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Have differing parenting philosophies affected your friendships? - Page 2

post #21 of 41
My best friend and I have been friends for 22 years and we are having some problems because our parenting styles are different. Our second babies are just 10 days apart. It was so neat to share our pregnancies together.

The problems that we have had have more so been on my end. I can't deal with her letting her baby cio. She will tell me that shes not going to pick him up because he doesn't need anything. He just wants to be held. I haven't gotten nasty with her. I just tell her she should try to sling him. She tells me that is cool that's what I do, but if she does it then he will want to be in the sling all the time. I explained to her that the more you sling the more you want to, but she won't try. She tells me that cio is not going to harm her child and that she has to teach him to go to sleep. She does not agree with the family bed, because that is her and her husbands bed. She also stopped breastfeeding at 6 weeks because "she couldn't get anything done and he seemed to want to eat all the time"

She tells me that she thinks all my AP practices are cool but she won't try, and although I get really angry and sad, I hold my toungue unless she asks my oppinion. Unfortunatly, this has affected our friendship in a negative way.

Thanks for starting this thread. You are not alone. I'm glad that I'm not either.
post #22 of 41
Oh yeah.

It came between me and one friend. Her life was chaotic and she was making choices with her kid I couldn't respect. I said something and it caused a rift. When that blew over I decided to just accept a different kind of friendship. We aren't as close now, but it's more respectful when we do make contact.

Sometimes when you care for someone deeply, it is just too painful to stay involved emotionally when you have different priorities. I still care for her deeply, but it takes more than that to remain close, involved friends with another parent. I think there has to be some common ground to avoid burnout.
post #23 of 41
AP parenting has worked for my family and I am proud of all the choices I have made so far. My dd just turned 2. However, I have taken unbelievable amounts of crap from friends and relatives about my choices. Never let it bug me too much. I have tried so hard not feel judgemental of the formula feeders and spankers and CIOuters and tv-heads among my friends but have definitely felt myself drift away from them. Probably the more intolerent they were of my choices, the more I felt like it might be better to stay at arm's length. Why breastfeed in front of people who hate it? WHy be in that situation?

I had a friend who was making such bad and dangerous choices as a parent that I just could not stand to watch. I have some guilt about ending that friendship because her dd was in some potential danger. I guess I had to trust that my now ex-friend's family would rescue the girl. They were close to her. This was a sad thing for me.

At the moment I have a new friend. A neighbor that I have become friendly with. Her parenting style is not unlike my ex-friend's. She's a hitter, she's sometimes quite emotionally cruel to her 5 year old. Does not read to her, never takes her anywhere but shopping. She wants to hang out with dd and me but I feel like I can't. I can't watch someone pinch their child and be cruel to them and be friends with that person. I actually worked up the courage to say this to her the other day. Man. That was hard. She listened though and she's now seeing a therapist I recommended. I hope it helps her. So sometimes I guess it's good to stick up for what you believe in.

If you read my recent post then you know I blew my relationship with my SIL away by saying I felt formula feeding was not as good as BFing. Broke her heart, she says. SO sometimes one should just be quiet. It's so hard to for me to know when to do what. Parenting is such a passionate endeavor for me.

post #24 of 41
I haven't lost any close friends due to differences in parenting. But a girl I grew up with and have been very close to since 5th grade lives about 2 miles from me. The more I am around her and her almost 2 y/o the more I don't want to be. I have realized after having children of my onwnshe has an 8 y/o dd too) that she really isn't a good mom. She loves her kids but that's about it. Always yelling at them, spanking all the time etc. She's just a really crappy mom, and it makes me sad for her kids(she has 2 and her dh has 3 from previous marriages, although only her 2 live with them) She definitely favors her firstborn over their baby, and has always said that if she ever had to choose b/t leaving with her daughter and leaving the baby with him or staying having her oldest go live at her dad's that she'd leave. I couldn't imagine leaving my baby!!! But her oldest is still her "baby" she had her when she was 17 and has struggled to raise her alone until she got married 2 years ago, so she's totally devoted to her. I can understand the devotion, but not the willingness to leave her other child if it came down to it. She never ceases to amaze me with her "stupidity". The more I think about it the madder I get, she's just a really crappy mom.
post #25 of 41
She will tell me that shes not going to pick him up because he doesn't need anything.
Sigh...I know this is not new or profound, but every time someone says this, don't you want to sat to them, "If your DH or SO came home and found you sitting on the couch crying, how would you feel if he offered you food, asked you if you needed to use the bathroom, and then when you responded no to both, said, 'okay, then, I'm just going to go watch tv since all you want is to be held.' "

post #26 of 41
My thought is that not all friendships are meant to last forever. Perhaps these 'problems' that you are feeling/experiencing is the signal to just let it go--- let it go for awhile or maybe forever? Who knows. I think about how much different events, cycles etc. have changed me during my life, and how very - VERY different I am now. Some friendships have changed with me or adjusted to (or with?) my changes--- others have not and vice versa, I am sure that some friendships have waned becuz I was doing things my friend didn't get.

Just a thought.
post #27 of 41
deleted by moderator...
post #28 of 41
I have a sd who is 25, and has a son 10 weeks younger than ours and a new one.
its not like we have one difference with her, its everything. i mean we could shut up about little things ie giving your kids too much juice, pop junk foods ect. but its all of it !!! she dumps her first off with who ever will watch him so she can party, they keep guns in the house, her mom gave her babywise so she hits for everything, she ff, she sahm so she can be with him but doesnt do anthing with him, ect ect ect.its not just one thing or even a few, its all of it. it upsets both dh and i so much.
her son had alot of ei so she blamed it on the fathers side how they are inhertied ect. meanwhile she smokes in front of her kids....... um maybe that is why?
its very hard to be around her at all....... and we feel so bad for the kids...
post #29 of 41
i wish i had the time right now to read all of the posts, but at this moment i have only to respond to your orignal question...with a resounding "YES!"

my friendships have absolutely been affected by differing parenting styles in a way i could have never imagined prior to my "promotion" in life to being a mom.

it's hard to explain...but the way i parent is such a fundamental part of me and my existence that i find it hard if not impossible to maintain or develop a truly deep friendship with others who do not agree. it sounds so shallow to say that, but i can't deny the way my heart feels.
post #30 of 41
I am so glad you posted this!!

My neighbor and I had our boys 6 months apart. She and I are friends and we have some things in common but our parenting is SOOO different.

She brags how he son is so "independent" because she "taught" him to play all alone.

She told me one day that she and her dh let their son CIO since he wakes up too much and told me that one night he cried hysterically for an hour and when he quieted down, her dh went in to check on him and he was "hyperventilating" (but asleep she was happy to report) She told me she closes the door to his room and closes her door to the master bedroom so she can't hear him that well

She also feeds him peanut butter cookies for breakfast and wonders why he doesn't eat well ( he just turned one)

She told her son to "shut up" when we were out for a walk because he wanted to be held.

She brags that they "slap his hand" when he touches something he shouldn't and he already knows what to touch and not to since if she comes towards him while he is touching something off limits he runs away from her (HELLO, he doesn't WANT TO GET HIT!!)

Anyway, I am glad I could get this out... I cannot be true friends with this person however she is my next door neighbor so I try to get along as best I can.

I am not the most AP in the world, but I try to do what I feel is right for my baby, which does not include any of the things she does!!

You aren't alone however I am where I live since i think I am the only person who doesn't CIO!!! Even my own mom told me tonight my son is spoiled since I don't let him cry whatever!!
post #31 of 41
I too am glad that you posted this.....AND YES! I recently totally ended a toxic friendship that was on the rocks when I found out that this *friend* got pregnant for the second time (she's already a single mom who had one child out of wedlock). With her first child, I thought that she was "doing the best that she can." I didn't agree with her parenting, especially taking a belt and swatting her dd on the hand, but I didn't interfere. I didn't like the way she interacted with her, but I figured that she was too overwhelmed and too busy to have time to spend with her. In any case, when she got pregnant AGAIN, I was angry with her for not protecting herself. I became pregnant a couple months later and our mutual pregnancy allowed us to bridge the growing gap between us. Once she had the baby (four months before me), I felt really close to her. However, after I had dd, I began to realize that I disagreed with A LOT of her parenting choices. I was able to look at the way that she raised her first dd and realize that she really wasn't a good parent. Also, I was irritated with her "I know better because I have 2 children" attitude. This is the woman who only read little blurbs here and there and then dispensed parenting advice like she really *knew* what she was talking about. Her kids are basically kept cooped up in a small one bedroom condo with the television blaring ALL the time. The straw that broke the camel's back, I guess, was when she decided to homeschool her oldest, because she was too damn lazy to get on a bus and take her to public school. The homeschooling turned out to be a big joke. It lasted about 4 months and the girl is now in a daycare (because she missed the kindergarten deadline). I have lost so much respect for this *friend* that I don't even want to talk to her. Recently, we got into an e-mail spat and I pretty much have decided that "this is it." I'm not making any effort any longer. I also realize that our differences are more than parenting. This is one friendship that I definitely do not want in my life. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone.

On the same note, I have another friend who I have always thought was a terrific mom. she also was a single mom at the time she had her first ds. After I had my dd and learned hands on all of the sacrifices she had made, my respect for her grew in leaps and bounds. I guess it cuts both ways.: Some friendships are solidified by our parenting and some are divided.

post #32 of 41
post #33 of 41
Oh please oh please do not hi-jack this great thread and turn it into the CIO debate. Nobody ever wins that one. All will end in bitterness and locked-threadedness and I won't get to read the rest of the relevent responses.

post #34 of 41
I have made requests that off-topic posts be edited. In the meantime, I would like to ask that any subsequent posts be kept on topic. Thanks!
post #35 of 41

and also my sister!!!

glad to hear i'm not alone.... i hear many of the same things from my sister. she bf for 4 months and is still co-sleeping, but not in the ap sense. her dd is 26 months and when i saw them at easter my sister was spanking my neice to get her to lay down and go to aleep!!! it was all i could do to keep from crying. all my sister said was that i need to get my dd (14 mos) to be able to put herself to sleep even if she has to cry or i will never be able to get my child to go to sleep when she gets older! i told her that i was fine with nursing my dd to sleep for as long as it worked! she also thinks i should have weaned jazmin months ago... her theory is "look...as long as they get some bm they will be fine. my dd is very intelligent with the bm she got" ... i guess that's better than none... it just supprised me b/c she is suppodsed to be intelligent-she has her masters degree...sorry to vent... i could post a whole other thread sometime!

i guess that's why people can have their own children to parent how they please, but i agree...i don't try to force my parenting stlye on her so why should she feel compelled to force hers on me?
post #36 of 41
I don't actually have many friends who have kids...so it doesn't come up much.
Two friends of mine just had babies and i am all atwitter....excited, but scared, i don't think I'll be able to handle it if they early wean and cio and hit and all...but I also really want to be around other moms more than I am.

maybe it'll help that my dd is a pretty super easy baby; hopefully they'll assume that it's due to my parenting style ( it is!) and try to emulate it.
post #37 of 41
For us it's more like friendships don't even get started... I can't believe how horrifically nasty and judgemental people are. There are people we see all the time in the park who will not speak to us - who will tell their children loud enough for us to hear not to play with our children - because we allow our kids to play shoot 'em up games. For one thing, these are my stepchildren, and I have to pick my battles - sometimes I'd rather they not play war, but considering that they've had to adjust to no television, no video games, and a completely different diet since they've come to live with us, I think I'll let them run around the park and say bang-bang you're dead. For another thing, my children don't hit, or spit, or bite, which is more than I can say for the children being told not to play with us. But we are treated like $%$# pariahs because of this, and related issues. I've pretty much accepted that we just won't ever have any parent friends.
post #38 of 41
maybe it'll help that my dd is a pretty super easy baby; hopefully they'll assume that it's due to my parenting style ( it is!) and try to emulate it.

sorry to disagree but if you have a easy baby someone blessed you with that, and they may or may not be an easy toddler/child. it really has less to do with how you parent and more to do with child.
now its easier to parent a harder child when you ap i think......
bt I have two very active non sleeping go go go high spirted kids and we are very very ap.
angel mom to still nursing drew 2.5 and just turned 4 grace
post #39 of 41
I haven't even had my baby yet and it is already starting to affect friendships. Dh and I had very particular parenting philosophies before we conceived, and at the time I didn't realize they were "AP" but just figured they made the best sense. Anyway, now that I've found all of this support out there I am even more certain about what I will do and have the stats to back my intuition up. . .
. . . anyway, I get a lot of : when someone ASKS me what I plan to do and I tell them. My older sister in particular who just lost custody of her children!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'm not even going to go there). They all give me the : "that's what you think now but when you become a parent things will change." Yes, I am aware that all of my ideals will not become reality, but I'm not pressing my belief on them just answering their question. I don't disrespect the fact that they decided to parent differently and neither should they, and I don't feel like I deserve to be discredited for having opinions solely bc I haven't given birth. I practically raised my younger sis & bro so it's not like I'm in la la land and don't know how kids "are."

The biggest thing has been my childhood best friend, who is childless, and DISHES out advice like a pro. She took a semester of childcare classes back in high school and thinks that this qualifies her, and on top of that she started working for a nanny service 2 months ago and has since become an expert. For example she takes care of a 3 month old that was premie and still hooked to machines, and a 2 year old. Constantly complaining that the 3mo is "spoiled" bc the parents hold it all the time, so it expects the same when she's there. Doesn't consider that maybe it needs a little tlc especially since it's premie . . . Back on topic, I'm amused that she argues every single thing I plan to do, regardless of what I say, bc she heard all her life that it was wrong (the traditional arguments). I guess I'm especially perterbed bc she is so open minded about so many things, but so preachy about things she knows NOTHING about. I know the tension between all these people won't die out when baby is born and I start practicing what I preach. They'll be sure to think I'm screwing this kid for life while they don't see anything wrong with cussing and screaming at their kids and hitting them.
post #40 of 41
premie and still hooked to machines, and a 2 year old. Constantly complaining that the 3mo is "spoiled" bc the parents hold it all the time, so it expects the same when she's there. Doesn't

well a........ isnt she paid to do that?
and b........ you can tell her the child has 18 plus years to learn to be independant, it doesnt have to be the first few years. they will learn trust me but in their time not ours. if you dont fill the need one way they will act out in other ways. it only goes away when its met.
mom to grace 5/12/99 and drew 11/24/00
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