Be the Best Parent You Can Be… Chinese or Western

We started this year with a very controversial parenting article published by the Wall Street Journal, and authored by Amy Chua, titled “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior“. I am sure that you’ve probably already read it, but if you haven’t I’d invite you to do so. Not because I agree with her parenting philosophy (I don’t!), but because it’s thought-provoking and forces you to think about what you want and don’t want to do as a parent, what your goals and dreams for your children are, and how your parenting decisions affect your children’s lives.

There’s been a myriad of responses to this polemic article around the world. I also thought about writing  a long response to it; not only sharing my opinion on the subject, but also bringing up numerous studies that prove that such an extreme, strict and harsh approach to parenting is extremely risky, as it generally doesn’t ‘produce’ happier, more accomplished children (especially when they live in a country like this, with a more progressive culture).

However I stopped and thought about Amy Chua’s children, who don’t deserve to be in the center of this diatribe, witnessing their mom being criticized day in and day out. I also thought about Amy Chua. I am sure she means well, I’m sure she loves her daughters to death; and I’m sure that in her mind she’s doing what’s best for her children. I beg to differ completely with her approach, but I don’t think she’s ill intentioned.

I would only share with Ms. Chua, one of my favorite and recent quotes from Maya Angelou about what love is all about:

“I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love, because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.'”

— Dr. Maya Angelou

All this public dialogue about parenting and numerous conversations with my clients, inspired me to start a new moment, a new project for myself, that I would love to share with you. This project is a journey to become the best parents we can be …

“The Smooth Parenting Project”

My goal is that by the of this year, we will be closer to that vision we had for ourselves as parents; that our journey raising children is a happy, fulfilling, peaceful, positive and smooth one; and that our children grow up to be amazing, happy, exemplary adults. I will share more with you about this project really soon. Until then, I leave you with this…

“My father didn’t tell me how to live, he lived, and let me watch him do it.”

– Clarence Budinton Kelland

Sleep Training & Parenting Coaching Philosophy

Many parents ask us about our beliefs and principles, which is an essential question to ask before you hire a sleep consultant or parenting expert or follow a book on the subject. You want to make sure before you start implementing any sleep strategy or parenting advice, that you share the principles with the experts giving you the advice.

In Smooth Parenting we believe:

  • Parents should promote and support the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of their children from babyhood to adulthood.
  • Children must know that they are unconditionally loved and that their parents will always be there for them.
  • Children must feel happy, respected, valued, loved, acknowledged, safe and protected in order to thrive and achieve their potential in life.
  • The dignity and rights of children must be respected.
  • Sleeping, eating and exercising are basic needs for babies and children.
  • Consistency and team work are key in order to be successful at parenting.
  • We believe that babies and children thrive when their lives are organized and when they know what’s expected of them.
  • An ‘structured routine’ adapted to each family’s individual circumstances is essential to create a chaos-free and stress free home.
  • Every child is unique, special and should be treated as such.
  • There’s always a reason/motivation/cause for children to cry, protest, misbehave, be aggressive… and that in order to solve that behavior, parents need to discover it and solve it.
  • It is important for parents to model appropriate behavior and to establish expectations as well as limits.
  • Physical punishment or disciplining techniques are never the right way to go.

Our parenting techniques promote independence, self-esteem, self-assurance, open communication, love, empowerment and self-improvement. We respect and follow the guidelines provided by the American Association of Pediatrics.

We know that our approach and methods are effective, and although not always easy to implement, we will be there with the parents every step of the way.

Much love, Diana-