A parent always has a feeling of "am I bringing up my child in the right manner?" Just like how each child is different each parenting technique is different. Mothers of two or more children will be surprised to notice that they actually used different parenting methods for each child. This could be probably because with the second child they are more experienced and know what worked and what did not with their first born. With the first child you were a novice and learnt a lot on the job, from elders, your friends or the internet. With the second child you are calmer and confident. Things that worried you during your first one no longer worried you when you had your second one. You may have actually wondered why you were so strict or so nervous with your first one. For example, I was so particular about sterilising my son's eating equipment, or while giving him formula, I was very particular of the quantity of milk and powder. With my second born it really did not matter. It was not that I did not care. But it was because I knew what I was doing, I had gained enough experience with my first born to know that it was ok if the formula mixture and water quantities were not exactly as specified or if she put a spoon not sterilised in her mouth she would not fall sick.
My parenting techniques differed in a lot of areas. For example, I was very particular that my son starts his bedtime routine by 8 PM. Sometimes it took him an hour to fall asleep and Sometimes a few minutes, but he was in bed by 8. On the other hand my daughter sleeps at 11 PM! I have been very unsuccessful till date to cultivate the same bed time routine. I gave up because she was stubborn and I needed time to myself. I did not want to spend time making my son sleep and then more time making my daughter sleep. But I do know parents who have managed this well and both their children sleep around the same time. But like I said each parent has a different parenting style.
Parents should not compare themselves with other parents. You must do what is good for your child and your family as a whole. Your values could be totally different from that of a fellow parent. Your neighbour may feel it is ok for her child to jump on sofas and have fun. But you may not want your son to do the same as you may be scared that he may fall off or get hurt. It is ok to set your own rules. When my son was 4 years old, his friends of his age were attending phonetics classes. However, I was not so keen on enrolling him for phonetics. That did not make me a bad or negligent mother. I asked his class teacher if it was required and she said not necessary, so I didn't pursue it. Today he can read and spell as well as those who did attend the class though probably a little later than they could. But that is fine with me.
Your parenting style will also depend on the situation available to you. With my son though I was a working woman I did some mother child workshops. I used to take him to a music class in Worli, Mumbai. With my daughter, I have not explored any such workshops, most of my time is still spent with my son and my daughter is sort of an onlooker. I do feel sorry for her. But I know that she is still learning from this. For example, she loves dancing or playing the keyboard because she sees my son do that and wants to copy him.
Each child is different with a different personality. As parents we should never compare our parenting techniques or even put down others parenting techniques because each of us is doing what is good for our child according to the situation that we find ourselves in. For example a working mother may plan a special treat for the child on weekends as a way of bonding with the child, while a stay at home mom may want to leave the child with her husband and have a few hours to herself. Both are perfectly alright.
As parents we should never feel guilty or question our parenting methods as long as our aim is to instil good values in our children, and strive towards making them a loving, confident, strong and independent person. As a parent be confident with your parenting style and do not let anyone influence you nor feel that you are lacking a skill. You know what is best for your child as long as your child is on the right path and there are no complaints from school or other parents about your child's behaviour keep going and keep up the good work. Happy parenting to you!
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