Monday, March 9, 2009

Wise Up

King Solmon has always been one of my favorite Bible characters. In Sunday School I loved hearing the story of the two women fighting over one baby. I've always thought that was a genius solution! So as a child I determined that I wanted to be wise too, and every night I'd pray that God would give me wisdom like Solomon. Fifteen-some years later, I'm still saying that prayer, and as a new mom I've never prayed for wisdom more fervently than I do now. Sometimes there just never seems to be a right answer.

Before we got pregnant, I had no idea there were different methods to bringing up a baby, nor that they were so controversial. And so began my 9-month crash course involving several trips to the library and hours of online research. Our midwife told our class to never tell people how we decided to raise our baby, there will always be someone who disagrees. I think this is good advice, and in my personal experience very true, but I'm going to go ahead and talk about it anyway.

I don't think there is necessarily one "right" way to parent, but there was a way that was right for us. So while I have a number of recommendations, that is all they are. Every parent needs to analyze their own personal situation and decide what works best for them. But some people have asked about what we do with Jack, so I thought I'd share what we've found to be the best choice for our family.

Early on in our pregnancy a couple at church gave us a copy of Preparation for Parenting, this book is also known as On Becoming Babywise. If this were a speaking engagement I'm sure I'd hear a few gasps around the room. And if you don't know why they're gasping a simple Google search should suffice. Personally, I was shocked to read what I did about Babywise on the Internet. I didn't realize it was that popular, or that so many people were passionate about hating it. I've also read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, which promotes a similar parenting method but with a slightly softer approach. I think both of these books offer a good balance between the attachment parenting/demand feeding and detached parenting/hyper-scheduling extremes. I'm not interested in debating so all I will say is do your research ... but don't do it all on Google. :) I've read both Babywise and SotBW several times, and consult them weekly (almost daily during those first few weeks) but I've also read several Sears books and talked to parents from all different camps. We are more than happy with what we chose, and Jack seems pretty content too.

Ultimately, parents have to choose a method that they're most comfortable with, because confidence is the key to a positive parenting experience. Confidence in your wisdom as a parent can make even the most difficult situations manageable. So pick what works for you and pray for the wisdom of Solomon!

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