I've been getting a lot of emails lately in which the writer says some version of "I just want to do this the right way" (meaning parenting).
The right way.
The right way is what works for you and your child and your family.
The right way for you is not the exact same right way as the right way for your neighbor, your sister, your best friend.
The right way with your first child is not the right way with your second child or third child or thirteenth child.
The right way is what allows you to be true to yourself and honor your child at the same time, as much as you can, in the middle of situations that should be against the Geneva Convention.
The right way doesn't have anything to do with pacifiers, or putting a baby down asleep or awake, or when your baby is out of diapers, or whether your baby watches TV or not.
The right way is about learning more about yourself and using that knowledge to learn about your child. And then taking that knowledge of your child and using it to learn more about yourself.
The right way is having a long conversation with this amazing little person you've been entrusted with. Sometimes the conversation gets rough and you get tired and angry at each other, but you keep talking. And the conversation just gets more and more interesting as you go along.
For me, the right way is that my mom learned how to text as soon as she figured out that that's easier for me at work than talking.
I don't know if I'm doing it the right way at any given time with my kids, but the conversation seems to be going well, so I'm trusting that I'm doing fine.
Do you want to share your experience of the right way?