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Parents who do things differently (no "sigh") - Page 10

post #181 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
but let's say i'm talking to my friend
...
and people ask me questions
There is your answer ... friends are different from other people and when someone asks they want your opinion.

Completely different from walking up to someone who is not your friend and commenting on their parenting without them asking.
post #182 of 235
IME, if someone is pitying another person, they're incapable of being tactful or graceful. They might think they're being "nice" or "helpful", but once the power differential is elevated that much it pretty much reeks to high heaven in just about everything you do, to the person that you've placed on the lower rung. (and no, I don't think that people always consciously do that.)

At that point, it's up to the other person to tactfully ignore it. (Which happens a lot, it's one of the few things that give me faith in humanity. ;>)

When someone makes statements about wanting to "save" the other person, or "oh their standards must be so low", ect...then it's pretty obvious where they're placing the respective parties.

I think if you actually want to *potentially instigate a change in the other person* you have to be on equal footing. If you want to inform them to ease your own discomfort, then that's not necessary, but...probably isn't going to be all that helpful to the other person. But that really wouldn't be the point, would it?

Which is why I'd be interested to know if anyone would have offered to set up a car seat clinic or get together a parents' letter asking for a change in policy either of food brought in or sharing. To me THAT shows a willingess to instigate change. Sighing at the other mom and "worrying" about those poor kids is an easy way to let off steam and ease one's own discomfort, but it doesn't really show me that the person is all that interested in actually solving any problem real or imagined other than their own discomfort.

Everyone needs to vent sometime. And one has to decide for themselves what's worth getting off one's duff to try to do something about, and what's better just to leave alone and fret about. Sometimes you need to do a bit of both.

I would just like people to be honest about which it is. It's not like it's not natural to snark sometimes. I believe every person has a bit of the snarkarino in them. No condemnation here.

Say whatever you want. But keep in mind that if you do do that then people might think you're a pushy UA violation. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not, BTDT. And probably you shouldn't ask a question you don't want an answer to, on a message board. On the internet, no questions are rhetorical.

And I get annoyed with and tell doctors to pipe down too, if they're offering unsolicited parenting advice...probably more so than I do obnoxious strangers or meddling relatives--because I *am* paying out of pocket for the doctor, so I suppose I feel a little more entitled to cutting things off at the pass if they'd waste my time and theirs and there's other more important things that need to be discussed.
post #183 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by offwing View Post
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!!!
yes, i totally agree. we don't know much about how often the op has talked to this other mother and about what, etc, so that definitely makes it challenging to figure out the social convention of how open and honest she could be with the other person.

so as previous posters have suggested, is the most socially graceful and tactful way to tackle this situation as it's been presented to us so far, be to defer to others? bring up the concern over artificial ingredients and food sharing and appropriate supervision over mealtimes with the school staff, and have them devise and enforce rules. suggest to the school administration that they have a car seat clinic as a service to the families, so that the techs could tell her that her car seat is expired.
post #184 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
so as previous posters have suggested, is the most socially graceful and tactful way to tackle this situation as it's been presented to us so far, be to defer to others?
I think so, yeah. Because then it is not a direct confrontation of that specific person, the information is shared with many people which avoids the implication that anyone person is doing something "wrong". And that is what people typically get offended by, someone they don't know feeling free to comment and pass judgment on their parenting.
post #185 of 235
Quote:
No offense, but that would really irritate me! If a friend, even a good one, went in my car and started messing with my kids carseats I would probably get pretty ticked.
ehhh : thats just how we are all. we are always fussing over each others kids and kids stuff. our carseats are often in each others cars and our kids are often in each others carseats. The kids wear each others underwear and sleep in each others beds. These are not casual aquaintences. these are very close friends. And I don't go diging around in their car unless I am driving it or am putting my carseat in it. These are usually carseats within reach. But hands get dirty and need to be washed, shoes get put on the wrong feet and need to get switched, babies need sittin', they get sat, kids get hungry and need to be fed, noses get buggery and need to be deboogered, carseat straps get loose and need to be tightened. Thats life. My friends and I take care of each other and each others kids. These are people i love. Each of us has our own mothering gifts, we share as needed and all of us are pretty happy with any help we get. We know we can't know everything about everything. I accept their help, instruction, chastisement when needed. We share information, tips, resposibility and love.
post #186 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post

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 judgmental for providing information to the contrary presented in a non-confrontational and neutral manner?
I don't think either approach is a good one. both come from a place of having more information and the right information. acknowledge that their babies do seem to love them. mention that you have seen some research that suggests it might not be good for their backs. and then say what you would do.
"ya know it looks like babies really love them. I have seen some research that says it might not be good for their spines. if it were me I would only use it in moderation if I were going to use one" or "they look like a lot of fun for babies. especially those that love sitting up. I read something about them being bad for their backs. has anyone else heard anything like that? I think I might wait until I hear more"
post #187 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post
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.
We can never be friends :


post #188 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
i'm still not seeing where saying that something has a lot of sugar in it is a criticism, overt or covert.
It's not the words, it's your motivation for saying them. Only you know if you meant it as a criticism. What other people perceive it as is a different story. I would probably feel like you were being critical of me if you said it just the way you described. I would not feel that way if it went more like this...

"Haley just loves these yogurt cups and eats two a day!"
"Oh, Bobby turns into a monster with that much sugar."

Then everyone is happy. I'm glad my kid is not a monster and maybe you have made a subliminal point, if a self deprecating one.
post #189 of 235
CPSafety - The Dangers of Shield Boosters

Webmd - Parents, Don't Use Shield Type Booster Seats

Quote:
March 1, 2004 -- There's more evidence against shield-style child booster seats. Children are at nearly eight times higher risk of serious injury when riding in these seats, a new study shows.

Shield-style booster seats are equipped with a horizontal, padded, pop-down restraint bar in line with the child's mid-torso that is supposed to replace the protection of a safety belt. In some studies and lawsuits, they have been linked to serious injuries in crashes. Many car seat makers have stopped selling them.

The study is a warning flag for parents: Invest in a new model of car seat that meets recent federal guidelines. Don't use an older model that's been handed down or that you've found in a thrift shop. Don't even use a new model of shield booster seat; one manufacturer still produces them, but they are not considered by many experts to be safe. It is marketing them for children between 30 and 40 pounds.

"Shield booster seats no longer have any role in child passenger safety," writes researcher Elizabeth A. Edgerton, MD, MPH, an emergency medicine and trauma specialist at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Also, crash investigations have reported that babies riding in shield booster seats had greater trauma to the baby's upper body, abdomen, and head.
You can't change her food buying habits. I wouldn't worry about it. I see nothing wrong with venting about it. That's human. Yes, you are judgmental. (I say that with kindness, not malice.) So is everyone. Everyone who called you judgemental for being judgemental is also judgemental. See? We are all human. (But I don't worry about other people's kids or spend too much of my mental energy feeling sorry for them. Does that make me insensitive or uncaring? Hmmmm, maybe. I'm not trying to be snarky. Now I'm really wondering - what's worse? Caring "too much" or not at all - to the point of quieting that voice inside you because you are so afraid of appearing judgemental.)

But Tigerchild does have a good point about being on "equal footing" as far as wanting to help someone out. Maybe the seat was a hand-me down or she can't afford a new one (or most likely) is truly ignorant about car safety (most people are).

I think setting up a car seat seat at the preschool is a GREAT idea. But what if the mom in question, who needs it, doesn't take advantage of the great opportunity (because she has a million errands to run and it doesn't fit her schedule on that day)?

Everyone takes things differently. One person would be highly offended by someone pointing something out to them. I wouldn't. I would appreciate the heads up.

Chicago Tribune - Hidden Hazards, Kids at Risk: When Car Seat Safety-Commerce Collide That newspaper article was posted this month. Not sure how long it will be up. Alarming and eye opening.

My firstborn son had the Evenflo On My Way infant carseat and my daughter (born in 2004) used the same one for a little while (before a friend gave me her Graco.) One video showed how at higher speeds (slightly higher than testing speeds), the seat just fell (broke) apart. HOLY CRAP! I * wish * someone like the OP would speak up and would have said something to me. I wouldn't necessarily get defensive & jump to conclusions about how she feels superior to me. But... obviously from the responses on this thread, not everyone feels the same way.
post #190 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by avent View Post
I'm just going to say I'm talking about families with enough money, time to cook, whose kids don't have sensory/developmental issues. Do you really not know anyone like this who breastfed but then gave their kids Coke, Lunchables, Wonderbread, Kool-Aid, Snickers, blue yougurt, etc,
Blue yogurt is delicious, but I especially love anything that turns my mouth flourescent colors. Mmmm.

Seriously, this thread is fascinating. I understand wanting to have high standards for feeding my own children. Some days I succeed, some days I don't. But if I had the energy to care that much about what someone else is feeding their apparently well adjusted kids, well I'd use that energy for something else, like nookie with DH. :
post #191 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upside View Post
Blue yogurt is delicious, but I especially love anything that turns my mouth flourescent colors. Mmmm.

Seriously, this thread is fascinating. I understand wanting to have high standards for feeding my own children. Some days I succeed, some days I don't. But if I had the energy to care that much about what someone else is feeding their apparently well adjusted kids, well I'd used that energy for something else, like nookie with DH. :
Very true. Most of us are doing the best we can. Period. That said... on the subject of food - The other day (and I haven't thought about it since I saw it) I saw a nice, involved, caring, intelligent father hand his 2-3 year old toddler a bottle of blue gatorade. My children have eaten crap food on occasion, but junk drinks are a in my book. DS begs for it. I say no. DH gives in. My compromise is no Caffeinated drinks at dinner time. DH let's him have Root beer on occasion. Fine.

I just learned from the Pediatric Dentist that Gatorade is one of the WORSE things to give a child. The citric acid wears down the Enamel. She said adults are walking around with caps over their teeth because of all the gatorade they drink. The next offenders are Sprite and Mountain Dew (same deal). On the bottom of the list and not-so-bad is Root beer. Whew.

Did I say something to the dad? Nah. I would have looked like a nosey, critical jerk. Not worth it. If the parents do offer that junk, say once a month, it won't kill the children. I didn't walk away thinking "less of" of that family or anything. Just typical American-don't-give-a-2nd-thought-to-what-you-put-in-your-body. (Which at times, is a mindset I fall into also, since I'm only human.) Typical... human behavior. Nothing "below me" or anything. (Please, if you have to give your children gatorade, like my neighbor does, because her son has insulin issues (and needs it) I am NOT passing judgement on you.)

But car safety, depending on the circumstances, I would speak up.
post #192 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upside View Post
It's not the words, it's your motivation for saying them. Only you know if you meant it as a criticism. What other people perceive it as is a different story. I would probably feel like you were being critical of me if you said it just the way you described. I would not feel that way if it went more like this...

"Haley just loves these yogurt cups and eats two a day!"
"Oh, Bobby turns into a monster with that much sugar."

Then everyone is happy. I'm glad my kid is not a monster and maybe you have made a subliminal point, if a self deprecating one.
let me get this straight.

in order to not come across as criticism/judgement, it is necessary to bring yourself to another person's level by being self-deprecating, and a little white lie in the face of a social interaction (ie...pretending to have given my child some sugar/artifical color etc laden food with a negative result) is all good.

what is it with this sugar coating and false humility. how is it truly humble and kind to yourself and others to put oneself down in order to not possibly hurt someone else's feelings. stating a fact without posturing is rude? i'm sorry, but this kind of insincerity and reverse judgement is something that i don't want my daughter to internalize as an acceptable social convention. i think it's entirely possible to be kind, humble and helpful without having to resort to the utter insincerity of telling lies about myself or being self-deprecating. isn't THAT the definition of true social grace and tact?

and it seems from the advice given here that what it means to be a tactful, socially graceful person is to be non-confrontational. what i'm hearing is that the op can think and vent about these things, but if she actually does anything about it on a personal level by approaching the other mother..she's JUDGEMENTAL. but if she goes to higher ups and organizes policy change regarding food at the school, and compels the powers that be to have a car seat safety check...then she's being a good little citizen and it attenuates her judgement because she's doing something for the greater benefit of her community.
when was the last time any of YOU did something like this? :
post #193 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post

in order to not come across as criticism/judgement, it is necessary to bring yourself to another person's level by being self-deprecating, and a little white lie in the face of a social interaction (ie...pretending to have given my child some sugar/artifical color etc laden food with a negative result) is all good.

<snip>

and it seems from the advice given here that what it means to be a tactful, socially graceful person is to be non-confrontational. what i'm hearing is that the op can think and vent about these things, but if she actually does anything about it on a personal level by approaching the other mother..she's JUDGEMENTAL. but if she goes to higher ups and organizes policy change regarding food at the school, and compels the powers that be to have a car seat safety check...then she's being a good little citizen and it attenuates her judgement because she's doing something for the greater benefit of her community.
when was the last time any of YOU did something like this? :
As to the first paragraph, clearly you've not really been absorbing what people are saying. However, since you seem determined to be very all or nothing about it, it's not really useful to argue about it.

As to the latter, yeah. I have. I've joined the board of the toddler program I was in, suggested guest speakers. I've had talks with teachers about things that concerned me, a lot of time that would clear things up but sometimes I've had to go ask for clarification of policy from administrators (and because they're competant folks, the problem's been taken care of). Whenever I've seen something that I feel was harmful to children in general in any particular organization I'm with, then I've taken the bull by the horns and not only suggested change but *offered my time and resources* to help make that happen.

There's been other things that pissed me off that I didn't feel that I wanted to spend that level of energy on, so I let them go.

If you don't care enough to actually put yourself out to change something, then you're just moaning. Which is fine, we all do it. But don't sit there with false pride and hand wring about how you just want to Save the Children either, and Oh I Just Want To Educate Everyone.

If you're not willing to put out, then frankly the only reason why you want to say something to someone else as an individual is to complain, destress, or make yourself feel good. I'm cool with people who complain and don't falsely put it up to higher motives, because again, show me someone who says they've NEVER done that and you're showing me a liar. But if you're NOT willing to at least TRY to organize something? Please. You don't care as much as you say you do then, so quit worrying about it and save both yourself and your target the stress. Go vent on a message board or something. ;>
post #194 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
let me get this straight.

in order to not come across as criticism/judgement, it is necessary to bring yourself to another person's level by being self-deprecating, and a little white lie in the face of a social interaction (ie...pretending to have given my child some sugar/artifical color etc laden food with a negative result) is all good.
She didn't tell a lie. She just said that with that much sugar, her kid would become a monster. She didn't say "The last time WE ate XYZ yogurt brand, it had a deterimental effect on my kid", she just said that the amount of sugar in there was deterimental to her child.

Quote:
what is it with this sugar coating and false humility. how is it truly humble and kind to yourself and others to put oneself down in order to not possibly hurt someone else's feelings. stating a fact without posturing is rude? i'm sorry, but this kind of insincerity and reverse judgement is something that i don't want my daughter to internalize as an acceptable social convention. i think it's entirely possible to be kind, humble and helpful without having to resort to the utter insincerity of telling lies about myself or being self-deprecating. isn't THAT the definition of true social grace and tact?
I guess you've hit the nail on the head. What most of us are preaching is not FALSE humility. It's actual humility. If you don't have it, I guess there's no point in trying to pretend to a humble individual who may not have all of the answers, when you obviously don't see yourself that way.

Quote:
and it seems from the advice given here that what it means to be a tactful, socially graceful person is to be non-confrontational. what i'm hearing is that the op can think and vent about these things, but if she actually does anything about it on a personal level by approaching the other mother..she's JUDGEMENTAL.
No, they are both judgmental. One act does not inflict her judgmentalism on another person (thinking it) so at least the person is blissfully unaware of the scrutiny and judgmentalism her fellow mothers are giving her (although she probably suspects; after all, there's nothing us mamas love more than to bring down other mamas is there?).


Quote:
when was the last time any of YOU did something like this? :
I focus on my own parenting and how it can improve, so I don't meddle in other people's affairs. If people meddle in my affairs, I generally come to the conclusion that they either don't have enough to do, or they are really insecure in their own parenting, if they simply cannot help telling other parents how to be parents.
post #195 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 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.
I couldn't agree more with this.

I do think that if people want to evangelize - and y'know, for car seat safety that is not a bad thing - there are ways to approach it that are not so intrusive. I love the idea of a car seat safety hour after the preschool one day. And for sugar, maybe there is a similar way to approach that - have a nutrition seminar for everyone or whatever.

For sharing well - for me I think sharing is a basic human good, even if it's sugary stuff. If I had a highly sensitive/allergic child to something though, his/her safety would definitely trump it.
post #196 of 235
Take the Darwinian approach. "Survival of the fittest" Step back and worry about your own children. The negative energy you are exspending on the matter could be used elsewhere. The carseat issue bothers me, Local fire departments will give you a free one if tehy find that yours is unsafe. Check with your local fire or police department.
post #197 of 235
Ah, Chavelamom, you've seen the light It's not about being right or wrong, we all have our little things that we're better at than other moms, and vise versa. For the record, I would be completely annoyed if someone brought snacks that were innappropriate for my child. I cannot stand community snacks and would rather just pack a snack for MY children every day and not have to worry about what other mothers are bringing for theirs. When I DO bring snacks, I try to consider allergens, dyes and sugars. The thing that freaks me out that doesn't seem to freak out friends of mine are FAKE sugars. I'd give my child a peice of cake before giving them a popsicle with splenda.

Interesting thread.
LIsa
post #198 of 235
Sigh. Can you just tell your friend that you don't approve of your own children eating sugar and artificial sweeteners and so her kids please stop offering them?

Also, frankly, if I saw that a friend had a dated car seat, I would just say "You realize that your car seat is dated, right?" and be done with it. Call me blunt but maybe she just doesn't know. And if she didn't do anything about it well, she is the mom.
post #199 of 235
The friend who's taught me the most about nutrition has never said anything about what I feed my kids. I've noticed this family is "different," limits sugar, and so forth -- and I've asked questions. I don't think my friend's ever brought up anything on her own initiative, but I've learned a tremendous amount from her.

In our case, I find it's best to have lots of healthy foods available, but not to limit "junk" the way my friend does. When her kids come over, they're so obsessed with our junk food it almost seems like they're on the verge of really binging whenever they finally have more freedom.

I like it that my daughters are pretty self-limiting; I don't think they'd be this way if I made them jump through a million hurdles before they could have a piece of candy. At my friend's house, it's all based on so many continuous hours of good behavior, no peeing the bed, and so on. THEN and only then can you have your half a push-pop or whatever.

So now I'm "judging" my friend. We all do it, I just try to be careful in what I say to others. I've gotten lots of really good info from my friend -- but then she does some things I don't agree with. Mutual respect is so important.

My friend says she's also been influenced by me to quit using spanking as a "first resort." She hasn't quit spanking or punishing (just as I haven't become as "sugar free" as she has), but we influence each other, I think all the more because it's through example and not so much through preaching.
post #200 of 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidspiration View Post
let me get this straight.

in order to not come across as criticism/judgement, it is necessary to bring yourself to another person's level by being self-deprecating, and a little white lie in the face of a social interaction (ie...pretending to have given my child some sugar/artifical color etc laden food with a negative result) is all good.

what is it with this sugar coating and false humility. how is it truly humble and kind to yourself and others to put oneself down in order to not possibly hurt someone else's feelings. stating a fact without posturing is rude? i'm sorry, but this kind of insincerity and reverse judgement is something that i don't want my daughter to internalize as an acceptable social convention. i think it's entirely possible to be kind, humble and helpful without having to resort to the utter insincerity of telling lies about myself or being self-deprecating. isn't THAT the definition of true social grace and tact?
Ouch, kidspiration, just say it's not your style. You prefer to be direct. Oops, I'm condoning false humility again.
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