Basically, I'm wondering where you draw the line between taking a firm stance on something you feel strongly about and bending in order to better fit in to our society. For example, I'm willing to bet most MDC members aren't willing to just formula feed because it is common in our culture. Also, at what point do you feel you are imposing too much on your children?
Here's my personal thoughts. We're vegetarian, but we let H taste meat when out or with others. We don't buy artificially colored foods or HFCS, but I will let her eat treats/birthday cake when out. On one hand, I feel this might send a mixed message and at 5 she doesn't understand the real reasons for our choices, but she also is her own person and as long as I educate her and have limits at home, she'll stay informed and healthy. But when my dad brought over a bunch of freeze pops for her, I did make her "trade" them for the 100% juice variety.
I can see this same issue repeated in various other aspects of life right down to shoes (I don't like H to wear flip-flops which she hates), toys, school, religion, television, sleeping... you name it.
For us good manners are more important than not eating food coloring. So if someone brought us a gift of Popsicles, I would let my dc eat one while the guest was in our home, then throw the other away and tell my dc why I let them have one and why its not healthy to eat the rest. We are atheist, but if we are at a friends/relatives home that prays before a meal we bow our heads and stay silent while they pray. There are situations where I will not compromise, such as letting my dc into a home w/ smokers, riding in a car w/o car seat etc.
I think it's a matter of deciding what matters and what doesn't. What effect will eating meat or junk food have on your daughter? What effect will forbidding her from doing so have on her? You have to make the decisions that are best for her. If she had an allergy, you'd make sure she avoided the food. These are gray areas, and you have to decide your own boundaries.
I allow some things outside of the home that I wouldn't allow in the home. I don't want them to be forbidden and therefore exciting. I just try to make them as unavailable as possible. As far as religion goes, I'm raising my child in my faith. I believe that it happens to be the truth, and I want to share the truth with my child. If I was less certain that my religion was true, I would be less inclined to state my beliefs as true. We don't own a TV, but I let her watch TV other places. Watching too much TV every once in a while won't hurt her IMO.
I guess I follow a moral code. I wouldn't allow her to do anything that I believe to be morally wrong, but aside from that, I try not to make things "not allowed." She can make her own decisions when she is out of the home, and I'll work to instill my values in her while we are home.
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