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What do you say to non-ap parents about their parenting? - Page 3

post #41 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dechen
I don't want to be told I should use CIO, or a schedule, or punishments. I don't want unsolicited parenting advice at all from people who don't share my attitude about parenting.

I assume that neither do non-AP people.

Therefore, I don't offer unsolicited parenting advice.
ITA!!!

I will, however GENTLY bring up AP subjects- basically by mentioning what we do in our family, what works for us, and go from there. If somebody seems interested and asks questions, I'll give more information. If they seem set in their ways, I'll try to redirect the conversation to something we have in common. If they mention/complain about something their baby is doing, I'll just offer reasurrance that it's normal and mention how I'd handle it/how I did handle it when it was my kids.

While I agree 100% that AP is better for children than detached parenting, there's plenty of "mainstream" stuff thats neither hardcore AP nor truly "detaching." There are also plenty of attached, loving parents who use "detachment" methods from time to time but still provide plenty of care and affection most of the time.
post #42 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla
ITA!!! There are also plenty of attached, loving parents who use "detachment" methods from time to time but still provide plenty of care and affection most of the time.

YEP. My best friend did not breast feed, used CIO and put her kids in day care while she continued to be a school teacher.

Now her kids are 7 and 10 and 14 and she is the most wonderful parent I know and has three amazing kind and joyful kids. Now of course her schedule is such that she is home when her kids are home.

And lots of studies do show that exposure to early illness is not really bad for a kid (in fact it appears to significantly reduce the risk of some childhood cancers.)

So "judge not, lest you be judged"
post #43 of 136
I don't say anything to anyone about their parenting, because I think it's kind of rude. I do, however, try to distance myself from spankers, and unattached parents. I can't take seeing some things and I don't want my kids to witness spankings and things like that. I had a "friend" that was very detached from her 15 month old. For a while, I tried to overlook things like how she put him in his crib and let him scream himself to sleep for "naps" that he didn't seem to need. But then, she started commenting on MY parenting, saying things that she probably thought were helpful, like, "Why don't you just let him cry?" It was obvious that she felt very passionate about her parenting and thought I was doing it wrong. It was very offensive to me. Anyway, so I would not comment on someone else's parenting, because I don't think it's my business.
post #44 of 136
OP -

I'm not so sure this is about parenting paradigms. Even if your friend was interested in AP it appears that she is having making a transition to the selflessness required of being a new parent. Its not her parenting philosophy, its her problem bonding with the baby. Its possible to try and parent AP style and still be ambivalent. Sounds to me like she's just plain clueless and emotionally unavailable.
post #45 of 136
Posting before I have had read the whole thread because I don't know whether I'll be able to read the whole thing ...

I do not say a single word to other people about their parenting unless I am specifically asked for advice or to comment. Even then, I only say what has worked for me, not what I *think* the other person should do.

The fastest way to be seen as a nosy, judgmental busybody is to start telling other people what you think they are doing wrong in their parenting. You will quickly become very unpopular.

Namaste!
post #46 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyRose
I put on my most authortarian mommy voice, put myself in Sophie's face, and said:

No hitting! We don't hit! Hitting is NOT how you solve problems. Use your words, Sophie.



Quote:
Afterwards, we all ignored the episode. We did not discuss it any further, as that would have involved humiliating Sophie to her face
You don't think you'd already done this by screaming at her? Good grief. I don't get the logic in this at all. I guess being gentle only applies to kids. You can abuse the parents all you want!

What in the world is wrong with gently taking Sophie's arm and saying, "At our house, we don't hit children," and then SHOWING her a better way to handle the situation?? Then you won't be teaching poor little Eric (and any other child who's watching) that screaming and humiliating is the way you get what you want.

post #47 of 136
I have been in so many situations like this. I have struggled with thinking that my way is the best way and not understanding how anyone can parent differently.
I've since realized that beneath it all, we are all connected as women trying to provide the best for our children. The bottom line is....not everyone parents like me. Just the same as not everyone shares the same faith as I. Not everyone has a 2 parent household as we do. There are so many differences between people and I choose to see past that. Just as I want my children to grow up in a loving and nurturing home, I also want them to be taught the value of acceptance for people who make other choices.
We don't know why people make the choices they do. Sometimes it is fear, sometimes ignorance.
Luckily we are fortunate enough to be able to choose differently for our children.
post #48 of 136
Dechen wrote:
Quote:
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.
post #49 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
You don't think you'd already done this by screaming at her? Good grief. I don't get the logic in this at all. I guess being gentle only applies to kids. You can abuse the parents all you want!
Dharmamama, I am agreeing with you here. I would not have humiliated Sophie publicly like that. I agree in modeling GD to parents as well (as long as nothing life threatening is transpiring, obviously)...perhaps taking Sophie to one side and telling her you simply could not countenance having a child struck on your property would have been firm, gentle, and in line with your belief system.
post #50 of 136
I'm in the 'don't offer unsolicited/unwanted advice' camp.

Thinking back to when I had my first, I had some 'AP leanings', but also did some pretty mainstream things.

I remember, actually, on another parenting board that just happened to have several AP-type parents on it, getting some AP advice and thinking how weird it was (someone suggested a sling!). :LOL

I've changed and grown into my parenting style over the past almost 6 years. I did things very differently with baby 3, than I did with baby 1!

But if someone had tried to shove their AP lifestyle down my throat (and I was doing a lot of AP stuff - co-slept with my baby, exclusive breastfeeding, carried her around all the time - just without a sling - etc), I would have reacted very negatively.
post #51 of 136
It's not my style to "take someone gently by the arm". I don't believe in physically imposing myself on anyone. Period. I don't even do that to my children.

I use my voice. I don't scream or yell. I speak very firmly. Firm, fair, friendly. That's my motto.

The point was that I repeated to her the words she would likely have used if her daughter had struck Eric. Sometimes all it takes is to point out someone's gross hypocrisy.

I also think I do people a disservice by forcing them to guess what the rules are at my house. Sophie knows that hitting is not allowed at my home. Doesn't stop her from popping by, and bringing her kids.

There is nothing wrong with being verbally firm. That is how I choose to convey my feelings. And I am pleased to see how effectively my kids can do the same.

They very rarely hit or shove. When they do, I feel certain verbal warnings have been ignored.

Certain things are just point blank wrong. And it never fails to amaze me how people will respond instantly to a certain tone of voice. I can, have and will continue to very firmly order people to pick up crying babies in public, and they will almost instantly comply.

Even men. The last time I ordered someone to pick up their infant, it was a father pushing his teeny baby girl through the mall. I stood in front of his cart and said,

"That baby is crying. You pick her up now."

And he did.

I have some training as a stage actor, so that comes in real handy. And I am prepared to escalate, if required. Almost every mall or store has a noise violation policy. It is fairly easy to trap neglectful parents with this policy. Just call over the security guard, tell them the parent can stop the crying by picking up the baby, and then insist they pick up their kid or leave.

I usually compare it to a CD player. The baby has an off button. All the parent has to do is pick the baby up. If I were playing a CD player at that volume the store would insist I turn it down. And then I insist the yucky mummy (or daddy) turn the baby "off".

Security has always come down on my side, but again, almost every normal person hates to hear a baby cry.

Some mothers evidently do not, but that doesn't mean I have to listen to it.

Nope. Not me.

Firm. Fair. Friendly. And totally inflexible when it comes to public CIO or hitting.
post #52 of 136
what say though, the crying baby is one of those who cannot be soothed by anything- including being held- and the parents have been up at least all night and are taking a quick change of scene at the mall- would that make you think twice about going up to someone you know nothing about to have your say? If not, do not be suprised if someone takes offense and decks you one day- you really have to know more about a situation than from what you see in a quick snapshot of someones day....
post #53 of 136
I would never say anything to someone with an older child. You're right in that I have no idea what is going on. Mommy might be pushing the cart wrong, or has refused to buy Smarties.

But a wee baby with no teeth?

There is no excuse. No one is allowed to take out anything, in my presence, on a tiny baby. Tired? Too bad. Depressed? Too bad. No money? Too bad? Colicy baby? Too bad.


I don't imagine, for one minute, that people will change their behavior in private, but I will be damned if I don't try and force them to change it in public.

And I would very much like to see anyone try to "deck" me.

Bring. It. On. :
post #54 of 136
DaisyRose, I think your intent is good - it seems to me you want to be protective of babes. But I think your tactics are too confrontational and condescending. As the pp pointed out, it's easy for you to judge somebody in a moment at the mall, but you don't know what's going on in their life. Babe might have been up colicky for days. And it sounds like you are being disrespectful and trying to make the parent feel incompetent and horrible - this would not inspire me to re-think my parenting. If I encountered you and your judgment I would probably leave the interaction feeling worse and less generous with my babe, not more.
post #55 of 136
Thismama, there MUST be standards.

No matter how tired my husband is, no matter how crappy his day has been, no matter what horrendous abuse he has suffered in the past, he is not allowed to hit me. The standard is clear for interactions between adults.

Leaving a baby to cry causes the same physical injury and pain as hitting that baby.

And it is NOT allowed. I do not accept any reason for leaving a baby to cry, uncomforted, any more than I would accept any excuse for one adult hitting another.

I might not be able to stop someone from hurting their baby in private, but I can contribute to an atmosphere of zero tolerance in public. And those messages do sink in.
post #56 of 136
Yes I agree that there must be standards. But being aggressive and confrontational is not the way to ensure they are met. If you did this to me:

Quote:
The last time I ordered someone to pick up their infant, it was a father pushing his teeny baby girl through the mall. I stood in front of his cart and said,

"That baby is crying. You pick her up now."
and then proceeded to call mall security because my baby was crying, I would think you were I would dismiss anything you had to say at best, and fear for the safety of myself and my daughter at worst.

Parents are people too. And you do *not* know what is going on in a split second interaction. I agree that hitting an adult or a child is not okay, but your husband has the option to walk out of an argument with you. A parent does not easily have that same choice - sometimes the best we can do is just take a few moments' break from a screaming, inconsolable child on a bad day.

I would not welcome your intrusive style of intervention on my *break* and it would do nothing to help me chill so I could better care for my infant.

ETA: And so what would you have accomplished? My babe would still be crying, because probably I'd be damned if I'd pick her up on your orders, I'd be flustered and angry and shaken. The only positive outcome would be that you would get to leave the interaction filled with self righteous indignation.

It wouldn't help the babe a damn bit.
post #57 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyRose
I can, have and will continue to very firmly order people to pick up crying babies in public, and they will almost instantly comply.


I usually compare it to a CD player. The baby has an off button. All the parent has to do is pick the baby up. If I were playing a CD player at that volume the store would insist I turn it down. And then I insist the yucky mummy (or daddy) turn the baby "off".

i bet you get really, really mad when this happens in the public library.
post #58 of 136


I'm glad you quoted that post wolfmama. I didn't even notice the phrase "yucky mommy" the first time.
post #59 of 136
I used to have a friend IRL that was also an AP Mama. While we seemed to have a lot in common and shared a circle of friends, she was so condescending in the way she treated people that we all pretty much dropped her. Even when I actually agreed with her, I would sometimes get so offended just by her delivery, the tone of her voice, her facial expressions. It was just offensive. And lots of people were turned off AP as a result. I'm thinking about this now.

If any stranger ever told me, matter of factly, what to do with my child, even if they were right, I'd have to tell them off. And people would side with me and then complain about self-righteousness. No one would be converted. People might even be turned off.

Don't get me wrong. It kills me to hear a tiny baby cry while its parents aren't doing anything about it. It kills me. But there are less offensive ways of dealing with it, like perhaps offering to help that parent instead of giving them orders.

One time, at the grocery store, I was so upset that one of these tiny babies was wailing in the grocery cart. Its mother was checking out, paying for the groceries and she seemed so calm about it. I ranted to my dh and then I saw her calmly and deliberately walk over to the nursing room and breastfeed her baby. Then I felt bad for judging her when she was obviously dealing with a lot. For all I knew, this baby was one of those that cries all day long and its Mom walks the floor with it. Maybe she needed to do the shopping, because the baby wasn't going to be gurgly and blissful no matter what she did. Maybe she finally made it to the checkout with all those groceries when the baby just started crying again. What was she going to do, abandon her whole cart of food, after it took her so much time to get out of the house and load the cart up? I credit her for keeping her cool, while people were giving her snooty and disapproving looks and finishing her business and then breastfeeding that baby.

I think the kinder and effective approach is to offer help, rather than telling them what to do. The latter approach only offends and undermines the good intentions of the message.
post #60 of 136
It's even easier to make people pick up their babies in a library.

And I know for a fact that if they turn to the library material for support, they won't find any. Not in my library, anyway. Recently got rid of that horrible Baby Whisperer woman.

But they will find Dr. Sears!
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