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Anyone have those friends who have no business being parents?? - Page 2

post #21 of 64

Escaping, I obviously don't know these people and clearly them using an inappropriate carseat is a serious problem, HOWEVER, I do have a son with special needs and I got so freaking tired of people treating me like an incompetent mother I eventually just smiled and nodded when people gave me advice about how to get my child to eat/sleep/etc.

 

Our son had severe reflux and sensory issues and literally did not sleep for more than 45 min at a time for 11 months.  I tried everything under the sun, which of course random people who saw me at social events didn't see.  All they saw was a very unhappy baby and me "doing nothing" to help him.  No I wasn't cuddling him (because he hated it), I wasn't checking his diaper or feeding him (because that wasn't the problem), I wasn't bounding or walking him, because I had found a person who was willing to hold him for 20 min while I had the first adult conversation and break from my poor little sick child in a week or two.  I carried him 24/7 and so yeah, when I had the chance to get a few minutes, I took them.  He also didn't eat solids until he was over a year which was not because I didn't heat his food.  It was because he couldn't swallow.  But I had a million people tell me what to cook, how to prepare it, etc, and I did exactly what they did to you which was to say "yeah that doesn't work" or "we don't do that because <silly reason>" just so they would stop telling me what to do.

 

From the outside I know for a fact it looked "neglectful" because I had numerous people say directly or hint as much.  It really sucked and isolated me further because no one seemed to understand.  When I said he didn't sleep I swear every single person I said that too either said "yeah I remember it wasn't until DS was 8 months that he slept through the night, before that he woke up two or three times a night" to which I remember thinking "ONLY 2 or 3 times?!"  Or they said "You should really try XX,  YY, or ZZ" and then assumed I wasn't really trying if he still wouldn't sleep.

 

Because of COURSE I didn't want to talk to those people about our struggles, considering they weren't any real help, why would I feel obligated to take the time to explain that we'd been to 4 different specialists that week, that we'd tried a million things, that we were literally dying from lack of sleep. 

 

So, I guess my point is that you just really DON'T know and, while you may be right and these people are just jerks, the fact that they shared with you that their child has serious problems and your reactions is "well when I see him he seems fine" is exactly what some of my "friends" did to me.  I apologize but this is really a sore spot for me because I felt positively abandoned by people I previously considered friends when they turned into advice dispensing machines rather than actually listening to what I was saying about our struggles and never simply asking "hey you seem to be having some trouble, is there anything I can do to help?" 

post #22 of 64
I have known some people who have no business being parents. They do drugs, and drop their kids off with friends or relatives "for a couple of hours" (which ends up being days or weeks). Or they don't see / speak to their kids for weeks or months, don't call, don't answer the phone when their kids call. They never pay child support, while buying themselves expensive toys. They invite dangerous people into their homes, and then call the cops on their own kids for defending themselves. They beat their spouses in front of the kids. They move to another state without telling anyone.

(If you're wondering why I don't call CPS, most of these people have already lost custody, for good reason. Some of them their kids are grown, and one is someone I knew a long time ago, who has since died.)
post #23 of 64

Escaping, it sounds like you do get some time with this child without his parents around ("they'll leave him with anyone", "we've all watched him", etc).

What happens when you tell the parents "wow, he really seemed to like it today when I XYZ - maybe you could try it at home!" Do they just ignore you? Have they *ever* taken *any* of your suggestions, and if so, how were those suggestions worded?

 

I guess it comes down to, do you think these people are well-meaning but kind of ditzy, or genuinely neglectful? (Some of the things you mentioned - like leaving him in his room all day long with the door shut - would be in the "genuine neglect" category for me, if that's really what's happening.)

 

If they're well-meaning but ditzy: maybe let them find their own parenting style, with your encouragement and your *constructive* feedback, *when they ask for it*?

If they're genuinely neglectful: do you have a moral obligation to report it to someone who can do something? Or do you think venting on the Internet is enough?

post #24 of 64
Thread Starter 

They're just well-meaning but ditzy. They buy all the best products for their kid, have him enrolled in a very expensive daycare, they just don't seem very skilled with the actual act of parenting. When I make him a bottle, they give it to him, he drinks it, I tell them how I did it, they just say "we tried that, it doesn't work" (when I just saw it work)... I put him in our baby swing, he slept in it for 3 hours while they were here, but they said they don't want him to get used to it. He's fallen asleep in my arms, I put him down in our pack & play, they poke him awake because that's not his nap time. 

They put him in his room because they want him to be able to play independently, which I agree is good, but if it were my son, I'd want to be able to see him...

None of it is CPS worthy, it's more just frustrating to watch. 

post #25 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

... but these guys expend soooooo much energy on their routines, and rules and planning, will sit in a doctor's waiting room for hours a week,

Why? Is their child not doing well?

 

From your posts, I feel we are not getting the whole picture and only confusing snapshots. If they are averse to your suggestions, lend or gift them some helpful books or maybe just share weblinks to relevant sites, might work better.

post #26 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seawind View Post

Why? Is their child not doing well?

 

From your posts, I feel we are not getting the whole picture and only confusing snapshots. If they are averse to your suggestions, lend or gift them some helpful books or maybe just share weblinks to relevant sites, might work better.

 

He's doing fine... they're from the US and enjoying the free healthcare, I think lol... there has never been anything more serious than a sniffle actually happen to him (unless you count a mosquito bite which they considered too close to his eye), but he's been x-rayed and MRIed more than most adults I know... their other obsession is that they keep thinking he's twisted his leg/knee/broken his fingers, etc. A lot of the time they're at the doctor is because when they read labels which advise to consult a physician, they actually do. (It kind of bugs me that people like what is why I have to wait 2 months for a doctor appointment, but that's another rant altogether)... I'm sure they also think I'm an awful parent because my son has only been to the doctor 3 times in his life... 

 

They've already read all the books, far more than I have which is probably why they don't listen to anything anyone else has to say. 

post #27 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escaping View Post

They've already read all the books, far more than I have which is probably why they don't listen to anything anyone else has to say. 

It sounds like they're a bit hung up on how parenting "should be" according to the books, so when they're faced with how things are, they can't reconcile the difference.

 

eta: and I agree with what Imakcerka says in the next post too.

post #28 of 64

Escaping it sounds like two different parenting ideals.  Yours and theirs.  You think yours is better which is fine because lots of people are that way.  However it's counterproductive as a whole.  Maybe you should stop judging these people.  Because honestly you've really said nothing about them that brings up any red flags. 

post #29 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Escaping it sounds like two different parenting ideals.  Yours and theirs.  You think yours is better which is fine because lots of people are that way.  However it's counterproductive as a whole.  Maybe you should stop judging these people.  Because honestly you've really said nothing about them that brings up any red flags. 

I have to agree. Unless you are with the child, raising him/her 24/7 you are really only seeing a snapshot of their lives. Since it seems that their parenting methods really clash with your own personal beliefs maybe putting a little distance in your friendship until he's older would be a good thing.
post #30 of 64
Just wanted to say that I get where Escaping is coming from...she's just venting! I know people who are parents and do things that I think are completely ridiculous, and I vent about them to my DH too. It doesn't mean I am not nice to them, or that I can't be friends with them. It also doesn't mean that I think I am a perfect parent. It means that I have friends who sometimes make parenting decisions that are different from mine. Having an opinion and being judgemental are very different, I don't see where the OP is saying she is rude to her friends because of their choices.
post #31 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristah1000 View Post

Just wanted to say that I get where Escaping is coming from...she's just venting! I know people who are parents and do things that I think are completely ridiculous, and I vent about them to my DH too. It doesn't mean I am not nice to them, or that I can't be friends with them. It also doesn't mean that I think I am a perfect parent. It means that I have friends who sometimes make parenting decisions that are different from mine. Having an opinion and being judgemental are very different.

 

 

But it does perpetuate the mommy wars.  Theres no reason for it.  Theres lots of ways to raise children, there is no one right way. 

post #32 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post


But it does perpetuate the mommy wars.  Theres no reason for it.  Theres lots of ways to raise children, there is no one right way. 

Exactly! I have three sisters with kids and none of us do it the same and yet all of our kids are growing up into pretty awesome humans! Schedules work for some and not others. Parents who seem completely out of control at one moment may be completely together and collected the rest of their day.
The fact is, no one can judge another to be awful (with the exception of obvious physical and/or sexual abuse) without walking a lifetime in their shoes. You just can't.
I understand the need to vent but its the expected dogpile on the guilty awful friends that is so dangerous. Chances are at least a few members here live with some of the traits described by the op. Does that make them awful unfit parents? Nope. It just doesn't.
The mommy wars suck and are completely pointless. Why waste time and energy bashing another mom when that time could be put towards more positive activities.
post #33 of 64

Just venting is fine. But so far, most of it sounds more snarky than plain venting.

post #34 of 64

I think that the putting him in his room by himself to play with the door closed is concerning. Though it depends on how long it's for. If it's a childproof room and he is left there for a short time (5 minutes to put the laundry in, 15 minutes for mom to take a shower, whatever), that's one thing, but if it's for longer stretches I'd say that's worrisome. Some of the other stuff I agree it's hard to tell what is really going on. But if I knew people who were like this I'd probably write a similar thread venting, personally. 

 

eta: I take the point about not perpetuating the mommy wars, but I do think that discussing "why do people do x or y?" doesn't necessarily have to mean one is perpetuating the mommy wars. 

post #35 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

eta: I take the point about not perpetuating the mommy wars, but I do think that discussing "why do people do x or y?" doesn't necessarily have to mean one is perpetuating the mommy wars. 

Sure, but when the title of the thread asserts that these people "have no business being parents" I do think that escalates this beyond an innocent, frustrated vent.
post #36 of 64

I thought it was pretty obvious the thread title was hyperbole, but w/e. 

post #37 of 64

I think many of us - being peace loving "AP" parents keep a lot of negative feelings at bay as we try to model positive living for our kids. So, when we have vent threads here at MDC  there is both the "dog pile" and also the temptation to take some anxiety over the "mommy wars" out on the mother doing the venting.  wink1.gif

 

It's been a while since I felt the need to vent about another parent but one thing Escaping and I have in common is that I often only feel the need to vent or "judge" if it is about a parent who I have felt judged by myself. Different parenting philosophies are one thing but opinions from people without children and/or from people who haven't BTDT are especially frustrating. So, I can relate to your vent!  I have also found that those parents who are not considerate of the fact that all families have different values for childcare/playdate swaps are sometimes the ones who tend to think there is only one way to parent.  

 

Also relating to the idea that while venting is valuable, there are other productive things that can be done...

 

I feel like I know some people similar to your friends. My instincts about how to relate to them would be to really model humility. I think sometimes parents feel like they have to be super sure of everything. I'd also open up to the things that are disappointing or challenging because I agree that it sounds like maybe infant parenting was maybe not exactly what they expected. Maybe they don't have a good friend to open up to. 

post #38 of 64

Well the initial vent was what I would consider meh, yeah I get it.  BUT as it continued it was more or less that she really just doesn't like these people.  Vent about the issues, if you don't like the people you can find lots of things about them you don't like.  And hey that's cool and fine but I really do not like the part where ones parenting is questioned in such a manner that one feels they shouldn't be allowed to be parents when really they've done nothing I'd call CPS over. 

post #39 of 64

She's not discussing why.  Which is why I said it was counter productive.  And AP doesn't mean "I'M A BETTER PARENT"  It means we've chosen a different parenting path, one we feel is best for OUR children.  It's not good to look at a perfectly fine family and pick them apart because they don't do it how you do it.  AND I think it really makes AP parents look like their holier than thou and as an AP parent myself it bothers me.  That is all.

 

I was responding to Erigeron but I had quoting fail.

post #40 of 64

I can really relate to this comment: 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

AND I think it really makes AP parents look like their holier than thou and as an AP parent myself it bothers me. 

 

 

Ever since I joined MDC, I have been on the side of "motherhood" when we discuss other parents. I'm not sure if it's the tone of Escaping's posts, or that I can really relate to some of her frustrations, or if I have mellowed a bit in how I judge a parent's need to vent, but I don't read this thread as being a condemnation of doing things differently.  And she certainly doesn't come off as holier than thou. 

 

My read is Escaping struggling with a family that is a bit "know it all-ish" who are struggling with parenting in a way that manifests in some parenting choices that are difficult to watch. I don't think we are participating in the mommy-wars if we identify and sympathize with Escaping's need to vent about that.

 

This is not to say that I am the expert on the intent of Escaping's posts on this thread. But, if the intentions are to tone down the mommy wars, I think we can start with how we approach Escaping here on this thread.  The same exact process that allows us to evaluate a parent doing things vastly differently from us and come to a level of respect for that parent, can be applied to Escaping's need to vent. 

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