There are approximately 2 billion Mums in the world. So I figure that there must be about 2 billion ways to be a mother.
Mums have been mothering for a long time and no matter where or when that mother child bond happened it is unique. So while we have a plethora of information at our finger tips it is also important to trust our instincts and know that there is more then one way to parent.
Parenting Techniques From Around the World
- If you were in India your baby would be massaged every day and co-sleeping would be the norm.
- In China your infant or toddler would wear a kaidangku - crotchless toddler trousers and through using cues such as whistling sounds they would be toilet trained at a very young age.
- If you had a toddler in Polynesia you would let them play independently with their peers and the older children would have the role of care taking - the toddlers become self reliant very quickly. If you did that here it would be considered neglect.
Parenting practices vary over culture but also over time. In Europe during the 1800s you would carry your baby in a pouch or a wrap (or your nanny would do it if you were lucky enough to have one!!). Then along came the pram and suddenly babies had a different feel and view of the world. Recently in western cultures there is a shift back towards "baby wearing".
In our day and age we have the science to back up many parenting practices but I think it is good also to stay a little open minded and be prepared to be flexible. So next time Aunt Joan gives you some unsolicited parenting advice - thank her kindly and do not be too swift to dismiss it as there maybe a little pearl of parenting wisdom in there or a small prompt that may get you thinking things a different way.
Next time you are feeling a little overwhelmed and start to question your parenting decision remember there are no absolute rights or wrongs - in fact there are about 2 billion different ways of doing it.