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parenting, to each their own or up for debate?

Poll Results: check all options that you think SHOULD be acceptable to comment on.

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 10% (74)
    Breast feeding
  • 5% (42)
    Co sleeping
  • 6% (44)
    baby wearing
  • 17% (129)
    CIO
  • 20% (151)
    Spanking
  • 10% (74)
    introducing Solids
  • 6% (44)
    eating habits post weaning
  • 5% (37)
    Vaccinations (others shouldn't do it)
  • 4% (33)
    Vaccinations (others should do it)
  • 14% (103)
    these and others should be open to discussion. no one has a right to be eternally unchallenged.
731 Total Votes  
post #1 of 204
Thread Starter 
WARNING: please keep it civil. keep the UA in mind. this is a touchy subject and i would like to be able to keep this open for discussion. report posts your think are UAV and let moderators take care of it.

ETA - i mean if the topic comes up. it is beyond bizarre and inappropriate to just walk up to people and lecture them or ask them to defend themselves. do people actually do that?


parenting choices! to each their own or up for debate? should everyone just mind their own business or is it our responsibility as members of society to hold people accountable for the way they treat the young members of society? is it our right or responsibility to advocate for those ones who are unable to advocate for themselves? parenting effects more then just the children of the parents.. the way those children are raised effects how the interact with the rest of us, how they raise their children, how they treat others etc. so what do you think and why?? my (very long) explanation is below!




parenting is a taboo subject. when it comes up you are expected to say 'oh to each their own' b/c everybody is different and makes different choices and we have no right to judge.

on this site i always read about people not knowing any other way, not having enough info, not having enough support etc. how do people learn another way, get more info, ask for support etc. if we are just supposed to shut up and mind our own business?

i always agreed with this idea b/c i didn't want to have to justify my parenting choices to anyone. then i realized that the best way to test your opinions and beliefs is to have someone challenge them. if i could not sufficiently prove my point and defend my opinions in a debate with someone who disagrees then maybe i need to rethink what i am doing. after a few discussions with close friends who have no problem tearing apart my arguments i realized i actually can argue my points exceptionally well and in a non judgmental way. i have several points about why i do the things that i do and i have the factual information to back it up.

every situation is different so of course every family is different. for this reason something may make complete sense for one family and no sense at all for another. BFing for instance makes total sense for many people, it is cheaper, healthier, more convenient etc. it is probably easier for a SAHM then a WOHM but it those things still apply to many WOHM. but for a mom with Low supply supplementing might be absolutely necessary, for a mom who works and has a very hard time pumping then supplementing may be best for her family, for a mom who has to take a medication that is contraindicated for BFing should obviously FF, for someone who BFing would be traumatizing psychologically FF is the best option. for a mama whose little one has so many allergies or digestive troubles that they are healthier on a special formula that obviously is the best choice. and of course for Mamas who can't BF for a myriad of physical reasons formula is a godsend.

Babywearing is awesome for people who can do it. i totally love it and it is great when you are BFing. i also have back problems and wearing my 25lb son for extended periods of time would put me in the hospital .. so obviously a stroller might make more sense. anyone with physical problems may very well be better served by a stroller.

Co sleeping is def. not for everyone. there are tons of great reasons to do it and tons of great reasons not to. some babies wake up every thirty seconds when co sleeping, some people have babies who take up so much space they need their own king sized bed.

the ones i have trouble understanding are CIO especially for little babies, FF by choice when there is no reason it wouldn't be possible, and spanking. i just don't get it. do these fall under the to each their own category too? do we put the parents right not feel judged, not to have to be accountable for their choices, not to be questioned etc above a child's rights?

FF by choice is the only one i can see myself just saying to each their own. while i don't think it is the best choice there is it hard to argue.. for a mom already FF it may just make her feel guilty and there are so many good reasons to do it there is no way to tell if it really was by choice or by necessity.

CIO and spanking are different IMO. i know that people have a right to question my choices too and honestly i really don't mind. i am not talking legal involvement b/c that would be a catastrophe. I have logical, fact based reasons why i do the things i do. it is incredibly hard to discredit my arguments.... i have had people try.

I always try to form a logical fact based argument that supports the other side of the argument, not why no one should do it by why other options may be better for some families. BFing, Co sleeping, and baby wearing IMO have to many variables and there is no way to know for sure whether or not it is right for anyone but you and yours. CIO and Spanking are the two i cannot form a coherent argument to support.

I understand the arguments that are made in favor of them but i also see the flaws that make them incorrect. on a really simple level they use the end to justify the means without considering the reasons it "worked" and the ramifications of that. what if the parents don't know those reasons and ramifications? how are they every going to know if they are never held acceptable for those decisions?

since questioning other peoples parenting is taboo and we are expected to just mind our own business how are people ever supposed to hear the other side of the argument? parents can opt to never have their choices questioned by anyone who disagrees with them. they can just do what they want and decide everyone else is wrong without ever having to argue their points with someone who disagrees. how are people ever going to learn if they never have to defend their actions?

debate is one of the best ways to learn. you know that if your best argument for or against something dies a slow death in a debate you might be wrong. not an emotional debate of course.. but in a truly logical and fact based debate for educational purposes.

btw this is sort of my opinion on politics too... how come its ok to form your opinion but never test it in debate? if your so sure your right why wouldn't you want to try and convince others? but thats another story. religion is different.. people have a right to their beliefs since none of can really prove beyond a doubt that other people are wrong.

it seems like subjects that are 'personal' have become taboo in our society so we don't hurt each others feelings. but i wonder if this is really a positive thing. why would you be so emotional about your parenting or politics that no one has the right to question you? i would rather have my opinions challenged and find out i was wrong and change what i believe that be eternally unchallenged and never know there was a better way to do things. i guess i don't understand why we are not held accountable for our opinions. everyone says it's b/c there is no right answer. i disagree with this. i think there is often more then one right answer.... but there are definitely right answers and wrong answers. maybe i am wrong though.... i think i am about to find out

parenting effects people who cant advocate for themselves... is the 'to each their own' mentality really the best for our society?
post #2 of 204
I don't think it's an issue of what you comment on as much as HOW you comment on something.

Example: Someone I know talked about how she'd started feeding her two-week-old baby solids already. I said, very gently, "Oh, my pediatrician said to wait six months." She said, "I want him to sleep through the night." I said, in a very gentle tone, "I'd be worried that it could upset his tummy and make him sleep worse." She said, "Oh, I hadn't thought of that. Well if it doesn't help or if it seems to upset his tummy maybe I'll stop." And I took that as my cue to Let It Go.

To gently bring something up in a non-judgmental tone is OK. To keep up with it and act like you get a vote with someone else's kid isn't. Unless there's a CPS-worthy issue, you really don't get a say past gentle conversation. And even if there's a CPS-worthy issue, CPS gets the say and you don't.
post #3 of 204
Thread Starter 
i agree that its all in the presentation. if i comment i try to be really sort of blase about it. just sharing stories etc. and i try very hard not comment on things that cannot be changed unless they seem very open. BFing relationships, Birth experiences etc are things you can't really take back.. so unless they are pg i would probably not say anything at all.
post #4 of 204
Spanking and car safety issues are the only things I will comment on. I do not care how others parent their children.
post #5 of 204
So much depends both on your response style and the way in which the topic is brought up in the first place. I am cetainly not about to go up to a formula feeding, stroller-pushing, early-solids (etc./whatever) mom and go off on her about how I think all her choices are wrong.

But if that same mom approached me and asked about my sling, and we got to chatting, and she said she wished she could ditch the formula supplements, and early solids, or whatever, I could offer to let her try my sling/mai tie, and give her the name and number of the local LLL leaders I know, and give her the web address for kellymom, etc.

So, in general, i think with strangers, these choices are NOT my place to comment on. Yes, the village and all that. BUT I don't know the mom's/family's needs/challenges/problems/culture, etc.
post #6 of 204
I think some people enjoy debating issues more than others. It's really a personality issue, I think. My husband is one of these people, and I am not. Debating to me (on any subject) is tiring and frustrating, and almost never worth the trouble. So, I can't really agree with you on this point.

My wish is that the media would be more broad in it's portrayal of parenting. For instance, how many expectant mothers do you think have ever seen a copy of Mothering magazine? Now, how about a magazine like Parenting? I was given free copies of Parenting and Parents at my prenatal appointments. Mothering? I still have never myself seen a copy in person. I prefer people being exposed to a variety of parenting viewpoints. What I would like to foresee is having more AP and natural-minded parenting views presented alongside the mainstream views in magazines, books, television, and especially in doctors offices (how many times have we all witnessed doctors giving out parenting advice as opposed to medical advice?). I personally don't think AP is right for every family situation but it would be nice for more families to be aware of it. That, to me, is the real crux of the issue.

As for actually debating with people about parenting issues, I don't go there. I will speak up about spanking and I wish we had better laws protecting children's rights (including laws against abortion and spanking) but it's not in a debating-type of tone but rather, "I don't agree with hitting children and I will not discuss this topic with someone who does." I've generally found that words change people's minds very little. The best way to influence someone is to show them by your own actions why your way works better.
post #7 of 204
I think when it pertains to abuse (CIO or spanking), then I have every right to loudly voice my opinion.

When it comes to proven harm to a baby (early introduction of solids/purees in a bottle/cereal in a bottle), I will let someone know the facts.

Otherwise, it's each family's choice whether BF, babywearing, co-sleeping, or other aspects work. I won't tolerate someone telling me misinformation (co-sleeping is dangerous), but otherwise there's nothing really to "debate".
post #8 of 204
I would never comment, unless it was a conversation where my advice or comment was being solicited, and even then I would be as diplomatic as possible.

That said, I am certainly judgmental of certain things, and if I know that someone has parenting philosophies or habits that I strongly disagree with, I will probably think less of them for it. This would really only go for things that I think are downright dangerous for the child: truly negligent parenting (no carseats, not seeking medical care for issues that are obviously serious), smoking next to the child, strict newborn scheduling... that sort of thing.
post #9 of 204
I didn't vote because there was no option for "none of these". Like a lot of the PPs, I might comment very gently to a friend, but I would never go up to a stranger and say something about how they parent. I might (and probably would) judge it to myself or whoever I was with, but if I don't want people comment critically on my choices, I'm not going to do it to them! Also, I live in an area where I never see people spank, so I haven't ever come across a situation with someone threatening physical violence, let alone actually doing it.
post #10 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I would never comment, unless it was a conversation where my advice or comment was being solicited, and even then I would be as diplomatic as possible.

That said, I am certainly judgmental of certain things, and if I know that someone has parenting philosophies or habits that I strongly disagree with, I will probably think less of them for it. This would really only go for things that I think are downright dangerous for the child: truly negligent parenting (no carseats, not seeking medical care for issues that are obviously serious), smoking next to the child, strict newborn scheduling... that sort of thing.
That. I don't make comments unless I'm asked. There are several things that may make me cringe, but they're not my choices and I have no right to preach to another parent for making the choices they've made.
post #11 of 204
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
That said, I am certainly judgmental of certain things, and if I know that someone has parenting philosophies or habits that I strongly disagree with, I will probably think less of them for it. This would really only go for things that I think are downright dangerous for the child: truly negligent parenting (no carseats, not seeking medical care for issues that are obviously serious), smoking next to the child, strict newborn scheduling... that sort of thing.
i love that you own this. most people are this way as well but they would saw off their own arm before admitting it.
post #12 of 204
Thread Starter 
crap i forgot car seat issues but i cant figure out how to change the poll
post #13 of 204
One thing I forgot to mention in my last reply is that in general I am very wary of research of any kind. My husband is a scientist and I have worked in research myself and there is always a bias, intentional or not. There's always purse strings that influence how the research is conducted and a myriad of other cultural factors that come into play so I never trust the results of any scientific study. If someone starts quoting studies at me I just change the subject, because honestly you can find statistics to back up just about anything. I've also found that people are so individualized that most research studies are inapplicable anyway. For instance, I do not like CIO, but I have a friend with 5 children who sleep trains using a gradual CIO approach starting around 3 or 4 months old. And the result? She has happy children who sleep through the night. To be honest, they don't appear to have any attachment issues. However, I know that if I had tried that with dd it would have broken her spirit (and I could not have stood by letting her cry). She's just has a very sensitive personality. I'm not trying to defend CIO techniques but I think that there are more complicated factors that research cannot take into account, and when people quote these studies they tend to over-generalize (i.e., "If you leave your baby to CIO, s/he will have attachment problems and learning disorders", or vice versa, "If you let your child sleep with you, s/he will never become independent as an adult."). For me, as I said previously, the only time I feel called upon to interject judgment into a parenting conversation is when the issue of spanking comes up because at that point I believe that a child's human right to bodily non-harm has been violated.
post #14 of 204
I keep my opinions to myself most of the time, unless someone has asked. I also think that others should too, unless I ask. Just as I don't really want to have to defend my parenting choices, others don't really want too either. I feel as though the information is out there and anyone who is really interested will seek out the info and then start asking questions. We are each on our own individual journey as parents and to support each other at each stage is necessary. Even CIO and spanking have their place in some individuals' journies. I am not discussing their merits, I am simply saying that they are optons for some people and I respect that.

The poll did not leave an option for none of the above, so my vote was not included.
post #15 of 204
Thread Starter 
CIO is definitely a hard one and age is a huge factor i think. There are also many many different idea of what CIO actually is. some people think CIO is letting baby cry to sleep even if it takes an hour or more. some people think it means allow baby to cry for a set amt of time... usually somewhat short (5min. 10 min. 15 min. ) and then go in and comfort or try again later or something. some people believe in looking for sleepy signs and them putting baby to bed awake.. which we didn't do for DS but probably could have... and i have seen a friend do it and her LO barely cried at all.. she turned on the little singy thing and baby made noise for a few minutes and then went to sleep. some people put baby down at their convenience and it tends to be a bit more dramatic.

so if you were going to talk about CIO you would first have to establish exactly what they mean by CIO. and most people won't admit to leaving their kid to scream for an hour even if they did do it. just saying it sounds bad.

Demottm - i didn't include none of the above b/c i figured of you didn't think any of them applied you wouldn't check them. i think that the infomation is out there but if everyone you know parents a certain way it may not occur to you to do things differently yk?
post #16 of 204
I have no problem having a discussion w/someone, but a discussion involves 2 people voicing their opinions and knowledge on a subject, not just me "educating" someone.

If someone asks my opinion about something I am happy to give it in a fact based and diplomatic way along w/my personal experiences. (I am on kid #3 and am involved in my community so this happens a lot).

I never challenge, call out, or otherwise confront someone about any parenting choice they make bc I wouldn't like it done to me. (I never have, but if I ever did see someone physically abusing a child that would be an exception).

The older I get the easier it is to keep my unsolicited opinions to myself (IME, not directed at anyone else bc I haven't read every single response ).
post #17 of 204
I only take issue with the things that are of extreme deteriment to a child where people are taking their "right to parent" to mean they have the right to not treat a child as human.
post #18 of 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I would never comment, unless it was a conversation where my advice or comment was being solicited, and even then I would be as diplomatic as possible.

That said, I am certainly judgmental of certain things, and if I know that someone has parenting philosophies or habits that I strongly disagree with, I will probably think less of them for it. This would really only go for things that I think are downright dangerous for the child: truly negligent parenting (no carseats, not seeking medical care for issues that are obviously serious), smoking next to the child, strict newborn scheduling... that sort of thing.
That...and I'm not altogether ashamed of it. IMO there is a MDC member that had a good phrase in her siggy "Judgment is not always wrong"

I don't really say anything except rant occasionally to my like minded friends...but I do think less of people that FF 100% by choice or CIO or what have you. I also do not pick those types of people to be my friends. Thankfully I have like minded friends to choose from.
post #19 of 204
I usually only comment on parenting choices if asked. I think for the most part people should keep their opinions to themselves unless asked or the suject comes up (which among a group of parents it's likely). That said I do judge certain things and I will not pursue a relationship with someone who does/doesn't do said things.
post #20 of 204
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
I have no problem having a discussion w/someone, but a discussion involves 2 people voicing their opinions and knowledge on a subject, not just me "educating" someone.
i agree with this completely. you wont get anywhere lecturing people. if someone is going to change their mind it wont be b/c the listened to a 30 minute lecture about why they are wrong.
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