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Parents who do things differently (no "sigh") - Page 9

post #161 of 235
I think if the car seat issue bothers you, you should mention it. I agree with the other posters that said you should talk to the school about the sharing food thing. I don't really see how you can tell this woman what her kid eats is bad without offending her but if you tell her you would like her to have her kid not let others share maybe she will try harder to keep it away from your kid? Personally I don't think it is a big deal what someone else's kids are eating..maybe when the kid is at home she makes her eat veggies and fruit and she just packs that stuff for school cause she knows her kid is more likely to eat that...maybe her father died and she is doing the best she can...maybe she is just lazy...who knows? But I don't equate poor nutrition with beating kids...sorry....
post #162 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by amitymama View Post
I'm sorry your DC has such a reaction to these things, I really am, but it's just not fair or practical to force other parents to abide by YOUR rules for one child, and for something that is easily avoided -- JUST DON'T SHARE FOOD.
To be honest I see two sides; but not the third, where 1-4 year olds should be expected to exert the self-control not to accept SWEETS when offered.

I see that either the teachers should prevent the food sharing, or the parents should not bring in dangerous foods.

Frankly given the effect of these substances on children whose parents do not even believe them to be sensitive, I do not think it is out of line for a SCHOOL to not want behavior modifying substances ingested by the children at school.
http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/additive_2002_full.htm
post #163 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigpokey View Post
To be honest I see two sides; but not the third, where 1-4 year olds should be expected to exert the self-control not to accept SWEETS when offered.

I see that either the teachers should prevent the food sharing, or the parents should not bring in dangerous foods.

Frankly given the effect of these substances on children whose parents do not even believe them to be sensitive, I do not think it is out of line for a SCHOOL to not want behavior modifying substances ingested by the children at school.
http://www.foodcomm.org.uk/additive_2002_full.htm

When my DS was in preschool, there were two kids on Gf/Cf diets, one nut allergic kid and multiple children who could not deal with food coloring. Plus our district has a ban on any home made goodies coming into the classroom. Basically for birthdays all the parents ended up bringing in fruit juice popsicles. I also brought all natural fruit flavored applesauce tubes one time too.At the beginning it was a PITA for all of us but we did find fun and healthy alternatives that the kids enjoyed, we just had to look. Having two kids that are food coloring sensitive, I am with ya on this one. It's no different in my mind than a nut or wheat allergy, just because it won't kill them doesn't mean that it doesn't cause them harm. And I still have an issue with any teacher that lets kids run around with food and share it. I have taught for years and we had no issue with it because if a child was running around with food the food got taken away and they could gladly have it back when they were sitting down. I have also taught in day care and the standards for appropriate meals in a day care setting are really high, no junk food is allowed, it's really not that hard.
post #164 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
listen, i was called judgemental because i happened to mention to a mama, out of my concern for her dd, that there was a lot of sugar in the not one but two containers of soy yogurt that her child was eating per day. it says so, plain as day, right there on the container, and i wasn't spouting off opinion, nor did i even suggest that she might want to find another food that wasn't as sugary. i stated a fact, neutrally, and was seen as being judgemental. sometimes you just can't win, no matter what. and i learned the lesson the hard way, that no matter how caring or neutral you are, someone somewhere is going to take you for a judgemental b!tch for even mentioning it. c'est la vie, unfortunately.

I wouldn't consider you judgemental for saying something, but I would think you were incredibly intrusive and I would tell you to MYOB. If it says that there's a lot of sugar, right there on the container, then why do you assume the mother can't read? Why do you assume she would make the same choices as you would?

Quote:
it's considered ADVICE for a doctor to say that to a mother, but it's miraculously judgemental for one mother to say the SAME THING to another mother?
The difference is that the parent is going to the doctor and paying him for advice. The parent is not asking you, another mother, what your opinion is. If another mom did ask your opinion, I think it would be perfectly reasonable for you to express it.
post #165 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by cee3 View Post
I wouldn't consider you judgemental for saying something, but I would think you were incredibly intrusive and I would tell you to MYOB. If it says that there's a lot of sugar, right there on the container, then why do you assume the mother can't read? Why do you assume she would make the same choices as you would?



The difference is that the parent is going to the doctor and paying him for advice. The parent is not asking you, another mother, what your opinion is. If another mom did ask your opinion, I think it would be perfectly reasonable for you to express it.
oh, ok. just to get things straight, by your accounts then:

A doctor, being paid for his/her services saying that artificial colors in foods are harmful=helpful advice.

A fellow mother, unpaid and unsolicited, saying that artificial colors in foods are harmful = judgemental.

then i think i'm going to go to medical school. then NOBODY can call me out on being judgemental, i'll have those magical letters after my name that gives me a free pass to dispense advice all day with impunity AND BONUS...i'll get paid for it. i'll be an M.D., after all, not "just a mom" that needs to mind my own business. :

and to clarify about the conversation, it went something like...

friend: "oh, my dd is such a good eater, she eats TWO of these each day. isn't that great?"
me: "yes, it's wonderful that she likes that so much. they do have a lot of sugar in them though."

i'm open to criticism so if anyone has any ideas of how better to say it, by all means please share.

and between friends, if you know something that might be harmful to a child, to me it is wrong to keep that information from others. does it matter if someone knowingly makes certain choices vs. perpetuating a habit or out of complete ignorance? go on over to the vaccination forum or the case against circumcision and you can read story after story of mothers expressing regret over vaxing or circing, and "if only someone had told me." : even on this thread alone, posters have mentioned that they didn't know until now how the ingestion of artificial colors can have some serious effects, or that carseats expire after a certain amount of time.
post #166 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
and to clarify about the conversation, it went something like...

friend: "oh, my dd is such a good eater, she eats TWO of these each day. isn't that great?"
me: "yes, it's wonderful that she likes that so much. they do have a lot of sugar in them though."

i'm open to criticism so if anyone has any ideas of how better to say it, by all means please share.
"Really? My kid would be bouncing off the walls if s/he ate that much sugar. I'm glad it doesn't affect her behavior, since she likes it so much."

There is no criticism expressed or implied, but you still get the information across.
post #167 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
oh, ok. just to get things straight, by your accounts then:

A doctor, being paid for his/her services saying that artificial colors in foods are harmful=helpful advice.

A fellow mother, unpaid and unsolicited, saying that artificial colors in foods are harmful = judgemental. [snark deleted]
Actually, my exact words were, "I wouldn't consider you judgemental for saying something..."

If I was friends with you and I asked you what you thought about sugar in a kid's diet, sugar in a particular item I was feeding my kids, etc., your opinion would then be solicited, whether you had letters after your name or not. I think siennasmom has a great way of wording a response to your friend's comment (if any response besides, "That's great." is really even necessary). Good grief, whatever happened to a polite conversation??
post #168 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by siennasmom View Post
"Really? My kid would be bouncing off the walls if s/he ate that much sugar. I'm glad it doesn't affect her behavior, since she likes it so much."

There is no criticism expressed or implied, but you still get the information across.
yes, point taken, it's always a good idea to share your own experiences etc. (dd wasn't born yet though...so i couldn't use that line...)

i'm still not seeing where saying that something has a lot of sugar in it is a criticism, overt or covert.

so that brings us back to the op...can anyone come up with statements that the op could possibly say to this other mother that are not critical, not judgemental, and are emotionally neutral, clear and informational? is it possible to turn this thread in a positive direction and begin a discussion about how we all can learn about mature communication skills? it takes a certain amount of skill to foster discussion and disseminate information without offending or coming off as preachy.

i'll start:

regarding car seat safety: "i was just reading something recently about car seats and i was SO surprised to learn that they expire after 5 years. i was thinking about keeping dd's carseat around in the event that we have another child, but it might be expired by then. you've had 3 kids, do you have any suggestions about that for me?"









post #169 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
and to clarify about the conversation, it went something like...

friend: "oh, my dd is such a good eater, she eats TWO of these each day. isn't that great?"
me: "yes, it's wonderful that she likes that so much. they do have a lot of sugar in them though."

i'm open to criticism so if anyone has any ideas of how better to say it, by all means please share.

and between friends, if you know something that might be harmful to a child, to me it is wrong to keep that information from others.
What you said:

friend: "oh, my dd is such a good eater, she eats TWO of these each day. isn't that great?"
me: "yes, it's wonderful that she likes that so much. they do have a lot of sugar in them though."

What it reads like to me :
friend: "thank god I finally found something my child will eat without a major struggle and that is semi healthy"
me: "yeah, but since you are such a crappy parent you can't possibly realize how harmful all that sugar is. I on the other hand am a wonderful parent and would never stoop so low as to claim soy yogurt twice a day was healthy.

Yes, amazing and great harm can come to a child from eating 2 soy yogurts that have sugar in them on any given day. Wraping up snarky criticism in a blanket of "I was only trying to be helpful" doesn't make it any less of what it is. You do something benign that your friend considers equally crappy parenting ~ she most likely has the tact and the social grace to realize its her issue and not say anything.

Now let say you had this hypothetical conversation:

friend: "oh, my dd is such a good eater, she eats TWO of these each day. isn't that great?"
me: "She must really like them. You know I saw some on sale at Whole Foods that I think she would probably like also It's called "such and such brand" (insert brand of soy yogurt that has less sugar or some brand of yogurt with less sugar.) You should check it out. "

Then I would say you are being helpful.

Maggie
post #170 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by cee3 View Post
Actually, my exact words were, "I wouldn't consider you judgemental for saying something..."

If I was friends with you and I asked you what you thought about sugar in a kid's diet, sugar in a particular item I was feeding my kids, etc., your opinion would then be solicited, whether you had letters after your name or not. I think siennasmom has a great way of wording a response to your friend's comment (if any response besides, "That's great." is really even necessary). Good grief, whatever happened to a polite conversation??
so it's impolite to make a statement like that? gosh, i'm starting to think that my social skills really suck.
post #171 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
A doctor, being paid for his/her services saying that artificial colors in foods are harmful=helpful advice.

A fellow mother, unpaid and unsolicited, saying that artificial colors in foods are harmful = judgemental.

then i think i'm going to go to medical school. then NOBODY can call me out on being judgemental, i'll have those magical letters after my name that gives me a free pass to dispense advice all day with impunity AND BONUS...i'll get paid for it. i'll be an M.D., after all, not "just a mom" that needs to mind my own business. :
If you can't see the difference between paying a professional for advice on certain issues and giving out unsolicited advice in a social setting, I'm not sure what to tell you.

And *obviously*, parents CAN and DO 'call out' doctors when they give advice that the parent deems inappropriate for whatever reason. If my children's pediatrician routinely gave out whacky advice, I'd find another doctor. I suppose in the case of the meddling friend, I'd find another friend.

Quote:
and to clarify about the conversation, it went something like...

friend: "oh, my dd is such a good eater, she eats TWO of these each day. isn't that great?"
me: "yes, it's wonderful that she likes that so much. they do have a lot of sugar in them though."
Do you not hear how judgmental that sounds? You might as well tell the friend she's a moron. If you truly desire to impart information that she is unaware of, I'd think not offending her might be high on the list of priorities.

Something like 'I think my kids would like those too, but I worry about them eating too much sugar. I wonder how much sugar is in them?' Or 'Mine love ABC brand. Have you ever tried those?'


Quote:
and between friends, if you know something that might be harmful to a child, to me it is wrong to keep that information from others. does it matter if someone knowingly makes certain choices vs. perpetuating a habit or out of complete ignorance?
To me, it most certainly DOES make a difference if a parent is KNOWINGLY choosing to do something that you don't approve of vs. just not knowing about the possible risks. If a parent is aware of certain risks and chooses to take those risks anyway (assuming the choice in question is legal of course), it is none of your business. Plain and simple. You can certainly attempt to tell the other parent why you choose differently, but once you know the other parent is aware of why you do things different, it would be incredibly inappropriate to continue harping on it IMO.

If it's something you just can't get over, find another friend. I certainly have no desire to be friends with someone who is constantly telling me all the things I'm doing 'wrong' in their opinion. That would get old fast. Thankfully, I've been blessed with friendships where we are respectful of our individual choices and our right to make those choices, even when we disagree.
post #172 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by m9m9m9 View Post
Yes, amazing and great harm can come to a child from eating 2 soy yogurts that have sugar in them on any given day. Wraping up snarky criticism in a blanket of "I was only trying to be helpful" doesn't make it any less of what it is. You do something benign that your friend considers equally crappy parenting ~ she most likely has the tact and the social grace to realize its her issue and not say anything.
and you have the tact and social grace to basically say to my face that i have no tact or social grace.

thanks, you just made my day.

(ftr, i actually did tell her about the soy yogurts that i saw in another store that were less $$, as well as tell her about a website that i saw with the recipe for making your own soy yogurt at home, so that she could control the type and amount of sweetener in it as well as it being a boatload cheaper.)

aaah, this is where having discussions like this on the internet can be challenging. without the backstory as well as knowing that kind of relationship there was to begin with, it's impossible to see things as they actually are. this friend is very interested in nutrition and we've had many discussions about it, and she very often asked me for advice, so there was already a precedent set of talking about these things because this was a big concern of hers and a big interest of mine.

so it makes me a crappy friend to tell the truth about something.
but what kind of friend would i be if i didn't call attention to something that i knew was of concern to her?

rock and a hard place, indeed.

anyways...

this is getting OT, as i mentioned a few posts up can we brainstorm on ways that the op could possibly address this with TACT and SOCIAL GRACE?
post #173 of 235
I'm gonna have to go. Someone would throw rocks at me for telling them about all the dangers of eating soy, and then I'd be the rude one.:
post #174 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
so it's impolite to make a statement like that? gosh, i'm starting to think that my social skills really suck.
In my opinion, yes, it was impolite. It is difficult, when you have done a lot of research about something and have a very definite opinion about it, to remember that other people just don't care what your opinion is. Trust me, I understand the impulse to be "evangelical", but most people really, really are not interested in whatever it is you're an expert in, whether that's AP, NFL, religion, the stock market, or bike riding. I actually think AP/NFL are very akin to religion in a lot of ways. Just like my aunt thinks that she is doing me a favor by writing in my Christmas card that I need to find Jesus in order to avoid eternal damnation, many of us offer up "advice" about our parenting techniques or lifestyle under the guise of just being helpful or doing someone a favor. Sometimes, I'm sure, my aunt comes across someone who welcomes her intrusion (because that is what it is), but for the most part, people are offended and don't react the way she thinks they should.
post #175 of 235
And now I'm wondering, with your addendum about how the conversation continued...did she actually call you judgemental (or a b----h)? Because it sounds like she responded pretty tactfully, if you continued to talk about other ways to achieve two soy yogurts per day.
post #176 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
yes, point taken, it's always a good idea to share your own experiences etc. [SIZE=1](dd wasn't born yet though...so i couldn't use that line...)
See, if it had been me and a friend without children decided to basically criticize what I was feeding my children to my face like that I probably would have been pretty ticked. You didn't even have a child yet but were telling her what to feed her child. I was a picky child, my daughter was picky for a time, if she was getting her daughter to eat soy yogurt I probably would have asked her how she got her to eat the yogurt instead of pointing out the sugar content.

As far as the OP - I do believe that you are being a bit critical of this mom's choices. No one can understand the challenges of mothering another mom's children unless you have walked a day in their shoes. My kids love veggies but they also love fruit snacks and cupcakes. Just because you see them in a cupcake moment does not mean that they never eat healthy foods. Sending applesauce with swirly colors is a lot different than sending a tub of frosting and a spoon.
post #177 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
friend: "oh, my dd is such a good eater, she eats TWO of these each day. isn't that great?"
me: "yes, it's wonderful that she likes that so much. they do have a lot of sugar in them though."

i'm open to criticism so if anyone has any ideas of how better to say it, by all means please share.

.
how i address friends is different than how I would address a stranger, slight acquaintance.

close friend: "Oh my gosh!! Do you have any idea what a crap load of sugar those things have in them!? I never thought to look at the label since I bought them at the co-op but they are nothing but sugar. Natural sugar is still sugar" I might go on to mention that most soy products are over processed crap.

as for a car seat I usually just start adjusting straps or looking for expiration dates. They are used to me by now. they will actually ask me at this point.

strangers, mommies at play dates etc are totally different. lets say we were at moms group and some mom made that comment about what a healthy eater her dd is. I would probably say something like: "have you read the label on those? Until my SIL pointed out how much sugar is in them I had no idea. And she didn't think they would be so loaded with sugar until her son went crazy after eating one. We were both blown away!! I mean . .ugh.. .we got it at the health food store. we thought it would be healthy!" I try to approach it as an oversight that could happen to anyone (because it can). especially with things labeled natural or organic or sold in health food stores (co-ops and Whole Foods etc . . . ).

lets say I was having the same conversation but instead of healthy looking soy yogurts it was fruit snacks or neon applesauce I would say something like: " all that sugar and food coloring doesn't effect his behavior? those look so fun and I bet Suzie would really like them, Unfortunately sugar and artificial dyes really make her all hyper and naughty. you are fortunate that you haven't noticed anything like that from your kids."

I would not say anything to a stranger/acquaintance unless they brought it up though. There really is no good way to do it.

well for the applesauce . . if we were all having lunch together I might say something like "She really likes that apple sauce. Hot pink! How fun! Its great that she is eating so much fruit. I wonder if they make something fun like that without so much sugar/food coloring. . . my dd would really like something like that but can't have that much sugar/dye without going crazy. Do you know if they make other flavors? low sugar? without the dye? " I would only pick one though. but only if we were all eating together and it could be brought up casually.


ETA: I just saw that you didn't have kids yet. you could always have gone with " That stuff is really yummy. I love it. but be careful. I had been snarfing it down in large quantities before I realized how much sugar it had in it. I could not believe it!"
post #178 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
can we brainstorm on ways that the op could possibly address this with TACT and SOCIAL GRACE?
I don't know if there is any sure way to walk up to a woman you only have a bare acquaintance with and say something that at best can be taken as "You are doing something wrong with your kid".

You actually prove my point by having a back story that makes a difference. Close friends have a lot more leeway to say things. Close friends have an assumption of caring for each other. Close friends have a history of sharing personal information and giving/taking advice. And even then, more than one friendship has been estranged due to comments about someone's kids or spouse.

But saying that to some mama who you nod at a couple days out of the week while picking up at daycare? Even saying that to someone who you kind of know could really blow up in your face.

So the social grace and tact comes in by knowing when your comments are too intimate for the relationship you have. And I call comments about how someone is raising their kids pretty darn intimate to be giving unsolicited opinions on!!!
post #179 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
as for a car seat I usually just start adjusting straps or looking for expiration dates. They are used to me by now. they will actually ask me at this point.
No offense, but that would really irritate me! If a frien, even a good one, went in my car and started messing with my kids carseats I would probably get pretty ticked.
post #180 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by cee3 View Post
In my opinion, yes, it was impolite. It is difficult, when you have done a lot of research about something and have a very definite opinion about it, to remember that other people just don't care what your opinion is. Trust me, I understand the impulse to be "evangelical", but most people really, really are not interested in whatever it is you're an expert in, whether that's AP, NFL, religion, the stock market, or bike riding. I actually think AP/NFL are very akin to religion in a lot of ways. Just like my aunt thinks that she is doing me a favor by writing in my Christmas card that I need to find Jesus in order to avoid eternal damnation, many of us offer up "advice" about our parenting techniques in lifestyle under the guise of just being helpful or doing someone a favor. Sometimes, I'm sure, my aunt comes across someone who welcomes her intrusion (because that's is what it is), but for the most part, people are offended and don't react the way she thinks they should.
first of all, i know exactly what you're saying, we have very pushy evangelical people in our family and so i know what it feels like to be proseletyzed to, and it doesn't feel good.

but let's say i'm talking to my friend, and she's a stock broker, and i bring up some investments that i'm about to make, i'm going to get some investorly advice and i expect it...and i take what works for me and i leave the rest. i would feel really weird if she just made some non-commital statement for fear of being 'pushy'. same thing with my friend who is a babywearing expert...she can tell me that she doesn't like the ergo and raves about her beco (or vice versa...) and why and goes on and on about how awesome it is...and i happen to have an ergo and i love it...does it make her judgemental, and does it make me WRONG, because she knows so much more than i do about carriers? i asked my super-chef friend the other day about her recipe for pie crust, and she extolled the virtues of this butter and that flour...does that make her judgemental for saying how gross shortening is, even though i happen to like pastries made with vegetable shortening (despite how bad it is for you)? i mean, i didn't ask her specifically about shortening, and her advice was unsolicited, and i didn't take it personally and because of her i'm going to try to find a recipe that uses butter instead of shortening for the next quiche that i make.

and people ask me questions about child development all the time, because they know that i specialize in that because of my career, my friends and acquaintances ask me questions about it often and i am so happy to share my knowledge and experiences with them, and i do so both solicited and unsolicited. according to some posters here though...it's just as possible that i am being 'preachy' during these interactions? should i just not say anything anymore for fear of offending someone? i am so careful to be as neutral as possible (ie: the difference between "bumbo seats are BAD, they'll screw up your kids back and you're a BAD MOTHER for even thinking about buying one" vs. saying "from my professional analysis it appears that the bumbo seat places a child's spine in a position that is not optimal for spinal development.") if hypothetically a group of moms is extolling the virtues of the bumbo in a social setting, is it better for me to just keep my trap shut because i'll come across as being argumentative, preachy and judgemental for providing information to the contrary presented in a non-confrontational and neutral manner?
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