Tough Love or Attachment Parenting

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My parents raised me under a roof where my mom always takes charge of everything. My father works as a seaman I rarely see him like once or twice a year so basically my mom did all the raising by herself. I was brought up in a strict household. She’s quite a disciplinarian. If you do something bad, expect an a** whooping in the house. She was never the touchy-feely-type of mom and I can’t quite remember if she ever said “I love you” to me or my other siblings or my dad? Hahah!

My dad however is a complete opposite of mom when it comes to parenting. He was very affectionate. He says “I love you” all the time. When we do something bad, he talks to us calmly. We have a closer bond and I can freely talk to him about anything all the time.

I always had resentment before with my mom because of the way she disciplines us. My dad knows about it, and he would always say, “Please understand your mom, she was brought up that way too, she maybe strict but she only wants the best for you, she loves you, she’s just not the showy type, just be patient with her.”

I told my dad, “If I’m going to be a mom someday, I would never discipline my kid like that”.

And now here I am, I’m raising my own daughter, and my parenting style is being questioned by my own parents.

My 4 year old daughter told my mom and dad that I spanked her. My mom confronted me about it right away and questions my parenting skills. She was like, “don’t spank your kid, do you want her to grow up, rebelling against you?” I was like, wait that sounds familiar. Is she saying that I rebelled against her?! I didn’t rebel against her. Ok maybe a bit, I was following my heart back then ok, I was making a choice for myself, that’s not totally rebellion. So anyways, I tried to explain to my mom, “Mom let me discipline my kid, please.”

I felt somewhat amused, irritated and touched by my mom’s intervention, (I did not say meddling ok hahah). Amused that my daughter told them about it, touched because mom loves my daughter so much she doesn’t want me to do the same spanking as she did when I was young, and then I felt irritated because I felt like I’m the bad guy here.

Wow, you know what, I always see my mom as the bad guy because of the way she discipline us. My mom’s parenting style had raised some eyebrows before. Mom is aware of that but no one dared to meddle, why because mom is scary heheh! She knows herself that she’s doing the right thing. And I kind of feel the same way too right now.

Yes, I do spank my kid to discipline her. But when I do that, I always tell her why I spanked her, what she did wrong and why she should not do it again. I’m always telling her that mommy hates doing it to her, and I love her so much that I don’t want to do it as much as possible. So most likely my daughter avoids doing the same mistake again because she knows spanking hurts and mama hates doing it.

There is nothing wrong with tough love parenting. And it’s in the bible to discipline your own child.

Hebrews 12:11

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

As for attachment parenting, I have nothing against it really. In fact I love the idea of breastfeeding your child till 3 years old. I wasn’t able to do that as much as I wanted to because I ran out of milk 3 months after I had my daughter. She grew up to be an independent kid even though she still sleeps with me and husband.

If there is one difference between me and my mom’s parenting style, I’d say I’m more affectionate than my mom. We always hug and kiss each other, we say sorry and I love you all the time. Not that I’m saying my mom was wrong for my upbringing. There is more than one way to parent kids. My mom did all she can to raise us and be the best parent to me and my siblings. She even sacrificed her career for us just to be a full time mom for us. She did a great job and I thank my mom for my upbringing. All that I am today, I owe it all to her.

So which parenting method is better? Tough love or attachment parenting? I say, it should be both. And it’s up to every parent on how to balance it.

By the way, it’s not easy being a parent you know. So be careful on how you criticize other parents parenting style. Let them do their own thing. Unsolicited advice is welcome only if it’s from your parents, you don’t have a choice anyway.. :)

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