There is no right or wrong when it comes to parenting. Every parent has certain values and norms, which they follow while raising the child and we can agree that all parents want best for their children.
There are some regular or routine things that every parent follows that have become a part of conventional upbringing methods but these days, some parents are following a few unconventional practices.
In the book “Raising America,” Ann Hulbert says that between 1977 and 1995, the number of parenting titles increased five-fold. Since then, parenting advice and parenting blogs have risen considerably. The conflicting parenting approaches have lived since years. From talking and reading to infants to making values clear, parents exert a considerable amount of influence over their children’s development.
5 Unconventional Parenting Practices
In a book, “Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know About the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask” sociologist Dalton Conley enlightens that his unconventional parenting style is an amalgamation of both modernity and old school thought. Likewise, any parent can do a mix of traditional and unconventional methods to raise his/her child
Free Range Rearing
In a Free Range Rearing method, the stress is given on raising safe yet self-reliant children. The children are let free and unmonitored to do some daily activities like walking down from the school or playing alone in the nearby play area.
However, the parents under these methods adopt a balanced approach. They do not let the danger hover around their children. They balance by giving a safe environment to their children while they allow them to explore the world on their own.
Treat the child as an Adult
This practice believes in treating the child as an adult right from the start. The ideology is that the child is much more capable of doing the things and thinking, much more than what we perceive.
The proponents of this approach believe that children should not be allowed use of baby sippers, or baby supports or even special baby food. Instead, parents should speak to their kids like they would to another adult, and feed them off of real plates and teach use of adult crockery etc as soon as they are capable.
This approach may help the child progress faster. But the critics say that we need to keep in mind the innocence of the child. It is difficult for the parents to let the cuteness and genuine innocence go. The child needs his props and toys before the child discover the world.
Under this concept, the children are taught at home and they do not follow a set syllabus. They are taught with no limitations. As per Laurie A Coutoure , unschooling coach and author , as long as the learning is child-led, it is considered unschooling. As per this school of thought real learning happens when children have the freedom to learn naturally through exploring the environment around them and delving into their own interests and passions. This does not involve any mandatory books, curriculum, tests or grades. John Holt, a pioneer of unschooling, said, “Unschooling isn’t schooling without a plan. It is about allowing children as much freedom to explore the world as you can possibly bear.”
A study by Leeds University in 2002 discovered that infant school-age children who were taught at home performed substantially better in tests than their peers going to regular schools. However there is no investigation to prove a certain conclusion. The criticisms to this approach are many. The experts say that unschooled children will lack discipline.
Serenity Parenting or Unparenting
Serenity parenting is a soft approach to child rearing. Under this concept, the parents do not advice much their children and let them behave as per their own nature and genetics.
As per Bryan Caplan who has written a book on the subject, a relaxed attitude towards parenting is best for all, the parents as well as the children. He advises parents to focus on kids interests and drop lessons on sports or music if the children do not like them and advises parents to stop worrying about children’s grades etc and start enjoying their childhood.
Image Credit: KellyPhD at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Lotus births allow the placentas and umbilical cords attached. Under this approach, mothers wait for two to ten days for its “natural detachment”. The cord is believed to let the complete transmission of full of nutrients and infection-fighting blood to the newborn. While there is no such proof to confirm or disprove the possible benefits, the champions of this technique however beg to differ. As per Mary Ceallaigh, a midwife educator and lotus birth advocate the babies’ immune systems go through immense changes at a very rapid rate when they’re born and not disrupting the baby’s blood volume by retaining the placental attachment may help prevent future disease.
All said and done, parents can take a leaf out of advice from parenting expert Dr. Claire Halsey who says though our key responsibility as parents is to provide a loving, caring and safe environment for our children we should be looking after ourselves too so that we can do the best possible job as parents.
In the end, parenting is about enjoying the journey, as you go and as you learn. We should just be mindful of trying to raise socially and morally responsible children while retaining their individuality and just go with our instincts most of the times.