You and your spouse were brought up in different households. This would naturally mean that both of you grew up with different beliefs and upbringing. As such, coming together to agree on a specific parenting style can prove to be an uphill task.
However, this is a subject that you must broach sooner rather than later. Having some common understanding ensures that your child does not receive contradictory messages in the household. This can make parenting a lot easier in the long run.
How should we discipline our child?
We live in a society that is heavily influenced by western and traditional values. As much as we cringe at the thought of enforcing physical punishment for wrong-doings or misbehaviour, we cannot help but endorse the age-old wisdom of “spare the rod, spoil your child” to some extent.
Very early into parenthood, it is good for you and your spouse to agree on a disciplinary approach. Would you practice time-out? Would you reach out for the cane? Or would you take away a favourite toy instead? Sure most of us grew up with a cane in the house. But is caning something you want to practice at home?
Should we co-sleep?
There are two schools of thoughts about this. One school of thought suggests that young kids who co-sleep with parents become very dependent. The other suggests that co-sleeping helps nurture secure kids if they are not yet ready to sleep in their own rooms. There is also of course the consideration that it is dangerous to co-sleep with a baby. Apart from considering your child’s feelings, also consider what is best for you and your spouse.
What values do we want to instil in our child?
The formative years of a child are critical for character building. The values that you and your spouse impart at an early age play an important role in shaping the person your child grows up to become. Equipping him or her with the right values is perhaps one of the best gifts you can pass on to your child. So what values do you want to instil in your child? And how do you go about doing so?
What is our approach towards our child’s learning?
A striving tuition scene bears testimonial to Singapore competitive academic landscape. From as young as several months old, babies can attend classes to develop some faculty or another. As parents, it is your responsibility to decide on your child’s learning approach. Would you adopt a holistic learning approach? At what age do you start to prepare your child for formal education?
Will your child grow up with a religion?
There is little room for doubt if you and your spouse share the same religion. But ambiguity sets in when both parents practice different religions. Would you then expose your child to both religions? Or would there be a dominant religion in the household because one of you feels stronger about a certain religion? And would this affect the upbringing of your child? Regardless of your decision, one conclusion could be to teach your child to respect different religions and beliefs.
Deciding on a parenting style is one thing. Enforcing it is another. Depending on the nature and temperament of your child, always keep an open mind about reviewing and adjusting your parenting style to best tailor to your child’s unique needs.