i've been thinking about this increasingly as we inch nearer to what people term as 'terrible twos' syndrome but before i share about my own parenting style, here's the background on the way i was brought up.
i'm the younger of 2 siblings and my sis is 7 years older than me. we are not as close as i'd like to be (probably due to the age difference). as far as i can remember, my home always had more than 4 inhabitants as my parents would take in foreign students (ranging from 2 to 6 at any time) under their care and thus, we always had a domestic helper at home. both my parents worked (my mom in the civil service & my dad, a businessman) and thus i was cared for, mostly by the domestic helpers - the good ones, took relatively good care of me, the others, made me do their chores. i spent a great deal of time in school as i was in one of the top ten schools in singapore that had a full day curriculum. i don't remember much of my childhood but in high school, i was frequently in trouble with the teachers (i don't know if that was for attention though... perhaps it was) - nevertheless, i'm glad that i have the common sense (built-in somehow) not to get into trouble with the law in my teenage years (no drugs, no gangs, blah blah blah) and grew up fine. my parents believe in 'hard love' so they don't spoil me - in fact, i was frequently caned for my mistakes and punished in other ways (e.g. forced to chew chilli padi when i told lies) and was given only basic necessities. i was 'taught' to be independent from a young age (i started travelling to school on my own since i was 10 - waking up @ 5am every morning to take the public bus), held a holiday job ever since i was 13 (yes, barely legal age to be working) & abided strict rules to take care of my things and pets (punished when i did not). my mom treated the foreign students with more love coz 'they did not have their parents by their side' according to her. maybe, just maybe she's just the typical asian parent who does not show her love/affection openly?
on the other hand, a certain brat was chauffeured to school all her life - heck, even when she started work, her doting mom continued chauffeuring her to work. she loved bringing stray animals home to play (she claims to be an animal lover) and yet left the 'taking care' to her mom and 'abandoning' to her dad. once, she 'smuggled' in an animal from thailand hidden in her luggage - only to have the animal die in the luggage - when questioned, she still naively thought that the animal was sleeping. now a mother of two, her mom continues to 'mother' her and her children - i simply cannot comprehend why someone who is NOT WORKING, cannot look after her own children? before the 2nd child came along, her mom drives over to her place to pick up her son back home - looks after him while she works (and quite frequently even when she doesn't), prepares dinner for the precious daughter & USELESS BUM husband (who appears to be married into the family, rather than the other way around), drives the grandchild back with their dinner. this is despite her having her own maid. after the 2nd child came along, she decided to stop working temporarily and yet, her mom is still looking after her 2 children. WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU HAVE CHILDREN IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LOOK AFTER THEM???
so back to me, with reference to both parenting styles, i am most definitely not like that brat - i chose to have this child and thus it is MY RESPONSIBILITY to bring her up - obviously, there will be times when I cannot be around (work, sick, blah blah blah - actually even when i'm sick, she's still with me) and i would need some help but it is NOT A GIVEN! i always ask my parents kindly if they can help me look after my li'l princess - i don't force them! i have a domestic helper too whom i'll bring over to my parents' place to assist in the 'babysitting' but i won't leave her with the domestic helper by herself. on days when my parents are not free, i have to ask *reluctuantly* the other set of grandparents (but more often than not, they can't help me anyway) and i have to think of alternatives. i am glad that my parents brought me up to be very independent but i don't believe in their 'hard love' theory though because i think that it can go very wrong. if i didn't have that common sense, i could have gone down all the way! parenting is obviously something very new to me and also very challenging - i try to strike a balance to give li'l one the best i can without spoiling her. i (try to) adopt the positive discipline method and shower my baby with lots of hugs & kisses daily to remind her that she is loved (& hopefully help her to be more secure & more independent) - but i draw the line there - refusing to give in to her whims and fancy because i dread that she'll become like that brat!