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"Bad Parenting" popular, according to CNN - Page 2

post #21 of 113
I think what really gets to me is the "bad parent" label. It feels like we are still in middle school when i was so totally awesome to be "bad". I feel like these parents are really cutting themselves short byt labeling themselves "bad parents". I know that people think I am a bad mama for sleeping with my babies in bed with me, allowing them conventional candy for special occasions, letting them run around naked in the house, etc etc but I wouldn't call myself a bad parent simply because I stand by my parenting. If I DID think I was being bad I'd change it. So I guess this "bad parents club" seems a bit juvenile to me. I mean I understand getting together with other parents based on your philosophies (everyone needs a support system) but what is up with forming a collective based on the negative? Are there "I spank my kids and I'm proud!" groups out there too? I would not be surprised I guess.
post #22 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
Sorry, I watched the video and don't understand the responses in the previous posts (except for that super short blurb about the mom who wants to spank). It seems the whole story was about parents that try too hard by providing their kids with a packed schedule, and the helicopter style management of their kids and have reached a limit. I know AP people who do this and non-AP who do this.
I agree. There was nothing in the video about breastfeeding, sleeping with your baby, etc. Yes, they mentioned someone who said she spanked but beyond that, I didn't see anything other than a couple moms; one saying that she stopped dragging their kids to ballet, art, and whatever lessons every day of the week and one saying that she loved her husband more than her kids.

I can't see how someone who stops dragging her kids all over as "bad" or doing something selfish for herself. Overscheduling your children can affect the whole family by reducing time for family meals, time to hang out together, etc.
post #23 of 113
The "bad parent" self-label thing has been all over the media lately.

It has NOTHING to do with parents who are negligent or abusive. It's not about leaving your kid to CIO or sit in a diaper or watch TV all day.

It's a response to the over-scheduled insanity that parents have been putting their children through, and the competitiveness that has come to a peak with children in advanced French and dance and music lessons and soccer, and that's just on Tuesday. It's also a response to the need to constantly supervise one's kids and making sure they're doing flashcards or leappad or some other enriching activity instead of ever just sending them out into the yard to just play.

*Some* parents are sitting back and saying "oh, I don't do that." And in comparison to all the Super Mommies out there that are Making Their Children Be The Best They Can Be, these parents are saying about themselves -- *ironically* -- that they are "bad parents". As in, "so sue me if little jimmy isn't doing x, y, and z like all his peers -- I must be such a BAD PARENT'.

Parents are either cutting back on these activities because they realize it's nuts, or -- more likely -- because it's friggin' expensive and they can't afford to do it right now.

And there's the story. Nobody is neglecting their kids in this trend. These parents are just preemptively taking a defensive position before some other judgmental parents can come along and rag on them. That is all.
post #24 of 113
I used to read that blog a few years back and went back to it to see what the ruckus was about. I think that spanking quote was taken out of context.

http://badladies.blogspot.com/2009/0...manifesto.html

She also wrote a response to people thinking she is condoning neglect.

http://badladies.blogspot.com/2009/06/ecce-mater.html

Both very interesting reads and worth your time is you have a few minutes.
post #25 of 113
Thread Starter 
Like I said in my OP, I totally get the not wanting to overschedule and the need for moms to stop being so self critical.

In hearing the responses of others who know more about this movement than I do, it sounds like maybe they pulled out some unfortunate quotes (specifically about spanking, living LO in bathtub alone, etc.) to represent the movement.

I admit, I was a little taken aback by the woman who said she loved her husband more than her kids. Am I the only one? As a child, I think I would be heartbroken to hear my mom say that. But I was a sensitive kid.

Speaking of sensitive... I really am very sensitive about my own parenting choices... well, I tend to be overly sensitive in general. I think different parenting styles work for different families. Unless there is a case of abuse or neglect, I wouldn't criticize someone else's choices. I can only assume every mom (and dad) wants what is best for their child. And what is best for one child isn't for another.

I hope my OP didn't come off as overly judgmental. That definitely isn't the person I want to be or the mindset I want to have. I was just curious to your responses to this "bad parenting" movement - both good and bad.
post #26 of 113
Thread Starter 
Thanks for posting those links, riverscout!! I love the honesty of this mama. It's tough to really lay it all out there like that.

This is a quote from the blog about the conflicting definition of a perfect mother:
Quote:
The Good Mother is everywhere, all at once, and she looks like everything, and nothing. She stays at home; she goes to work. She attachment-parents; she's Babywise. She home-schools; she Montessoris. She vaccinates; she doesn't vaccinate. She follows a schedule; she lets her kids run free-range. She co-sleeps; she wouldn't dare co-sleep. She would never spank; she's a strict disciplinarian. She's an Alpha Mom; she's a Slacker Mom; she's a Hipster Mom; she's a Christian Mom; she's a Hipster-Christian-Alpha Mom who slacks off in the summers. She's Everymom; She's NoMom. She brooks no disagreement: if you argue with her, you start a Mommy War. But the wars are futile and pointless because the combatants are all fighting on the same side, her side, which is no side, and in the end we just batter each other until we are dumb and we give up and retire to our camps, bloody and bruised and determined to just keep it to ourselves next time and so it ends as it always does, in silence, with none of us saying what we really want to say, what we really need to say, which is this: who the fuck cares?
post #27 of 113
It is sad but true that there are some parents who are in fact proud that they spank. It' svery hard for me to understand that line of thinking. Who could be proud they purposefully inflict pain on their children? What is there to be proud about that a parent is too lazy to learn another way - too lazy to do the work it takes to be effective in the long run. Are these the same people who chose crash diets over healthy eating? You know the kind who are skinny off and on for a few years and then their weight gets out of control. Now they spank for short term results and wind up with out of control teenagers or adult children. Though yes some get lucky with children who turn out well in spite of being spanked or weight that remains low due to a hereditarily high metabolism. All in all there are all kinds of parents. None of us are perfect, some may try to be, and then the other side are the people who rather be proud to be lazy, which I don't understand. I think somewhere in between is ideal - do your best and cut yourself and your children and others some slack.
post #28 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post
Like I said in my OP, I totally get the not wanting to overschedule and the need for moms to stop being so self critical.

In hearing the responses of others who know more about this movement than I do, it sounds like maybe they pulled out some unfortunate quotes (specifically about spanking, living LO in bathtub alone, etc.) to represent the movement.

I admit, I was a little taken aback by the woman who said she loved her husband more than her kids. Am I the only one? As a child, I think I would be heartbroken to hear my mom say that. But I was a sensitive kid.

Speaking of sensitive... I really am very sensitive about my own parenting choices... well, I tend to be overly sensitive in general. I think different parenting styles work for different families. Unless there is a case of abuse or neglect, I wouldn't criticize someone else's choices. I can only assume every mom (and dad) wants what is best for their child. And what is best for one child isn't for another.

I hope my OP didn't come off as overly judgmental. That definitely isn't the person I want to be or the mindset I want to have. I was just curious to your responses to this "bad parenting" movement - both good and bad.
My mom said she loved God first, then her husband, then her children. And yes that hurt. What hurt even more was that she acted like she loved herself first, then God, then the church then her husband, and then s kids. We were the bottom of the totem poll. and like many people, she treated the dogs better then her own children (you know, there is a $400 fine if you hit a dog but not if you hit your child )

I love my family equally, perhaps in different ways. However, the reality is my husband can take care of himself and my children can not, and so maybe sometimes it appears I love my children more but I really I just love them all. I feel like our family is love, intertwined, and connected :
post #29 of 113
Ayelet Waldman (Michael Chabon's wife) was the woman who said she loves him more than her kids. She seems to be resistant to labels-- she has used slings and breastfed plenty, killed herself to get her palate-deformed third or fourth child breastmilk for six months... but she SURE LOVES making fun of AP. I think she just really loves being snarky all the time. I think it's way too bad that she seems to think APers are more judgemental and harrassing than other kinds of parents. I think EVERYONE can be like that. I know when I made innocent comments about my life to "mainstream" parents, I got jumped all over by them. There was certainly as much bullying there as I've ever seen coming from APers, here or elsewhere. I think her perception of APers as being the ones who are so judgey comes from her limited experience with parenting spheres. She lives in Berkeley, goes on a Berkeley parenting forum, and they were having trouble with APers jumping all over other parents. But I think in other circles, it can be just as much the formula feeding CIO-promoting parents who say terrible things and pressure APers. I think it depends on where you live in the country, what your socioeconomic status is, etc.

I think it's too bad that SO MANY authors of these recent articles seem to be confusing helicopter/overscheduling parents with APing. So many of the APers I know are way hands off, and very into unscheduled lives for their kids. I think there must be some social cirlce of journalists who are seeing all these high-achieving parents stiving to be THE BEST PARENTS of THE BEST KIDS, and they do their research and find AP techiques, and then ALSO sign their kids up for baby genius classes and every sport and art program, etc etc. And the journalists are conflating AP with that hothousing parenting style. Also, they seem to think APers are only for positive discipline, and we are creating all the young workers who can't get anything done without lots of cheerleading, but most APers I know are very aware of over-praise, Alfie Kohn, etc. We're trying to avoid that! That really gets me, when people make assumptions about how my kid is going to turn out, and go on and on about it, when they can't even discern the differences between these parenting styles. I mean, I'm just a mom and I'm more informed than they are in all these topics, it seems. Maybe they've just been edited to death?

I think parenting styles are so much more diverse and individual than these articles are making out. I'm interested in reading The Idle Parent because it intrigues me. I will take what I want and leave the rest. But I'm so sick of reading articles that assume that because I AP I think I am better than everyone else and that I'm using flashcards on my baby and already planning her college applications. I AP because it's the only way I know how to parent (I can't leave my crying baby! I want to be close to her, etc etc), and because when I went and researched, the research backed up my instincts. I feel the urge to share what I've learned, because I was ignorant about all the choices out there, and when I felt spurred to research, I was amazed at what was out there. I just want everyone to get a chance to hear the same information. I never judge or bully others about their parenting, though. I am a believer in education and learning and information, that's all.
post #30 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveSweetpea View Post
I didn't go into parenthood saying "I'm going to be an AP parent" because I never really thought about it. I've just followed my instincts, which has lead me naturally into an AP-style. (I learned more about AP after DS was several months old, but was already being worn/co-sleeping/bfing on demand etc.)

To me, it is an easier style of parenting because I follow his lead. Sleep... um... that isn't something that has been great for us. DS isn't much of a sleeper and never has been. BUT he's happy. He rarely cries. And I can tell he is growing into a confident, independent, and loving little guy... yeaaa! I don't know how his personality may have been different if it wasn't my top priority to respond to his needs. Who can say...

I guess what bugs me about this news story is that there may be parents decisions that are actually borderline negligent or abusive and they will feel they can laugh it off as part of the "bad parenting" trend. I don't believe every parent should parent the way that we do - but why celebrate the more questionable practices?
This is me.

My aunt used to have a plaque in her kitchen that said "I'm a mean mommy." Some parents pat themselves on the back for being mean, getting tough, etc. My mom was talking to the (Christian mainstream) woman that I nanny for. She was saying how mad she was that one of the boys left his clothes on his closet floor instead of hanging them up, so she was going to take all his favorite shorts. (I expect this sort of retaliation from her.) And my mom goes, "Good for you!" ARG! I thought she was learning from me, and here she goes congratulating this woman for taking her ten year old's clothes away.
post #31 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetpeppers View Post
This is me.

My aunt used to have a plaque in her kitchen that said "I'm a mean mommy."

But this could mean so many things, it could mean a woman is proud of being punitive, OR it could mean that a woman is okay with making unpopular choices if they're right for her kids. I joke that I'm the "mean mommy" because I won't feed my kid HFCS laden foods with licensed characters on them even though all the other kids get them in their lunch. And when all the other kids are going to a party with no adult supervision, I'm surely going to be the "mean mommy" that won't let my kid attend.

Does it mean I'm "mean" as in cruel? No. But there are shades of meaning.
post #32 of 113
i just don't get it. it seems like one of those things that people do when they know they aren't doing the best thing but don't want to change so they band together with other people who are doing the same thing and then talk about how proud they are of themselves and how other parents who do the things they know they should have done try to hard, are overachievers, etc. and how they are better then those parents b/c they don't judge and they do what they want and don't let their kids and other parents make them feel bad about it.

i would imagine that most parents who can look into their hearts and honestly say they did their best to do what is best for their child regardless of whether they FF, BF, Co sleep, CIO etc would be less likely to need some sort of validation of their "bad parenting" the only bad parent IMO (not including abusive ones) are the ones who know darn well they are not doing what is best for their kids but don't care b/c it is what they feel like doing. not b/c what they are doing is bad in and of itself but b/c they believe it is bad but care more about what they want then what they think is best.
post #33 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4inMyHeart3inArms View Post
My mom said she loved God first, then her husband, then her children.
Some people believe that's the order it should be.

It doesn't mean you are neglecting your kids or ignoring them in favor of your husband. In fact, it's hard to explain if you don't get it. It's about priorities but that doesn't mean that either party gets neglected or favored. It just means that kids are not going to get in between of that marital relationship which they sometimes do because they learn quickly mommy says I can't do this, daddy says I can, I will ask daddy. I was one of those kids that played their parents against each other and caused many arguments.

That can't happen. Now I am an adult and my parents still have to live with each other. But with all the arguments I caused putting my dad against my mom who knows what's going on there.

The order of priorities doesn't need to be stated to your child though. But it also doesn't need to be stated if your order was children then husband; it seems hurtful either way.

But God, husband, kids will be my order and that doesn't mean I will be a bad mom or love my kids less than anything but God. You love different people in different ways.
post #34 of 113
Like others have said, I disagree with the whole premise of the piece, which seemed to be:

GOOD = overscheduling, 1000 activities, baby flashcards, hyperinvolved
BAD = free time, more laid back, more gentle

All that stuff is just window dressing, in my opinion. It doesn't get to the heart of what I believe to be good parenting- are your kids loved unconditionally, safe, secure, free to grow into their best selves? You can accomplish that while your kid learns to play the bassoon OR by laying in the grass and looking at the clouds.

But I guess such vague, hard-to-quantify ideals don't make for good TV in a 2 1/2 minute piece.

And I'm sorry, but I've found mainstream folks to be MUCH more judgey than AP parents, and I'm hardly crunchy at all! I take naps in the SAME BED as my baby?!?!? He's going to suffocate! And why don't I stop breastfeeding so that I can go away for a week with DH...... and leave DS behind. I'm so abusive to his grandparents because I won't leave him for an overnight visit.
post #35 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisBeautifulWife View Post
It just means that kids are not going to get in between of that marital relationship which they sometimes do because they learn quickly mommy says I can't do this, daddy says I can, I will ask daddy. I was one of those kids that played their parents against each other and caused many arguments].
phew the steam coming out of my ears is finally slowing down. this isn't the kids getting in the way of the marital relationship. this is blaming the children b/c the parents aren't communicating, aren't working together, aren't presenting a united front, and then fighting about it. this is 100% the parents fault.

if i asked my mom something and she said NO and then i went to my dad who said Yes as soon as he talked to my mom about it (which was inevitable) a couple things would happen. first of all we would talk about the situation, why mom said no and dad didn't etc. there was never a situation where one said yes and the other said NO and they just couldn't agree. after they talked about it they would decide on their answer... they would tell me why and that would be that.

usually i just strait up told them that i had already asked the other parent and why i thought they were being unreasonable. if i did not tell them this i did get a lecture about trying to play them against each other but i was never actually able to do it b/c they would talk about it and find out.

kids can't play their parents against each other unless their parents let them do it. my parents did occasionally have to say "1littlebit your mother/father already said no before you asked me. i didn't know that and if i had i would not have agreed. so i am sorry but the answer is no, next time you ask one of us something you have already asked the other you need to tell us that and explain why you disagree. we are a team and we work together."

but i was never able to successfully pit them against each other b/c they didn't let it happen. they have great communication, they are reasonable, they always supported each other etc. it is a failure on the part of the parents if these things are not happening. blaming the children is completely ridiculous.
post #36 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
I consider myself pretty AP, but the judgment here is sometimes overwhelming...like no matter what I do...it's not good enough. If there are less tough-skinned people out there than me, than I can understand their frustration, especially if they are trying to do what is best for their kids.
I think the judgement can be overwhelming sometimes too, but then again, these mamas (myself included) are posting their stories, problems and questions on these boards to get our personal opinions, i.e. judgment. I think MDC mamas feel more comfortable being judged, giving advice, and expressing opinions here because we know that we are in an online community of people who have much more in common than our local moms group (at least the average mom in my area, anyway).



I think the video's idea of The Perfect Mother was one who bent over backwards to keep her kids in all kinds of classes and extracurricular activities. I don't think this is what my idea of The Perfect Mother is at all! My own personal ideal of The Perfect Mother is the mother whose children are happy and well-adjusted. Which "parenting practices" you employ (or not) to get your children there is largely irrelevant: IMO, as long as you have happy, well-adjusted children, you're doing the right thing for your family.

I think the video was right on about the modern American culture's scattered maternal archetype: the age of Donna Reed is dead, and no new maternal savior has risen. There is a mainstream (an overall striving to make children "independent" asap parenting style), but it is often debatable whether that mainstream is the epidemy of The Perfect Mother. Perhaps this is just one consequence of the social upheaval of the sixties.
post #37 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1littlebit View Post
i just don't get it. it seems like one of those things that people do when they know they aren't doing the best thing but don't want to change so they band together with other people who are doing the same thing and then talk about how proud they are of themselves and how other parents who do the things they know they should have done try to hard, are overachievers, etc. and how they are better then those parents b/c they don't judge and they do what they want and don't let their kids and other parents make them feel bad about it.

i would imagine that most parents who can look into their hearts and honestly say they did their best to do what is best for their child regardless of whether they FF, BF, Co sleep, CIO etc would be less likely to need some sort of validation of their "bad parenting" the only bad parent IMO (not including abusive ones) are the ones who know darn well they are not doing what is best for their kids but don't care b/c it is what they feel like doing. not b/c what they are doing is bad in and of itself but b/c they believe it is bad but care more about what they want then what they think is best.
I don't think the bad mom thing is always about getting validation for bad parenting as much as it is seeking acceptance for being human and fallible or for dealing with less than ideal circumstances.

And it's not always about not caring what is best, but sometimes it's just not possible for whatever reason to actually do what is best whether it be due to mommy burn out, fatigue, depression, lack of support, lack of money, lack of time, or whatever. I try my best sometimes, but I still fall short of what's best sometimes for my kid's, ykwim? And sometimes it stings to have my nose rubbed in it by others.
post #38 of 113
Quote:
Originally Posted by HisBeautifulWife View Post
Some people believe that's the order it should be.

It doesn't mean you are neglecting your kids or ignoring them in favor of your husband. In fact, it's hard to explain if you don't get it.
I TOTALLY get it, I just know as a sensitive child that getting it didn't make it hurt my feelings any less. I was no neglected or ignored by any means. Some people don't realize thought that most children don't have the same understanding of the Word and saying something like that to them seems pointlessly hurtful. There is plenty of scripture and Godly guidance you can share with your children. That bit of info can surely wait until they are adults. Just because *you* understand what that means does not mean a 5 year old will understand it the same way. And thats why I was replying to the other poster who as exploring those thoughts.

Now I personally choose to have an all embracing approach that is different then yours, and I am happy with that in our family. It doesn't mean my kids can come between us. At the same time though, my husband wont come between me and my kids. It's the mindset that we are all loving and wanting to be together as one with God and in His eyes.

Also if you read what I said, I do not state the order my children, then my husband. I love MY FAMILY. It goes in this order: 1) my family. and then thats it, thats the end of my list. I agree we love love different people in different ways, I just don't see people as objects to prioritize like that. Each is so valuable in there own way. If there were a fire I would not grab my bible, then get my husband out, then get my kids. I would probably be saying a prayer in my head as I called to my husband to help me get the kids out of the house. I'm sure you would do the same, but for my this analogy is not just how we work in case of emergency. Unfortunately many children suffer sexual abuse because parents believe that God, Husband, Child order WAY too deeply and think the kids are lying about sexual abuse to break up the marriage. The love totem pole just doesn't work for our family and I don't think it makes me any further from God then you are.

1 little bit I agree with you - that is not about the children playing the parents against each other. Perhaps HisBeautifulWife can give a better example? To me it would be just as unacceptable for my husband to play me against the children as it would be for the children to try to play me against my husband. It's just not our family dynamic to "take sides" based on a 1,2,3 order. It's more about us all working together because we all love each other and none of us should manipulate anyone, and none of us should get between a relationship of any pair whether it be parent parent, parent child, or child child.

If our children have to ask something serious we talk about it first and give our answer together. We will reason with the child if they are being reasonable. We all find a solution that works for all of us, God included

If its not something serious and one parent says no we haven't had the experience of our children going to the other yet. Maybe we are lucky, maybe they know that wouldn't work because its manipulative (not because we blindly side with the #2 position on the totem pole), or maybe they will do it when they are older and we havent gotten there yet. If my husband says no and my kids comes to ask me and I want to say yes we would get together and figure it out together. I think they know this by now though. I'm not going to side with my husband against my kids just because he is my husband. Nor the other way around. Because you know whose side I am on? MY FAMILY'S SIDE. We are a unit :

Besides. there are times that to follow God you WOULD have to put your child before your husband, so that kind of confuses the whole order idea.
post #39 of 113
I guess I don't see the pride in it.


I can see saying "it's okay that I got burnt out and yelled at my kids. i can make ammends and try to prevent it next time. It's okay not to be perfect, and it DOESNT make me a bad mom if im not perfect"

but I cant understand
"its wonderful that I yelled at my kids. I dont care if you think that makes me a bad mom, im proud I yell at them and if that makes me a bad mom then of well im glad im bad mom then." (followed by picking on the moms who they think try to be super mom)

There could be more compassion from both sides, but I really cant understand those who are the side of being proud to hurt their children. Maybe they think its right but personally I dont think hitting your kids is anything to brag about. It doesn't take any skill and as hard as they have tried to prove that its not dangerous I believe its over 90% of studies show it is. I mean, more then 10% of those studies surely had to be trying to prove its IS a good thing, since more then 50% of people believe in it...

I guess I just see being proud in spanking like being proud in buying lunch at mcdonalds. It's just not something to be proud of in my mind because it doesn't require skill or self growth. It's not a challenge. The only ay it may be a challenge is if you have to go against hat your heart and mind is telling to do that, but to me, going against what you whole body and soul is telling you is not anything to be proud of either.
post #40 of 113
Maybe it's because I never read the comments section of articles or blog entries, but I really haven't heard any moms being proud that they seriously neglect or abuse their children. I think there must be two very distinct groups of bad mamas.
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