It’s baaaa-aaaack! For better or for worse, the ABC’s of parenting continues…
I for Instinct
I don’t recall ever reading a parenting book in preparation for our babies or after they were born. Honestly, I just felt like I was born to be a mom and I was good to go. That’s not to say I didn’t ever question myself or that I did everything right. In fact, there did come a day when one child’s behavioral challenges led us to read a very helpful book and attend a lecture by its author. But overall I knew I had good instincts, and following my gut seemed to work.
The reliance on instinct is an interesting point about parenting. I once read a post that encouraged moms to use their instincts. That’s usually good advice. There are so many holier-than-thou parenting pundits out there that if we listen to all of them we’ll be pulled in every possible direction and never know what to do. I honestly think that for many, many parents, going on instinct is the best answer.
I’ve spent pretty much all of my adult life working with parents and kids in one capacity or another. I’ve been a “teaching parent” in a level 4 boy’s group home (the last stop before juvenile hall). I’ve been a teacher, a classroom volunteer, a director of children’s ministry, president of a school booster club. So I’ve seen the widely varying range of parenting styles and levels of parenting competence.
And the unfortunate fact is that there are some parents who absolutely should NOT go on instinct.
Sometimes instinct leads to stifling helicopter parenting.
Sometimes following instinct results in neglect, ignorance, and/or seriously bad decision making by any reasonable person’s standards.
So, in the end, I don’t have a good answer to the use of instinct in parenting. I just know it worked for me. Honestly, I’d be very interested in hearing thoughts from other parents on this subject. Got a thought? Please share!