Sunday, December 23, 2007

Parenting Curriculum: In the Beginning

well, i know that all of you out there have been eagerly awaiting the result of my meeting with the pastor at my church about our parenting curriculum. that is, those of you who didn't think that the whole topic was a Big Yawn from the beginning. apparently, i even ended up on the radar of a few ezzo supporters/detractors, as i got some comments from a few new folks--didn't i tell ya this was exciting?

anyway, the process has been slown (slowed? slowen?) by the holidays, first thanksgiving and now christmas, but i do have a few things to report. first of all, i was able to find a few essays by people who were really looking for more structure with a small baby, but not necessarily The Structure put forth in babywise. if you're interested, you can check them out here and here. heck, even if you're not interested, i could use some other eyes to look at them and see if they are overly slanted in one direction or another.

another thing we are thinking about including is a meyers-briggs sort of analysis specifically aimed at parents. i came across the book Motherstyles, which seems to be exactly that, taking the different personality styles and pointing out strengths and challenges for each. i think that opening the class with this could be a good way to help each person navigate which style of parenting may be better suited to them, and why. it also may encourage more understanding among different mothers (this is what i was struck by in reading it), and help to "translate" the intentions (usually good ones) that can be misconstrued between types.

beyond that, we are still on the lookout for a good overarching curriculum if we can find one. we really want it to be focused on themes of parenting like the importance of discipline, grace, spiritual development, and being intentional vs. reactionary. one possibility is a partner to this book, Raising Great Kids, which has several different workbooks for different ages....but i still need to look through it first to see if it fits. still looking for more, if there are other suggestions out there.

one thing that has been a theme among some people i've talked to and/or read online is that they did use the babywise books as a resource or jumping off point for their parenting in the beginning, but then as they were more confident they tended to modify the advice or "do their own thing" entirely. i think this is a very healthy attitude when approaching any so-called expert advice regardless of what book they wrote, because ultimately no one thing will work the best for all people. but, i am also interested to know what ways that parents who used babywise specifically modified it to fit...since this is the one we're replacing, it could help me to understand what topics were helpful from this method and what needed a filter or a modification, or can be left out entirely.

so, ye 2 faithful readers, do you have any advice for me?


joysnatcher said...

I just read what "nates5bs" said in your previous post about this. I think what she said is what I was trying to say. I have also read "to train up a child", and liked a lot of what it had to say, but I also used my "godfilters".

I am impressed with how thorough you are being. One book that I really liked when the boys were babies was "the baby whisperer". (Karen used it with Z). It helped me get a little more "in tune" with the babies, though I mostly felt like I didn't know what was going on. Maybe it will be different with number 3?

Still, I keep a very loose schedule, more of a "flow", and don't follow everything each book tells me to do. (This is especially necessary since our lifestyle is usually NOT the same as most of the audience these books are written for.)

be_a_Mary said...

The thing I liked about Babywise (and there wasn't much) was the concept that a schedule can benefit the parent and the child. of course i am also a type A person and I like schedules, so not surprising I liked this part of it.

But my take on any parenting book is that you take the goods with the bads and you adapt and adjust based on your child, on your situation, and on your mothering.

I did like the Baby Whisperer a lot.

I found that the better *help* to me when parenting a new baby and toddler (and even now preschoolers) was simply a group of moms that I could be vulnerable with, that were safe, that I could lean on and ask for advice and who might value my advice. I have two girlfriends who I e-mail with on a daily basis all sorts of things, whether needing advice about the kids, or being frustrated that we were up three times in the night, or feeling trapped, or feeling overwhelmingly grateful for what God has given us. I think i would prefer a 'conversational atmosphere' for the kind of study you are doing, where there isn't one right way, but rather, where we are all encouraged to share openly, not judge, pray for eachother, give ideas, and support eachother through practical help.

I guess what I'm saying is that I probably wouldn't join a parenting study, but I'd rather initiate or start an accountability group with some couple friends of ours who I know love us, who are pursuing God, who love our children, and who are safe, that we could grow in community with and love and encourage in this momentous and blessed task of parenting.

Stratford-DeFord said...

Hi Christy,

I'm glad I got linked to your blog and with such interesting things written. We have explored several types of parenting and have taken what works for us and made our own version. Now that Wyatt is getting older and he needs more dicipline we had to read up on it. We have taken a lot from attachement parenting practices and we have recently read a love and logic book. We have always used prayer to ask for guidance specific to our children and their situation.

I'll be checking in to see what you have found as you look for parenting curriculum.

Love, Sally

Stratford-DeFord said...

Oh, we also have used Happiest Baby on the Block which was really helpful for both our infants. We have also used Healthy sleep Habits, Happy Child.

I recieved most of my advice on parenting from my hypnobirthing teacher and my lactation consultants. So babywise always seemed a little too stringent for us.