Parenting Values and Why They Matter
When I first became a parent, I figured I wouldn’t have to think about parenting values until it came time to discipline my child. The first few years are just based on survival instincts anyway, right? Well, yes, but we live in a society where parents face various pressures and hear differing perspectives that can sometimes cause them to question their instincts, especially in the early years.
Here is some food for thought:
Most of us value responsiveness as parents. When my child cries or has a need, I respond. If my child falls down and scrapes her knee, I quickly respond to make sure she’s okay and provide comfort. Yet, if my child cries out in the night, why do I hesitate to respond?
Most of us value close, age-appropriate supervision. When my child is playing, eating etc., I make sure I am nearby to supervise. This is for her own well-being, to ensure she is safe and happy. Why, at night, do I expect her to sleep all night without any parental contact?
In the first year, I tried various sleep training methods with my daughter. I thought I needed to teach her how to sleep. Of course, this “training” is undone at every developmental milestone anyway! It wasn’t until later that I realized that my parenting values were completely inconsistent between day and night. I’m teaching my child that I’ll respond to her cries during the day but not at night?! How can it be that we’re being tempted to go against our instincts and our core parenting values because we think we need to teach our babies to sleep?! (Babies sleep in the womb, by the way, and were born knowing how to sleep. Their sleep just doesn’t mature fast enough for our liking and we are often uninformed about how to navigate the various developmental changes they will go through.)
At In Touch Sleep Education, I work with parents to determine their core values. These values are at the heart of everything we do and any change we may make. They help parents stay true to their instincts and achieve balance in their family life. I will always encourage parents to maintain their parenting values, both day and night. I know that parents are TIRED and I want to help, all while preserving the healthy attachment you have with your child. His or her sleep challenges are often a symptom, not the actual problem, providing clues to what might need tweaking. Instead of training your baby, we can take a holistic look at sleep and address the root cause of sleep challenges, so everyone can rest easier. Reach out to get my In Touch method working for you!