people undermining and making sarcastic omments about waldorf lifestyle choices - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Im not sure if I am blowing tis out of proportion. It's something I will address at some point, when i calm down and get perspective.

Went out to dinner last night with a group of people. I had dd with me. One of them happens to be a very close friend of mine who is single and not a parent.

She made several comments undermining my parenting decisions and one of them was to DD. Who is 2.5 and understands and repeats everything. I gues when dd was a bit younger this would happen as well, but I didnt address it or let it bother me because i rationalized it by assuming it will stop when she is older.

Anyway she sadi to dd someday I will take you to "name of place" where they play "name of disney movie" (im omitting the info i dont remember accurately ) 24/7 and they have all colors of m &m's and we will eat lots of M&m's. DD has no idea what that place is, has never heard of that movie, doesnt think movies are a good thing or fun and definitely doesnt ear M&M's. Friend is very aware of all this.

She does say at times that it is her duty as an "aunt" to ruin dd by letting her do things that her parents woudlnt and she gets to be the fun aunt.

Then after dinner the rest of the group went to a candy store and dd and I went home. Friend says you probably dont want to go to the candy store because just taking her in there would bother you since she would be breathing the candy air. I found that comment really condescending and disrespectful; I take my parenting choices pretty seriously whether its no tv, no candy, or no alcohol at 2 years old. I think its so inappropriate for friend to put me down for my choices, put my choices down, or undermine me to dd. Because now dd may say why did friend say she would take me to this movie? when can i go? well we dont do movies in our family yet, maybe when you are older etc. Well why did she say that?

I know this is something i will have to deal with as she gets older. Maybe I am being sensitive I dont know.

Anyway would you just let that go? Would you have a discussion about it?

What would you say?

I am thinking of addressing the fact that I expect respect for the choices i have made as a parent. I believe certain things are harmful to my child and I would not leave my child in friends care knowing she does nto take those things seriously or intends to expose dd to these things and if she continues to attempt to undermine my decisions I will have to be more careful about her relationship with dd?

Are these things really that big of a deal that I should limit their relationship? the relationship is important to me, I mean that dd have a relationship with this person, its definitely more important thatn candy or a movie, yet the undermining is a big deal to me.

Forgot to mention that dd has never been left with anyone but dha nd I and friend knows she will not be taking dd anywhere for a very very long time, so the comment wasnt exactly realistic or like tomorrow she was probably talking about when dd is 12 or something, and honestly by the time dd is 12 a lot will change...
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#2 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 03:06 PM
 
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I'd let it go. This person is your good friend and loves your DD. That's a precious relationship that doesn't come along every day.

It sounds like she was doing some well-intentioned/good-natured teasing and didn't realize that she crossed the line and it bothered you. If your DD won't be alone with her in the near future, I wouldn't worry about it.

I know it's hard, but try not to be defensive about your parenting choices. No one can parent your child better than you can, so who cares what she says about "breathing candy air." I remind my childless friends every so often that I was a super all-star parent, too, ... until DD arrived and I actually had to put my money where my mouth was.

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#3 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 03:16 PM
 
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Dropping in here from New Posts, but in addition to wondering why this is a Waldorf-only concern, I had similar things happen when my children were that age. I found it fairly simple to address, simply saying that most candy is a choking hazard before the age of 3, so what's the point of pointing out colorful, fake stuff, when we have much fun making wholesome cookies at home for treats?
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#4 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yukookoo View Post
I take my parenting choices pretty seriously
My guess is that that's why she derives great joy in teasing you about it

Honestly, you're swimming against the mainstream. You just have to accept that most people don't understand what you're doing or why.

I hold very similar views and opinions to you, but I don't know anyone in real life who does. I don't think I'd have any friends if I couldn't make jokes about how uptight and unfun I am. That's how most people see these choices. Of course I'm not uptight or unfun in many, many respects and other people know that just by knowing me. But they're not really going to understand why I make many of my choices, just because they don't really want to. I mean, it's not like it's some ground breaking idea that toddlers shouldn't watch TV: it's an official stance by the AAP for crying out loud. If other people wanted to follow it they would, and nothing I'm going to be able to say is going to change their mind.

If it really bothers you, just sit down with her at a time when your DC isn't there and say "look, I know you think it's a joke, but this is something that I feel strongly about and I'd really appreciate it if you didn't make jokes about it in front of my child."

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#5 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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Moving to Parenting; not related to Education

 
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#6 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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I think it's perfectly reasonable to mention to her that it bothers you a little bit, without making it a huge deal. If you are such close friends you should be able to have a reasonable conversation about your feelings.
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#7 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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We're not anti-movies here, but neither of our kids were even NEAR ready to sit through a show until after age 3 (honestly closer to 4, dd is 5.5 and is just now at that point!). The only thing I'd really address with your friend is that in the eyes of your child, she promised to take her to a fun place, and your dd, as any child, interprets that to mean RIGHT NOW. So I think I'd have to have a nice, calm talk with friend about asking her to please hold back a little on saying she'll take her places because of how dd interprets such things at this age. The rest, I'd let it go for now.
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#8 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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I'm a firm believer that parents are a child's greatest influence. It's what happens every single day that is going to shape a child, not what happens on rare occasions.

As an example, we don't have candy in our house. But, my in-laws do buy candy and give it to DD when we visit. It's just not a big deal. It doesn't make her crave candy at home. It doesn't wreck her in any way. Children are smart enough to figure out that different houses do things differently.

It's what we do every day with healthy food which is important.
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#9 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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"Well then it's too bad you've just proven I can't trust you to babysit ever, isn't it? How's your pasta?"
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#10 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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Jusst because you became a parent doesn't mean anyone has to respect the way you parent. I think your friend sounds like any general person who hasn't had a baby yet.

You would be writing this same post if you were NOT waldorf and were a coke guzzling...m&m poppin... Disney watchin mom....Your friend would be sneaking your kids carrots when you weren't looking.

IT will always be something. If you are secure in your choices and think that you are providing a good foundation for your beliefs to your child then you really just need to let it go...or let the friend go. You could tell her that it gets on your nerves...but I doubt she gets how this makes you feel...because she doesn't have children.
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#11 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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I would be upfront with the friend and tell her to stop the comments. Even if she disagrees with your parenting choices, they are your choices. It is your daughter.

It is completely up to you to decide if the candy/movies situation is something that is important enough to you that you need to limit the friendship. If you decide it's okay for her to occasionally have candy and see movies, then I would discuss the comments but let the rest go.

Live and love with your whole being.
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#12 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 09:00 PM
 
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Well, if you're good friends I don't see the harm in telling her that when she teases you it makes you unhappy.

However, honestly I would ask her if YOU have been annoying her with preachiness or acting disrespectful towards other people who choose differently from you. Sometimes good friends can be allies in making sure that WE are not obnoxious too.

The comment about "breathing in the candy air" honestly would make me think that perhaps I had been getting a little over-explanatory or preachy in the past, myself. If she said that in front of others, perhaps she was trying to deflect the situation so that the other people who were going to the candy store would not feel bad, if you tend to revert to judgement mode even if you're not aware of it.

Or she could be a teaser, which you normally don't mind but are thin-skinned about this subject. It's fair to bring up, but I don't think you should do so in a "how dare you disrespect me" way. For all you know, maybe she thinks that you're being disrespectful of everyone else by NOT participating in things you don't participate in. You can go around and around about that stuff.

I've always had the best results with "Wow, I know we normally tease each other but that really struck a nerve with me. I would appreciate it if you didn't tease me about parenting stuff right now, I'm really tender about it. And you know, if I annoy you or you feel like I'm being judgemental, I'd rather you tell me privately, even though I know it's hard to bring up those kinds of feelings."

I wouldn't assume that there was something behind the teasing until you ask though. She might have just thought she was being funny, it's pretty common for people to say thing like that, even to mainstream parents.

She's not undermining your lifestyle. And I'm going to guess that she probably doesn't know much, nor does she care all that much, about Waldorf philosophy. And as a PP has said--honestly, when you go against the grain, you have to kind of expect some people to be mystified by your choices--and a lot of people make jokes to ease their own discomfort or disappointment.

It's okay for your friend to feel disappointed that she's not allowed to bring a piece of candy to your little girl, or that you guys wouldn't come to the candy store. It's okay for you to feel disappointed that you were asked or that she's not in total alignment with you. If your feelings got hurt, I think she would/should care more about that, rather than your educational/parenting environment philosophy, KWIM? The former is fair to expect, the latter for someone who doesn't even have kids yet is a huge stretch, to me.
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#13 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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I would let it go and I agree that it doesn't seem related to Waldorf education at all, but rather to your desire to limit media and junk food (which I share.)

As for people being sarcastic about Waldorf...even as a former Waldorf student, I understand the temptation. It's very difficult not to find something snarkworthy about a system that teaches kids there are gnomes. I'm sorry, but though I find incredible value in Waldorf education - especially in the early years - the level of earnest woo among a certain type of devotee can be hard to take.

But that's not what this is really about.
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#14 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 09:19 PM
 
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I think this is a perfect situation for the word vagina

When you push a baby out your vagina you get to make the decisions ... since I pushed her her out my vagina I get to make her decisions.

It so works when I get ragged on about our vaccine status I dont agree to let it go. Your baby Your decision

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#15 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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I would definitely bring it up. It doesn't have to be dramatic. You are entitled to your feelings and a relationship is a two-way street. If it were me, I would be honest about my feelings and request that the comments are not said in front of your dd.

Sure, you're going against the stream but that doesn't mean you have to stand there and be beaten by the waves!

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#16 of 23 Old 01-24-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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My favoritest auntie always was inviting me to "Come paint Paris red" with her. I had no clue what that might mean, but it was clearly something a little risque, and definitely no parents invited. It really did create a bond between us, or at least helped. It didn't have much effect on my consumption of escargot or baguettes. However, I did get to spend a year in France with her when I was 16! Really, let it be a joke.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#17 of 23 Old 01-25-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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It's hard to say if you are "overly sensitive" without being present during the conversation. It is very tiring to feel like one's parenting is constantly being questioned. I get that, too, with our Waldorf lifestyle. I am particularly entertained when it comes from childless people. I'm saving this zinger for a day I just can't listen to it anymore. "It's easy to be a parenting expert before you have children." I think that will let most people know they have overstepped, without a huge discussion about it.
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#18 of 23 Old 01-25-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukookoo View Post

Then after dinner the rest of the group went to a candy store and dd and I went home. Friend says you probably dont want to go to the candy store because just taking her in there would bother you since she would be breathing the candy air. I found that comment really condescending and disrespectful; I take my parenting choices pretty seriously whether its no tv, no candy, or no alcohol at 2 years old. I think its so inappropriate for friend to put me down for my choices, put my choices down, or undermine me to dd. Because now dd may say why did friend say she would take me to this movie? when can i go? well we dont do movies in our family yet, maybe when you are older etc. Well why did she say that?
Uh... wait, did someone question your "no alcohol" stand for your 2 yo? I would like to hear about that, it sounds like quite a story.

Angela , wife to DH (Oct 1999), mother to DD (Oct 2008)
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#19 of 23 Old 01-25-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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I don't think you need to get bent out of shape about her not respecting you--instead, think carefully about whether this friend respects anyone? The baseline for a friendship (to me) should be someone who is kind and supportive, and even when you're "weird" listens to you and learns about what you are interested in. Why exactly is this person your friend? We don't have to all be exactly the same, but you need to be able to listen to each other. So that means, that she can make jokes, but she also needs to really listen to you if you tell her that they make you feel bad.
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#20 of 23 Old 01-25-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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I think your friend (sister?) was joking in her second comment.

Otherwise I feel life is short. You must pick your battles..

I will say I am SUPER sensitive and I would let that roll right off my back. She doesn't have kids. She's not trying to corrupt your kid. Seriously, with candy and movies? There is so much worse in the world. SOOOO much worse!!! Consider yourself lucky is what I say!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#21 of 23 Old 01-25-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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I think you should talk to her about it. I did tell a friend once that I wasn't going to take her parenting comments seriously because everyone has many ideas about how to parent before they have kids and that you change your mind about a lot of things once you are actually a parent. I also think you should ask her if you are coming off as too preachy, or if you know that you are coming off as preachy then you should stop. It is very hard to maintain friendships if you seem to judge everything.
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#22 of 23 Old 01-25-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBaxter View Post
I think this is a perfect situation for the word vagina

When you push a baby out your vagina you get to make the decisions ... since I pushed her her out my vagina I get to make her decisions.

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#23 of 23 Old 01-25-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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you said yourself you take all of this very very seriously. She was making a joke. you can't expect everyone to be so serious all time and consider things like cartoons and candy serious topics or something to be careful about. She likely wouldn't make jokes about this if you weren't so very serious about it. She is likely more amused by how serious you take it all than she is about your actual choices.

She wants to love on your dd. she wants to have fun. granted teasing gets old but you will have a lot more fun as a parent and a friend if you just relax and accept a little ribbing.

in that situation I would have looked at dd and said "ooooo auntie is crazy. poor auntie, we'll humor her for now" (Actually we used to use this with grandma all the time. I would shrug my shoulders and say grandma must be crazy" and then when we were with grandma and she would say something about spoiling dd I would shrug my shoulders and dd would know that meant "crazy grandma is at it again" and we would both get a good giggle.

and candy air...come on, thats kinda funny. I would have probably said back "oh yeah, candy air is worse than the actual candy. I read an article about it online the other day...."

Fortunately i am passing on a relaxed confident attitude to my children about lifestyle choices (while we take them very seriously we also aren't scared to have a good laugh at how silly they must seem to others.). my manager at work made a comment about eggplant and tofu (I work at a grocery store so all my friends know whats in my cart and feel free to comment) and I said "you know it baby" and my 13 year old just about busted a gut. She thought the whole exchange was hilarious. I coul dhave chosen to be all offended at him making light of a descision I put a lot of thought into and a lifestyle i am careful to maintain blah blah blah but these are my choices, they work for me and I am confident in them. and his comment was quick and witty. whats not to love about that. if only I had said it first......

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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