Unless your child is the "one in x" that the statistics talk about, it really doesn't matter in the long run, barring outright abuse/abject poverty, what parenting decisions parents decide on for their children. And that is a very humbling thought. (General) we want to believe that the decisions and sacrifices we make for our children will result in superior adults. And it isn't necessarily so. There have been successful adults who come from horrendous abuse/abject poverty, raised by nannies,etc. and the reverse is also true. The 'mommy wars" will end when we all realize that we all are collectively doing the best we can with the resources and children we have. And remember that expert advices changes as well as laws over the years as more information is discovered and old information is modified.
Im sorry, but I just dont believe that. There are A LOT of parents who are not doing the best they can. My mother was one of them. I remember several times when people at the grocery store or in other public places would tell my mom things like "dont pull her up by the arm like that" or "hey, dont smack her, she is just a baby" or "you know if you let your kids drink coke out of a bottle their teeth will rot out" or "gosh, you all are at McDonald's everytime Im here, do you ever eat at home?" along with many other remarks that embarrassed me and my four siblings. She always bitched the whole way home "Why do they think they have the right to tell me how to parent my kids? What the f---, mind your own business" and other nice things...
My brother and sister both have rotten teeth and have since they were little, and its because she fed them sugar and didnt force them to brush, not because they have "bad teeth".
My mother hit all of us all the time, including when we were as young as 6 months old.
My brother did have his shoulder pulled out of socket as a result of her yanking him up by the arm
We DID eat fast food every night and all of us struggle with weight
But god forbid you try to tell her anything, especially that breastmilk is better for a baby than formula. Because she will let you know that she's "got better things to do than sit around with a baby stuck to her tit all day long."
and she wasnt on drugs, she wasnt an alcoholic, she was married with 5 kids and came from an upper middle class background. She thought she knew it all, and she was a horrible parent. To this day, she cant take advice or criticism about her parenting styles.
I just dont believe everyone is doing the "best they can." There are a lot of people who put their own wants and needs above that of their children.
Okay, I think there is a huge difference between people who don't care (their needs above the child's needs when it comes to breastfeeding; basic child care; exhibit basic uninformed practices...and I mean uninformed) and people who either are forced to practice certain things (i.e. there was a point where I had to supplement because of low supply, etc.). I'm not trying to do any one-upmanship here but my bio mom (who was married to my father) took off with another man when I was two, leaving my dad to raise me until he married my stepmom. I wouldn't know her (bio-mom) from Adam if she were walking down the street but to this day I ask myself: "How could a mom leave her two-year-old for a man?" What matters to me in the end is not whether she breastfed me or held me close. What matters to me is that her position as MOM didn't matter. She opted to abandon us because she loved someone else more. I guess the point with me being is that we place a lot of focus on practices when ultimately (and speaking only for myself) a child wants to be wanted and loved and respected. I grew up knowing that I was not wanted by my own mother. It had nothing to do with breastfeeding and babywearing, but with the idea that me, as a person, wasn't worth sticking around for. It has shaped my parenting in a positive way. I try to be careful about labeling people as bad parents. My own parents (stepmom and dad) practiced corporal punishment because they thought it was the right thing to do. I don't doubt that they love me, but I don't agree with their methods and to this day I have certain resentments against them for the physical abuse that they bestowed upon us (mostly out of anger). That being said, I don't think they were evil, just misinformed.
All you have to do is go on any mainstream parenting forum and people acknowledge that corporal punishment is good. The perspective needs to be changed, but not by telling people they are bad. That only leads to defensiveness. We need to change the perception that kids can be 'good' without physical punishment. There are bad parents who don't love their children and cause them much pain. I'm not sure what we can do with regard to them. There are parents who love their children and cause them pain. I think for those parents, we can educate by example. Why? Because ultimately their hearts are in the right place, but they haven't found the proper tools.
I was born out of a generation of parents who really didn't have good information available to them. They did things because they believed advertisements and the medical establishment (I respect medicine but I also think that medical students are taught to err on the side of caution and doctors are sometimes influenced by big pharma). I also recognize that I was born in a generation where people were expected to have kids, and the problem was two-fold: people had kids whether or not they wanted them, which opened up the possibility that in some cases kids were unwanted, but expected; and people were unequipped to deal with kids (whether the wanted them or not) which led to the practices that we find find uncomfortable or abhorrent. I think there are very few "bad" people out there. I do think there are a lot of people who are ill-equipped and misinformed. Maybe I'm overly optimistic but I think that will change.
Edited by CatsCradle - 6/25/11 at 4:05pm