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Inspired by this discussion over at secretradio's place.

Child-led parenting? Um, why?
Child-influenced, yes, but...led?
No thank you.

I realize K and I are fortunate: we agree on most things. We discuss our parenting plans---often---and have done so since before Anna was born. Together, we've chosen the strict-but-loving, velvet hammer route. Guess you could call it the triple I approach:


Why? Because we believe limit-setting is good for our daughter, for us, for our family as a whole. We don't formulate rules because we can, but because we believe that Anna will benefit from a structured, predictable environment. She seems to actually enjoy order, evidenced by her tendency to organize her things from a very early age (13 months, or so), and has thus far responded beautifully to our "parent-led" methods.

And by beautifully, I mean happily.

Anna's healthy, quite verbal, fun, creative, and, believe-it-or-not---whether for a nap or for the night---very easy to put to bed. That's right, she actually likes her bed, and if she isn't ready to go to sleep right away, will contentedly amuse herself by singing, "reading", playing with her special bed-only blankie, etc. The kid sleeps 10 to 12 hours a night, folks, and has slept almost that long since she was placed in her own crib at the age of two months. This is huge. Ferber? You betcha. Admittedly, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done---standing over her bed, patting her back and whispering assurances as she wailed---but though she cried for almost 40 minutes that first night, the following night she only cried for 10. And by night 3? Not at all.

We love our child. We'll present her with choices whenever possible, honor her decisions, and respect her need to test boundaries, for there will be boundaries: bumpers and guide ropes and guard rails of love.

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