It is entirely possible to be so set in your ideals that you become totally closed off to the possibilty of learning from someone who lives a different lifestyle to us. I’ve been guilty of it. I’ve looked at others and thought, you’re parenting style is the total opposite to mine what can I possibly learn from you.
Literally closing myself off to any potetional to learn something new.
But everyone has different ways of doing things, everyone has different methods, everyone has something to offer.
I was watching 19 Kids And Counting, and I thought well I wouldn’t have that many children, and I certainly don’t believe dancing is evil, but I really admired how calm she was despite having that many children and her advice about always finding a reason to smile at the little ones has really given me a different point of view.
I know polygamy is not for me, but I admire their sense of community spirit.
Quins by Surrogacy showed me all about sacrifice for motherhood and friendship. Wow, what a loving piece of television.
But it’s not just about television. I consider myself an Attachment Parent, but I’m constantly learning from those who apply to a different parenting philosophy.
If we only ever listened to that which we agree with and never left ourselves and our ideals open to be challenged then we’d miss every opportunity to learn something new.
My most unexpected lesson was from Tizzie Hall’s Save Our Sleep. I fundamentally don’t agree with a vast majority of her advice. But when I read her book when my daughter was very young, I took that an early bedtime was key to a good nights sleep. So we set up predictable bed time rituals, got her into bed by 7 each night and ever since we’ve had few issues around actual bed time itself.
Tidbits of good advice can come from anywhere.
Just because someone uses a routine doesn’t mean she won’t have a great settling technique that can be applied to a baby led approach. Someone who doesn’t do BLW might have a great toddler friendly dinner recipe collection. Granny might be old school, but she may also have some awesome nursery rhymes and baby games up her sleeve.
We all know what advice just will not apply to us and that’s fine, just don’t follow it. But just because someone gave a bad piece of advice once doesn’t mean it’s all crap. You don’t open a cookbook, see your least favourite meal on the first page and then disregard the rest without even glancing at it.
And if the only lesson you learn us that you’re happy with the way you’re doing things do you’ll continue without change then you’ve still learnt something.
Keep your ears and your mind open.