Now that Susan is working as a nanny for Lynette their differences in parenting styles are becoming obvious. The issue in question is sleep training and controlled crying, -simply whether or not to let baby Paige cry herself to sleep or to pick her up and comfort her at first whimper. Predictably, mother of five Lynette, is in favour of controlled crying, a system whereby when the baby is left to cry for increasing amounts of time until she learns to 'self soothe'. Kooky soft-hearted Susan can't bear to hear the baby cry and goes to some lengths to pick her up and comfort her, despite Lynette's instructions to the contrary.
The difference in approach is down to more than personality differences. As Lynette points out when the baby cries in the night she disturbs six other people, four of whom have to go to school next day and two to work. Susan has only one child and at the moment no husband at home. The main point is that if Susan picks her up and Lynette leaves her to cry, no progress will be made because the baby is getting conflicting messages. So whatever they do, they have to do it together.
This week I did an interview with a journalist on the subject of rules. Is it best to have many rules or just a few? Whatever the answer is concerning the number of rules, what really counts is sticking to the rules you make. When my kids were small I was told by another parent 'If I say no, I never ever change my mind, even if I sometimes think that I should.' It seemed very harsh to me at the time but I had to agree that it cut down on the arguments. If you know your mother is never going to change her mind, like Lynette's baby you will soon learn there is no point in fussing.