by Hank Osborne
Those are two of the most freeing words in parenting. Early own we learned to begin building structure and routine into our child’s day using the principles taught in On Becoming Babywise. We also learned not to be a slave to that routine, but to let the routine serve us. Context and characterization, I call them the big C’s, help us to avoid legalism in our parenting practices so that we don’t cling too tight to the practices or methods when we face extenuating circumstances.
A great illustration of how context and characterization free us from legalism is when we find ourselves at a relative’s house for the weekend. In this case we just dropped a nighttime feeding a few weeks before our trip. We have done pretty good and now have our little 4 month old constantly sleeping a solid 8 hours uninterrupted during the night. This is awesome! Our child is actually sleeping when everyone else in the house sleeps. Then the first night at Aunt Suzy’s house our little munchkin wakes up a few hours after that last feeding of the evening. What do we do? Do we sacrifice all that ground we have gained in training our sweet little baby to sleep when the sun is not shining?
Enter Context and Characterization.
The context of the the situation is that this is short term. We are only visiting for the weekend. There are also more than a few reasons why our little on is not resting well if we are coherent enough to troubleshoot the situation in the middle of the night.
- The room might be noisy compared to the baby’s room at home
- The bed may be harder or softer than the crib mattress at home
- Maybe this is cool night and the room is about ten degrees cooler than home because Aunt Suzy doesn’t like to run up the power bill when there are plenty of blankets in the house
I could go on all day with this list. What do we do? Well the best thing to do if we can’t settle our little any other way is to feed the baby. Honor Aunt Suzy and don’t interrupt her sleep. The situation is not at all normal for us or the baby. This is a context situation.
And equally important is the fact that we are characterized by keeping a healthy routine at home. We have been very diligent in our parenting practices so that we stay in line with the parent directed feeding philosophy. We can feed our little one with confidence that this is not how we normally do things. We can resume our routine when we return home.
How have context situation freed you from legalism? Are you characterized by having a routine?
By Hank Osborne from DaddyLife.net