Tuesday, April 10, 2007

No one right way

If I have learned nothing else from my three children, I have learned that there is no one right way to raise children. This is hard for me to say given my background. I am a black and white person who struggles with grey issues. To complicate matters, I took child development classes in high school. My college degree is in education with an emphasis in early childhood development. I have worked in several child care centers and schools in various capacities. Well-meaning mentors and teachers taught that there is one way to do things: their way.

My children taught me differently. Take bedtime for example. My oldest daughter always slept in her crib. When she was close to two, I spent a few nights sitting at her toddler bed singing to her and she quickly adjusted to sleeping alone in her "big girl bed." My middle child was sick most of her first year. As a result, I babied her and rocked her to sleep every night, eager for my child to just be well. Almost four, she either falls asleep on the couch sitting next to me or goes to sleep in a sleeping bag next to my bed. My third child has slept in bed with me practically since she was born. She had to nurse every other hour for medical reasons and it was just easier to keep her with me. Now almost two, she tells me "night night" and takes me to her bed or mine, climbs in, and goes to sleep.

Now, I know that there are many wrongs to be found in our family's bedtime habits, but it works for us and I have decided that nothing else matters. That can be said for most issues when it comes to raising children. Of course there are black and white issues, but I am adjusting to more and more grey issues as my children get older. Unfortunately one of those grey issues is my hair.

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