I'm pretty open minded when it comes to parenting—I like to try new things, and I'm ok with switching up routines or practices, based on the responses that we get from Ryan. But there are two basic ideas, however, that I try to keep in mind while parenting, and I think they pretty accurately reflect my general parenting personality.
They are: 1) we have as much time as we need and 2) leave room for choice.
Time: I know there are some things that have specific start times, work, school, church... But for the most part, time is flexible, and with Ryan I try really hard to not rush him. If he wants to stop to pick up some rocks, go for it. Or if he wants to walk by the fountain and feel the water, fine by me. It's important to me that Ryan learns to enjoy the moments and even seek them out, that he's not rushed into moving on to the next thing, or that he's not prevented from discovery.
Choice: In addition to flexibility with time, I make an effort to allow Ryan to make choices. I don't want to eliminate all of the variables so that he never has an opportunity to make decisions, or even learn right from wrong. I keep plants around our house, because (I like them and) I want Ryan to learn that you don't hit or pull the plants. Some days, I don't put up the baby gates because I want Ryan to learn that he needs to have permission to go up or down the stairs. Often these choice related decisions mean that I have to be more hands on in the moment, but ultimately I hope it's growing Ryan into a stronger, more thoughtful person.