More and more, parents are beginning to realize that maybe the way that they were raised, albeit lovingly and with the best intentions, may not be the best route. Attachment Parenting, The Continuum Concept, Unschooling and Natural Child movements are gaining momentum while baby-scheduling, sleep training, formula feeding and other non-natural methods seem to be decreasing in popularity.

But again, how do we know that this is what's best?

1 comment:

Lis Garrett said...

Honestly, I think you need to trust your gut and you child's cues. I don't feel the Internet is a bad place to turn to for advice; after all, it's the Internet that connects parents with similar interests from across the globe who would otherwise have no contact with eacy other.

Like you said, however, you have to weed through a lot of bad advice before finding the good. Also, what works for you and your family may not work for another. While I advocate attachment parenting and homeschooling (although I don't currently homeschool) and babywearing, there are those for which that type of lifestyle simply doesn't work. Their way of raising their kids isn't bad . . . it's just different.