"It's about seeing the world in a different way, and seeing parenting in a different way," mom Leandre says.
"Unicorn parenting is a parenting style that is fairly unique, unconventional and to a certain extent something that's been unknown/unseen before, same as unicorns!"
As the world changes we adapt our parenting styles, and new methods emerge regularly, with parents picking sides, or dabbling in various methodologies, in an effort to find a way that works for their family.
The new kid on the block seems to be 'unicorn' parenting, with many women now identifying as 'unicorn moms'. Dads aren't as vocal on the method, but if you are a unicorn dad do let us know!
We spoke to local mom of one, Leandre, who shared her insights on parenting in this unique way.
"I am not your 'average' picture perfect soccer mom," Leandre told us. "I work full-time, I am ambitious. I work in a male dominated industry in a management position. I am alternative in my physical appearance, with piercings, dreadlocks and tattoos"
"I am religiously open and so my son is being raised without being indoctrinated into a religion, so he will have the freedom to make the very personal decision as to faith."
Adapting to the child's needs
She explains that her son has a special needs, which she credits with "forcing" her into a parenting style which probably would not work on a child that does not have the needs that he does.
"So I have always had to approach things from a different way. For example, a "normal" parenting style might be that dinner is made and anything that is served must be consumed. Unicorn parenting is realising that he has food sensory issues that mean he physically and mentally cannot deal with a lot of foods that I would normally cook."
"So he gets given a choice as to what I make, with a large amount of eye rolling and moaning, but done with a fair amount of humor on my part," Leandre explains.
Another element to the method, she says, is that she swears. "In front of him," she adds, "and he knows that there are certain words that mom uses that are not appropriate for children to use."
Personal freedom is important
"I am also known to have a glass of whiskey as well as smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes," Leandre admits.
"All of which he is aware of. He is being raised with the knowledge that freedom to be who you are is important, if not the most important thing, after kindness. That you can be exactly who you are without compromising it for society."
"However living in society means that you need to be aware of those constraints and walk a very fine line of balancing your desire for freedom without infringing on someone else's freedom," she adds.
Honest and open
She describes her relationship with her son as "very honest, open and raw".
"He knows I am not perfect, that I am human with human needs, flaws and issues and that it is ok. We are exceptionally close and he can see immediately when I have had a bad day at the office."
"He is quirky, kind, outgoing and 100% a reflection of me. He understand that it is ok to be human and have bad days. But to not let 1 bad day define who you are."
The best mama for him
"He adores me being different because he has the freedom to be different. He wears hats, nail varnish when he wants and likes floral print. He has also shown interest in both genders and knows that it would be ok to "like" either of them or both."
"He wouldn't trade me and that is something he tells me constantly, that I am the best Mama for him and that other kids aren't as lucky!"
"He argues back, I have raised him with the knowledge that if I set a rule or impose punishment, if he can logically explain or raise issues then I would take them into consideration, and I have often reversed punishment because he has logically explained his reasons for his actions."
"One of the most recent examples. He WhatsApped and asked permission to watch Youtube, something I try to limit. I said yes."
"When I got home, I found out he was watched Youtube for 3 hours. I questioned it and prepared the punishment for not listening to the ONE video rule. He then pointed out he had found a video that was 5 hours long, and that I had not specified the length of video!"
Are you a unicorn parent, or do you follow another 'unconventional' approach to raising your kids?
Let us know!
Anonymous contributions are welcome.
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