|For my middle of the road friends, I promote AP by being me. If behavior issues come up, I might talk about what we do and why, but I don't speak negatively about what *they* are doing. I accent the positive of AP rather than the negative of non-AP.
This is what I try to do, too. When people ask about my sling, etc., I answer their questions; if they ask how my baby sleeps, my answer makes it clear that we co-sleep and BF. I try not to complain about any AP practice in front of people who might not be into it, because I want to be a good example. (Someone posted that AP is harder but better than other parenting methods.... I don't think it IS harder, overall, so I try not to give that impression when talking about it. I do think it's better!
Mainly, I try to find common ground while gently slipping in an AP idea:
"Oh, we've had that problem too! Here's what we did...."
"Yes, it is difficult when babies do that! I try to think of it this way...."
"Yes, there are times when I've had to do that, although of course it's not ideal."
I'm lucky to have friends who are at least not opposed to AP and who long ago accepted me as "crunchy" due to my environmental concerns and therefore aren't surprised by my parenting. When I do encounter "unnatural parents", it's mostly in more casual situations where it doesn't matter quite as much to me. For example, I often chat w/strangers on the bus, but when I see parents of 4 calmly FEEDING THEIR SIX-MONTH-OLD A MILKY WAY BAR
I choose not to strike up a conversation w/them because I know I won't be able to say anything that will get through to them!
The only person I encounter repeatedly who really frustrates me is a mom whose child goes to the same daycare as mine. She keeps expressing her amazement at how I've regained my figure without going to a gym. What I really want to say is, "If you walked a mile every day carrying your baby, instead of driving your minivan here and then driving 3 blocks to the gym; if you hadn't quit breastfeeding after 2 weeks because your baby was 'too demanding'; if you spent your evenings playing w/him and hanging up cloth diapers instead of leaving him to CIO so that you can watch TV...maybe you'd be thin now too!!!" But I bite back all that and only say how much I enjoy doing all the things I do: "The sling is so comfortable, and it's great exercise. I just love walking around w/him; it's like seeing everything for the first time.... When we walk or take the bus, I can hold him and talk to him instead of having to focus on driving.... I love the way he's growing and thriving on the extra calories I get to eat.... It's great that he likes to stay up almost as late as I do, because he sleeps late in the mornings, so on the weekends I can too!"
It's not as hard as I expected to resist saying judgmental things to other people. (I do come home and judge them behind their backs talking to my partner.
) I know I don't like it if somebody tells me I'm doing things all wrong! I think the fact that that's been done to me very rarely makes it easier for me to do it very rarely.