I believe that one of the main reasons that I choose to parent unconditionally without use of rewards or punishments is precisely
so that our son is not indoctrinated to be emotionally dependent on the external motivations and external judgement of others about his behavior except
as it affects them. So, basically, others thinking I "spoil" our son is as irrelevant to me as whether anyone ever eats a piece of pumpkin pie. "Their" opinion (MIL, strangers, others here), since my behavior doesn't affect them, doesn't matter more than a hill of beans to me. I might thank them for their concern and ask where the diaper isle is.
And I believe that by helping our son to observe how and when his behavior *does* affect others, myself included, and recognizng other's re
actions, he is more attuned to relevant external feedback. Instead of desensitized or overly sensitized to every external judgement that he encounters from arbitrary praise and shame that every Tom, Dick and Juanita might scowl at me in public places or from MILs.
In relation to this thread, I think that I contribute supportive resources to parents *when* the child appears to be negatively affected, not because *my* opinion is more valid than the parent's. But the child's opinion
about how their parent's behavior *is* affecting them is relevant and valid. I am willing to advocate on the side of the disempowered individual in the parent/child dynamic by empathizing and offering support toward a more cooperative relationship.
Just my $0.02