Friday, April 4, 2014

"Handsfree pandonia"...

Being a very typical Libran, I tend to be quite laid back about life...good or bad, that aspect of my personality extends itself to my parenting style too, more often than not.

Last evening, an urge to check out if my parenting style lends itself to anything out there in the big internet universe, made me do a quick google search on "parenting types". The search came back with some pretty
fascinating results.

Exotic classification of parenting techniques, the most fascinating of which were:"tiger moms", "wolf dads", "panda moms/dads", "helicopter parent", "landmower parent", "free range parent", "attachment parent", "dragon mom", "handsfree parents" and believe it or not the "pinterest perfect parent". The last one literally made me ROFL.

Well where do 'D' and I fit in! Hard to say but let's look at the above 10 types and see if we fit in, if at all.

1. Tiger mom/parents:
This is what urban dictionary has to say about tiger moms, "A mother who is overly strict with her child in order to foster an academically competitive spirit. This form of upbringing is intended to direct a child towards financially successful careers at the potential risk of feeling emotionally unfulfilled and/or socially inept."

As much as we would like our child/children to have a reasonably comfortable lifestyle, I think "D" and "I" are probably on the same page on "tiger" parenting please.

2. Wolf parenting:
Apparently this requires even more stringent disciplining than tiger parenting and not just that , disciplining extends to corporal punishment...really.!!!

So this goes off our list immediately.

3.Panda mom/dad/parent :
This sounds really cute. Who doesn't love pandas, after all . According to cafe mom's definition, this category of parents is "Happy to parent with cuddliness, but not afraid to show some claw" . Essentially parents who are fun and loving but no pushover.

'D' falls into this category for sure.

Good one to be in myself, but let me go through the entire list before trying to fit myself into any specific category.

4. Helicopter parents:
The type of parent that hovers around the child all the time, not allowing the child too much independence and space to do anything on their own!

5.Landmower parents:
This type of parent removes an obstacle from in front of the child, even before that obstacle gets time to settle in. Mom or dad has already mowed the obstacle down, before the child gets to know what it was. Again Cafe Mom says,"Think the dad who does his kid's homework for him or the mom who wouldn't dream of letting her little snowflake having to clean his own room. These parents insist on making everything easy peasy for their kids".

Having been taught to be adaptable and learning to find our way through life's obstacles pretty much independently, this doesn't sound like 'D' and my cup of tea!

6. Free range parent:
Now as much as this sounds like the organic buys at the neighborhood grocery store, in layman's terms, this is hands off parenting. Now what does "hands off" parenting exactly imply? There are varying degrees of this kind of parenting, but essentially this parenting style is the polar opposite of helicopter the very extreme, it would mean letting an independent 7 year old take a subway by himself, taking your kids to the park and leaving them all alone there . If this sounds alright to you and you feel it shouldn't  require a call to the  state social services , well then you are a free range parent.

7. Attachment parent:
Parents who are obsessed about co sleeping, breast feeding, baby wearing so on and so forth. They feel that physical attachment is the only thing that has the ability to nurture long term child-parent attachment.

So let me tell you my story in this context. Before and after Raya was born, I time and again read about and was told about the benefits of breast milk.
The benefits of breast milk made complete sense to me , pre and post Raya's birth. Now after Raya was born, she had issues latching on for the purpose of nursing. She would cry and cry out of hunger and the lactation specialist, a firm proponent of attachment parenting, would insist that I should still keep trying to nurse her directly, instead of pumping out the little breast milk I was making. I kept asking the lactation specialist just one thing, "As long as Raya gets breast milk, what difference does it make whether she gets it through direct nusrsing or through pumped milk". She did not have any logical reasoning to provide me with other than giving me the kind of look that made be feel how horrible a mother I was even to be asking that question. But of course, I  being I, made the call, with the moral support of dear and dear ones . Instead of speding hours trying to help Raya latch on, I pumped breast milk 4-5 times a day, fed Raya the pumped milk and supplemented with infant formula when needed.

Result: I had a happy, well fed smiling baby to cuddle! And no lack of attachment, at least for the past 2.5 years! While huddling/cuddling my baby and physical closeness is what I really look forward, attachment parenting philosophies like forced breast feeding , when it's not yielding results is definitely not my cup of tea!

Who knows maybe my detachment from certain aspects of attachment parenting techniques will show not so good results in the future! Only time will tell though!

8.Dragon mom:
I love this one!!

It's about being fierce and loyal and loving as hell, as a parent. It's also about living in the moment with your kids and loving them for who they are right now, not for the Ivy league education you dream they'll get or the grandchildren they could one day give you.

Goes into the styles I want to nurture in myself along with 'Panda' parenting.

9. Handsfree parenting:
Letting go of internal and external distractions to concentrate on building a relationship with your child by talking to them/listening to them and channelizing your own and the child's energies to help build meaningful lives and to become socially conscious . As abstract as this sounds initially, I think I understand absolutely what this style entails. Distractions to be let go off include  stressful work, big "to do" lists, lofty ambitions requiring
time away from children, and other petty day to day matters. More about this in a blog I closely follow:

10.Pinterest perfect parenting: This one's here for the big laughs :)

So well, what's my parenting style or rather what parenting style do I aspire to nurture!!

For lack of creativity, let's call it "Handsfree Pandonian"(Handsfree + Panda + Dragonian ) !! Or maybe you can help me put together a better term for this. It's however, not by chance, that the second word sounds like "pandemonium". A mixture of too many parenting  principles is bound to be a cause of some level of pandemonium.

But who knows, maybe I can actually make it work miracles! Only time will tell!

So  a "Handsfree Pandonian" parent with a my own personal twist, it is, I am aiming to be for now !!

Happy parenting!


Unknown said...

Nicely written Priyanka ! But dont you think the parent classifications you mentioned are more like caricatures, and most parents would be a mix of some of them ? Some are stricter than others, some are more cuddly than others, some are more paranoid than others. I believe a little bit of strictness, a little bit of paranoia, some heavy duty cuddling are all good, and based on your kid you will adapt.
Dont worry, u and D will be great parents, with or without the classification :) !! Happy parenting !

Priyanka Rajkhowa said...

Thanks for dropping by and reading!

Yupp agree that very few parents actually completely fit into one specific category and I actually really like the term you use, "caricatures" :)

Sometimes though, a relatively laid back parent like I am, needs a wake up call as to what principles of parenting / approach to parenting may be good for a kid and what may not be!! I guess subconsciously that's what I was trying to achieve by writing this up.

Thanks again for the validation and for putting things in perspective! Appreciate it!

NetworkedBlogsViaFacebook said...

Dipanjan Das,
Neetu Narang,
Priya Gupta,
Preetam Rajkhowa,
Dehu Rajkhowa like this


Neetu Narang:

Very well written.. It's something we all parents face.. Thanks for putting it out there

April 5 at 7:18am

Chandrani Ohdedar Das:

Very amusing and interesting write up. Pinterest perfect has to be the award winning one for sure!!! Who thought of it!!
One thing that stands out to me in all these parenting styles is that the personality of the child is not taken into account. And oh boy! aren't some of them born with some. I like to follow my own "Intelligent Parenting". Let your judgement/experience and the situation and the participants tell you how to handle it. Of course, only time will tell!! And from what I have seen of Raya, you both are doing great

April 5 at 8:24am

Priyanka Rajkhowa:

Thanks guys for dropping by and for your insights !!

Chandrani Ohdedar Das : Very important point you bring up here about the child's personality! Absolutely , that goes a long way in determining individual parenting styles...and how parenting styles evolve!! Thanks...

April 5 at 12:46pm

Sukanya Bora:

Agree with Chandrani. Every kid is different and every parenting situation is unique. Parenting is such an instinctual.job makes it impossible to peg parents into a particular category. Sometimes i wonder if these monikers were coined by a haples...See More

April 5 at 1:20pm

Sukanya Bora:

btw the hapless boring parent was not directed at u..;))) was meant for thos folks who started this parenting style naming convention.

April 5 at 1:33pm

Priyanka Rajkhowa:

Amen amen rims:)