Different people will tell you a million different ways of how you SHOULD raise your child. When Debra and I first had Matthias our first born, we were often upset by how many conflicting "facts" everyone was throwing at us.
We decided it was too confusing and at times too illogical to listen to these "facts".
We went head with these CONTROVERSIAL parenting choices (and got a lot of stick for it)
#1 We chose to stop breastfeeding the child
Both our little ones were formula fed by the 5th day. We stopped entirely after one month of VERY VERY difficult breastfeeding. Insufficient supply and a very hungry baby meant that we had almost no sleep. Debra was at times in tears and visibly stressed. Don't let people make you feel less of a mom because you are unable to breastfeed for any reason. Both our children are neither sickly nor unintelligent despite being formula fed. They will be fine!
#2 We chose baby led weaning and toilet training
It is very common to hear people go on about how early they managed to get their children off diapers or start eating solids. Let us be reminded that every child is DIFFERENT. Every child grows differently. We allowed our boy to be on diapers through the night until he was close to 4 years old. We took our time and looked out for his readiness. There is no need to rush or feel inferior for nothing getting your child to achieve a milestone.
#3 We chose to let our kids watch tv at 8 months
Yes, we put our kids in front of the TV at 8 months old. We did our due diligence and only allowed them to watch Baby TV and other programmes that are AGE APPROPRIATE. TV time is controlled and determined by us. Our children have no issues with learning or focus. They do get a daily dose of TV but they are NOT given a phone or an iPad to watch whatever they want. You will have to determine what you are comfortable with giving your child. You will have to observe their behaviour and ensure they form healthy habits and relationships around screens/media.
We tried so hard to help him remember the letters and sounds using books and flashcards to no avail. Matthias learnt his phonics entirely from a song played on Baby TV. Good content and monitored usage of screens/media can lead to good outcomes!
#4 We chose to give our kids McDonald's
You can read our full article on giving your child McDonald's HERE
We got quite a bit of stick for giving our children "trash" and "unhealthy" food. We enjoy McDonalds together regularly and we hit the football field to work out the calories as well! It ultimately boils down to a balanced diet and personal choice. ALL of us enjoy a trip to McDonald's and it is an awesome bonding time for us!
#5 We chose to spank our children
Yes you read it right. We SPANK them with a cane. It isn't something we do on a daily basis but we felt that there are times when a child has to be spanked. A child has to learn that a time-out, a lecture, having things taken away, losing a privilege are all part of the discipline package. Spanking is reserved for extraordinarily rebellious "crimes".
Abuse happens when we lose control and want to "get back" at them. Spank responsibly out of love and not out of anger. We believe that spanking for a children between 2 and 6 is effective when used properly. The pain registers the message better than a lecture at that intellectual age. Any older, they should be able to understand a good lecture and learn from other forms of punishment.
We found that the best way to parent your child is to do your own research, trust your gut, experiment and learn from your mistakes!
At the end of the day, all parents want their children to be happy, safe and have a good attitude. As long as our choices are guiding our children towards that, we shouldn't be worried nor guilty!
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.