This is similar to another post about conflicting parenting styles among friends, but I have another point to bring up and thought I'd post it as a new thread. I often find that my parenting style is very different from my friends. I agree with what Gena said in the other thread, that I try not to judge and simply see it as a difference in styles, but it can be hard, especially when I feel a friend is doing damage to her child. I would have a hard time remaining friendly with someone like that. More often than not, I feel that friends are doing a disservice to their children rather than damage, for example, if they're giving in to whining or tantrums, or letting them watch hours of tv, etc. The most difficult, and often infuriating, part of the whole thing is that I often find myself put in the position of defending or justifying my choices when others are not made to do the same. For example, I was often asked why I chose to breastfeed (especially as my daughter was over a year old), but how often are other mothers asked why they chose to bottlefeed? I actually once responded to such a question like that, and the mother looked at me completely puzzled, as though breastfeeding is an unusual choice and bottlefeeding is just a given. I've found myself justifying such things as my decision not to yell, not to let my child watch commercial television, not to buy electronic toys (you know, the kind that require little from the child other than pressing a button), even not to feed my child junk food on a regular basis. I mean, not to sound as though I have a superiority complex, but aren't those all healthy choices??? I'd love to see people explaining why they DO give their kids M&Ms and Oreos on a daily basis, or why they let their kids watch four hours of television a day. It really drives me crazy. I guess it's a sad statement about mainstream parenting, because it seems to me that many moms I meet just sort of do what "everyone else" is doing without ever considering why or whether it is good for their children. Does anyone else notice this sort of thing?
post #1 of 54
11/28/01 at 12:37pm