Negative comments - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-30-2010, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Good morning, I would like to know how you handle negative comments from other people. My daughter will be 7 in April and while she doesnt nurse all the time, she does at night and in the morning and whens he is feeling stressed or as she puts it "yucky". I have had long talks with my family regarding them making comments in front of my daughter and my daughter is starting to question herself about it. My family feels she is WAY too old according to them and I am doing more harm then good to still allow her to nurse. When we visted this past holiday I didnt nurse her to avoid any turmoil or conflict and I hated every minute of it. Its like I need the approval from my family! How does everyone else handle negative comments? Do you ignore it or do you let them know exactly how you feel? I just want a good relationship with my family and I dont want this to tear us apart. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Have a wonderful day!

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#2 of 6 Old 01-30-2010, 03:48 PM
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My family doesnt know that my almost 5.5 year old nurses. I really don't think it is any of their damn business!
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#3 of 6 Old 01-30-2010, 04:35 PM
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I agree with Thompson'sMommy that it's nobody else's business.

If you are in someone else's house and she wants to nurse, just slip off somewhere private together. Of course, I don't think you should "have" to be really private about it if you don't want to be.

But I just know, having had older nurslings myself, that sometimes it comes down to protecting my child from our weird society. Some people have the societal corn cob shoved so hard up their butts, that it's too tightly wedged to remove it unless it's something they really WANT to remove.

And most people just simply don't feel any need to question the biases that they were raised with. They're happy leaving the corncob right where it is, and they're so used to it, they can't even tell they're emotionally-constipated.

I think every mother-child pair will probably work this issue out differently. I know I liked helping to normalize child-led weaning, by being pretty open about nursing my daughters up until around age 3.

But then I got concerned about the ways that some people would make negative remarks in front of my children. And I've also heard some horror stories about kids getting taken from their mothers because Child Protective Services didn't feel it was normal for 4 or 5-year-olds to still be nursing.

So somewhere around age 3 with each one, we started slipping off to a private spot if they asked to nurse in a place where I didn't feel comfortable just whipping it out, because of the people we were with (not that I was scared of offending them -- more that I was concerned about how their negativity might harm my child).

It was fairly easy by this point, since by this age their main interest was in nursing to sleep or upon waking -- and occasionally during the day if it was a relaxed day at home. Away from home, they tended to be more interested in whatever activities we were doing and whatever people we were seeing, so it didn't even come up that much anyway.

If it did, we just slipped off for a few moments. I normally object to the idea of nursing in a bathroom -- but I did that sometimes with my girls when they were older nurslings. They usually just wanted to nurse for a few minutes, if at all, when we were out by that age anyway.

Susan -- married WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005), who started out unschooling and have now embarked on the public school adventure.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 01:26 PM
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Wow, congrats on making it to age 7!! Not many at all make it that far!

Both of my older ones have gone to 4+ (I think my DD is very close to weaning...she has not asked in over a week probably related to the birth of her baby sister), but even so, especially as they got to be 3ish and older, I would get the same type of comments. I did a lot like mammal_mama...very rarely nursing in front of others after age 2.5-3. By that pont, both of mine were down to about 2-3 times a day, mostly wakeup and going to sleep so it was not too difficult. I also have a 7 year old, and while he is no longer nursing, he does remember nursing, and sees his sisters nurse a lot so it is something he does talk about occasionally. I bet you could have a conversation with your DD about how some kids still nurse at age 4,5,6,7, but most are done, so people are not used to it, so you only nurse in private or whatever works for you. But if people are making comments in front of your DD, I would definitely pull the person aside and tell them that if they have issues with what you are doing to just discuss it with you, not in front of a very aware 7 year old. Hopefully if they are reasonable, they will respect that, but if not, you may need to limit nursing in front of them. Good luck to you, and you are doing an awesome job!

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#5 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 03:50 PM
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My son just turned 5 on Jan 10th and we are still nursing, I don't really care who knows, but I don't go out of my way to flaunt our nursing relationship. We nurse in the morning and at bedtime and occasionally during the day if he is upset or not feeling well.

I am also nursing my 3.5 year old son, a few months ago we had to go to a function at my husband's business, the boys were both suffering from colds (I felt terrible taking them) and I wasn't feeling so well myself, well both of them wanted nursies and there was no where really private to get away so I just took a deep breath and cuddled them both and they nursed. I saw a few eyebrows raise and uncomfortable shifts how people were sitting (we were in an auditorium). i'm sure there was some talk around the water cooler but I'm not going to worry about it.

ETA I have had a talk with my oldest about keeping it private between him and I and not telling others. I feel badly about that but I think it's for the best.

Katherine, SAHM to 2 little princes
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#6 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 06:39 PM
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Congrats!!! That is so wonderful that you have made it to 7!! My 7 year old has nursed once or twice since turning 7!! As he got older and continued to nurse, he weaned mostly at age 6, we kept it private. I felt badly that we had to, but i don't handle conflict all that well, and while I knew what we were doing was right for us, I didn't feel like getting into it with the family. My mother knew and didn't say anything, but if my inlaws knew for sure - they would've......Do what you feel is best for you - if you think they would respect your decisions that tell them. If not, do what keeps you and your child comfortable - again - i think it is SO GREAT that you have made it to 7!!!
My DS (the 7 year old) just heard me say what I was responding to - and now he is all excited to nurse tonight!!

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