Friday, October 29, 2010

What's your parenting style?

Parenting a small baby wasn't particularly difficult. Their needs are basic - food, nappies, sleep and lots of love. We did decide early on certain things, like breastfeeding. The rest we make up as we go along. For example, sleeping arrangements. We knew we were going to sleep with our babies in the same room, but before I had Adam we bought a cot for him, fully intending to let him sleep in his cot but next to me. But then he arrived and we discovered it was best for all of us to co-sleep in the same bed. I get more sleep, he gets more sleep, all of us get to cuddle. Then Mia arrived and we wondered how we're going to fit another baby in our (relatively) small bed. We bought another cot just in case. We thought maybe one of them will sleep in there. Or maybe not. Again we followed our hearts and intuition. Now she naps in her cot, but sleeps in the bed with us. Somehow, she fits.

As the baby(ies) grow bigger, our parenting changes to adapt. It gets trickier, doesn't it? Now they need discipline, they make specific demands, they ask questions. I find myself constantly trying to find the best way to parent. No I am not particularly consistent. I didn't find a specific parenting style and stick to it. For it's very much trial and error. Yes I made lots of errors. But that way I discovered what works and what doesn't. And what works for us today, may not work for us tomorrow.

Our (current) parenting style may not be 'acceptable' to everybody else. Let's face it, a lot of our parenting decision are not exactly conventionally 'normal'. Like exclusive breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. I'm asked these questions constantly:

'tak bagi air masak ke baby tu?'

'tak campur susu botol ke?'

'muat ke katil tu semua org?'

'Aren't you afraid she's going to turn out spoiled because you wear her all the time?'

'Isn't he going to be spoiled because you get him everytime he cries?'


followed by some well-meaning advice. I listen and nod, but I continue to do what I know is best for my children. I am consistent when I need to be. Hopefully it will help others question their own parenting style.

I find that the best way to parent is by watching my own kids and adapting myself to their needs. There are a lot of thing we can learn from them. Our culture dictates that the parents are always right, and must always have control. But I think parents don't always know best. It is ok to question our parenting styles, it is ok to listen to our children, it is ok to tell our child 'I'm sorry, I made a mistake'.

Am I rambling? I guess what I'm trying to say is, I am coming to terms with the fact that it is ok to follow our own intuition. When your heart is full of unconditional love, it is ok to follow it.


MK said...


Azurah Anuar said...

well said. it is best to follow your own institution and based it all Islam.

After all, we knows our family better.

Ernie Khairina said...

yes, aida I came across ppl yg asik tanya " tak bagi susu formula, tak letih ke? tak bagi air masak ke? " and I simply answer them, I fully bf my baby.
Lepas tu, ada pula yang tanya.. "asik dukung je baby nanti naik lemak" well, my son baru je masuk 3 bulan..he needs extra attention and he deserve it

Melina said...

Aiesha was exclusively bf and so is Sophia who is still very much a booboob girl. Both girls used to sleep with us and now we play musical beds. From the day the born until now, I stay with them until they are asleep. We used to wear both our girls. Like you, I listen and nod to well meaning advice. Not Nigel though....he will tell them quite directly that they are his kids and he knows best. My aunties pon kena....ouchhh!

You know your children the best and your parenting style is the best for them. Lagipun we seem to have a similar style so I sangatlah setuju cara you. Haven't done my girls any harm and your kids are lovely.


Gemma said...

I love watching my babies swim. Its so rewarding :) With Islam as the center point in your life and anything will be possible.

Adrita said...

If you struggle with being an authoritative parent, it will be helpful to understand that love is a huge motivator for obedience, and disciplining in anger without love will cause children to become rebellious.

Jehanne said...

Hiya,came across ur blog from one of the links, i'm Malaysian based in london too, with a small newborn..keen to know how did u take such great kiddy pic, which camera and specs techniques that u used if u dont mind sharing? Also, the red sweater that u knitted for ur son, is there a way u could email me the link for the pattern? hope to hear from u! jehanne

TRIPLETS plus ONE said...

yes aida i couldnt agree with you more, "Follow our heart and intuition. And what works for us today, may not work for us tomorrow."

i have lots of people staring at me when i allow my kids to walk bare footed at the park or play with the mud and such.

We are still figuring out wat the arrangement like when the newborn pops out. Since im still staying with my parents, all 6 of us will be in one room. i have no idea how the baby going to have his/her nap since the 3 is often in and out of the room jumping about on the bed.

Believe it or not, all 5 of us co-sleep on the king size bed. Now im slowly training uZair and athirAh to sleep on their own bed. (just not possible for hArith coz tgh mlm die meraba2 cari nk body contant) But all kids will sleep in our bed first,, once asleep we carry uZAir n athirAh to their own bed.

and im still searching for best parenting style for the kids coz all three need different style, what works with athirAh does not work with the other 2, and vice versa

may Allah ease our journey of parenthood, insyaAllah

tuty said...

well said..

Ham said...

hi, first time here. love finding and reading mommy blogs, esp in english. hope you dont mind me adding you :)


hada said...

i totally agree w u aida..our parenting style is like a trial & errors..and sometimes, what's good for other children not actually suitable to ours..but there always a guide..for me aida, knowledge is very important & learning is a long-way process..anyway glucks aida with yr 2 lil soldiers!! ;)

Anonymous said...

I always, always, always question my parenting style. Especially when people starts questioning my way. And especially when those people are family.
But as Maryam grows up, I'm becoming less tensed, and just do whatever I feel right for both me and my baby.

Thank you so much for this entry Kak Aida!!! The best ever!

myra said...

Hi there! Am one of ur silent reader.
And i think this blog is particularly my favorite as I do have interference in parenting my child, you said it right. "I listen and nod, but I continue to do what I know is best for my children."

Thanks! now, i feel like i am not alone at making that choice.: ) btw, baby mia is growing so beautifully

my love to both ur adorable children! and u take care!


aidafiqs adamia said...



ernie, can't spoil a little baby. they only cry for a reason. it's their only way of communication.

sophia is still breastfeeding?good for you! (and her!)

the beautiful photos are all credit to my husband. i wouldn't know the specs and whatnot..hehe. the pattern for the jacket is free here -

i find it amazing that you all sleep in the same room. surely God gave you all those many kids for a reason - you're an amazing mom ;)

dah menjahit balik?i'm still not!mood nak knitting je now..

thank you for coming

oh yes..trial and error must be based on knowledge too. you dont have to follow everything you learn but instead adapt it to best suit your family.tq dear!

it's good to question ourselves. makes us better parents ;)

love your name!


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