"Here Comes the Judgment" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 55 Old 02-26-2014, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I recently heard of parents at a local nursery school who, because they didn’t want their child to eat sugar or animal products, wrote a letter to all the other parents, sharing their recipe for cookies made from carob, tofu, and rice syrup in hopes of discouraging the sugar-laden cupcakes that usually appear on birthdays. The response from the community was a resounding “You’ve got to be kidding.” The friend who told me this story—a mother of three who said she didn’t have the extra energy it would take to stock rice syrup in her kitchen—made a point that stayed with me: “If you are going to take this radical a stand on food, you might as well teach your child now that he is going to be out of the mainstream. The world is not going to change to accommodate him, and you’re doing the kid a disservice to teach him that it will.”

 

This is, perhaps, the hardest part of resisting the culture as a parent. We want our kids to fit in, even if we don’t fit in ourselves. 

 

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Perhaps moral support was what the yogurt mom and the carob cookie parents were really looking for when they shared their quirky food suggestions. If so, I don’t want to judge them too harshly for attempting to articulate their values, even if they did come across as smug and judgmental. We all need support if we want to resist the food, films, and fashion that our culture tries to sell us. What I’ve learned is that I’m more likely to get that support when I ask about the issues head-on—no tips, no recipes, no judgment. Marketers know that it’s not what you say but how you say it. It’s a lesson we could all learn.

http://www.brainchildmag.com/2014/02/here-comes-the-judgment/


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#2 of 55 Old 02-26-2014, 06:31 PM
 
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I really liked the article. Thanks for sharing. It definitely rang true for me. I judge often and don't forever to put myself in other peoples shoes. A few months ago I was at the local park and a mother can with her two daughters. In addition they all had happy meals and I lost my muster to go introduce myself. I did eventually introduce myself and my son and I found out how hard her life has been with a special needs daughter. I was glad we chatted but I was definitely judging. I hate being this way and am trying very hard to check myself. I have also been on the receiving end when I have refused Capri suns at birthday parties and such. What can I say? I feel like my son has plenty of time to become a sugar addict on his own. I don't want him to start at two. But I am blabbing and I think the one thing we all need to have is compassion... Which is not easy. Compassion for others and compassion for ourselves. And be in the moment. It's really is not such a big deal if my son has a Capri sun every once in a while. It's also about the experience too, isn't it?
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#3 of 55 Old 02-26-2014, 08:00 PM
 
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I don't have a lot of time to judge others, because lately I'm too busy judging the living crap out of myself. :-( Mainly, I get judgy when I hear a parent being mean or cruel, or what I consider mean and cruel, to their child. I can't stand it.

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#4 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What I liked about this article it's written by someone with a NFL perspective but it isn't your usual "we are so judged by mainstream society" or "look at how terrible those mainstreamers are".  I feel like it is the broader context of judgment from a philosophical perspective. I also like that it comes from the parent of an older child. I find myself having less and less to identify about with the judgment or perceived judgment of mothers with young children. I can remember back to that time but it's such a fog. 

 

I can remember the first piece of cake my first child had and how horrified I was that she had it dangling from her mouth (she was really young - FIL gave it to her). I can remember the first piece of processed meat that was handed to her across the deli counter. The way I processed those firsts was pretty naive, I think. A few years went by and I realized that part of the joy of parenting is that we get to experience these firsts through our child. I have such a better sense of humor now. 

 

I've also been in a lot of AP/NFL groups in my life. And in many parts of the world/country. But my DC goes to public school and we're both really social so we also mingle with lots of very mainstream families (I speak as if we can just divide people into groups - that's a lack of a better way to communicate, not the way I really think).  I can see very clearly that  the core of what is loving, nurturing, reflective parenting is not about individual choices but a package of a healthy family and healthy relationships. And that it can look a lot of different ways. 

 

That doesn't mean that there aren't things that feel very important to me. I probably could not take a "to each our own" position on hitting or physical discipline, for instance. And, unlike the article, I do love talking to other parents about their tips for managing the home in a way that gets chores done and healthy food on the table.

 

The author says it's not what you say but how you say it. I think there's a lot to that and I do agree. But, I'd take that a step further and say that the most meaningful aspect is the reasons behind what we're trying to say. I think that if your intentions are good, you could probably get away with doing a pretty botched job of expressing yourself but if your intentions are coming from a place of judgment, it really doesn't matter how eloquently you express that underlying feeling. 

 

I have a good example...

 

One of my friends is a lovely philosophical type. Her parent emails to the school are always written at like 2 am and are deeply philosophical about things like school snack. She once compared gummy fruit snacks to heroin. If she were coming from a place of judgment, that would have caused a revolt but she wasn't. She was absolutely coming from a place of commiseration about how hard it is to sort through things and make good choices in our modern lifestyles.  I've seen the opposite - parents super effective at communication express ideas that were totally fake - saying one thing but really meaning something else. That's hard to take. 

 

When communicating with parents I will sometimes question myself. What AM I trying to say and why?  The "how you say it" needs to come after that first question. 


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#5 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 12:34 PM
 
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I havent read all the posts, but this made me think of a converation that happened the other day.....

 

I dont know if i felt judgy, or excluded, or just plain lazy, when i overheard a conversation between another parent and teacher at our toddler mommy and me group. The parent (who is always loud and pushing her opinions, but thats just her personality), was saying how her doctor told her antibiotics were now not considered the best option to treat ear infections. (duh, and what else about antibiotics should you know? That it kills off your good gut bacteria and  whose overuse is part of reason (well probably the main reason if you read about GAPS) in the rise in spectrum disorders,  and autoimmune diseases, and thank Gd at least your doctor is smart enough to know that antibiotics are harmful to health, unless they are absolutely necessary...)

 

I was too lazy to say anything there.

 

But then she went on about how her daughter gets ear infections, and what do you do, and that she wanted the doc to prescribe antibiotics anyway... and this is her 5yo. I wanted to say something helpful, but all  i could think was, i havent a clue how to treat ear infections, because none of my kids ever got them.....

 

And, i very rarely took antibiotics as a child, and  none of my kids have  ever had the need to take them...

 

The teacher kept agreeing with her etc etc.

 

I just felt like i didnt belong in that conversation, because i didnt want to  make anyone feel bad, or worse, be judged myself.

 

Im still pretty sure the   the extended breastfeeding, and avoidance of antibiotics is one reason my kids never get ear infections...

 

I think, that i  just didnt want anyone to  feel bad about themselves (their assumption being that every parent resorts to antibiotics alot), nor to sound like i was blowing my own horn.

 

I also think i was just being lazy, and couldnt be bothered to pass on information i had myself....

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#6 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 06:33 PM
 
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I thought the article was thoughtful but there are some topics that are so controversial that there is no good way to bring them up. Sugar avoidance, and most things fringe groups have taken to extremes, are like that in our area. I think knowing your audience before speaking at all is very important if you want your message heard.
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#7 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like how she talks about how we all need some support for our choices from time to time. If that's what we need, we should be open and humble about that. Far too often we see things like what CM is talking about. Sounds to me like her friend really needed some support for her child's frequent ear infections and her conflicted feelings about antibiotics for treatment. Can you imagine how nice the conversation could have been if it started that way?  


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#8 of 55 Old 02-27-2014, 10:03 PM
 
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http://nutritionfacts.org/questions/dairy-and-ear-infections/ Apparently dairy can cause ear infections. I remember a parent talking about cutting milk out of their daughter's diet and ear infections clearing up. I don't know if that would help the mom or not; I know a lot of parents are resistant to elimination diets for their kids, and after going to a low-gluten diet (lack the will-power/finances to go totally gluten free) I can see why.

 

I think part of the problem is that food intolerances and sensitivities aren't acknowledged for as damaging as they are. I'm sure that if that mother had a child who was deathly allergic to peanut butter, helpful advice about how to avoid peanut butter and a peanut-free recipe would have been better received, while the sugar-free mother (whose child may have a bad reaction to sugar) is seen as a judgemental snob because her kid doesn't really need to avoid sugar. I remember reading an article by someone who was pretty derisive of the parents in her class whose kids needed to be gluten-free, as she judged there as being too many than is statistically possible (proving a serious lack of understanding of how statistics works), insisting that Celiac's is the only acceptable reason to go gluten-free.


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#9 of 55 Old 02-28-2014, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think part of the problem is that food intolerances and sensitivities aren't acknowledged for as damaging as they are. I'm sure that if that mother had a child who was deathly allergic to peanut butter, helpful advice about how to avoid peanut butter and a peanut-free recipe would have been better received, while the sugar-free mother (whose child may have a bad reaction to sugar) is seen as a judgemental snob because her kid doesn't really need to avoid sugar. I remember reading an article by someone who was pretty derisive of the parents in her class whose kids needed to be gluten-free, as she judged there as being too many than is statistically possible (proving a serious lack of understanding of how statistics works), insisting that Celiac's is the only acceptable reason to go gluten-free.

 

I'm sure that is part of the problem, SS. Certainly our culture is more understanding of certain intolerances than they are of other. And that probably ranges quite a bit depending on which sub-culture your town is familiar with. The issue is also probably complicated by the difference between allergies and aversions, which I know little about but I wouldn't expect the same accommodations for sugar avoidance as I would for severe allergies, yk?  I recently read and article from someone with a sever allergy to gluten and her/his opinion about what they perceived as a trend towards avoiding gluten for more general health reasons.  I'll see if I can find it. 

 

Over the years with a child in public school, I've seen a big variety of allergies, food intolerances, avoidances, health concerns, religious choices, philosophical choices. I very, very much appreciate if people will share with me what they prefer to eat or not eat if I am going to be preparing food for them or their family. To me that a feels like they know I am inclusive and understanding and worldly enough to realize that not everyone eats like me. That said, if it felt like they were proselytizing their philosophy about food to me, I'm not sure I would feel so honored. 

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#10 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 06:40 AM
 
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i think this is a result of 'family' or 'extended family' being replaced by institutions - like daycare, after school organized activities. this is a result of a highly stressed society. we have no parent tax subsidies. very little esp. to help out new parents. v. little government support. 

 

i mean look at the problems created by a 'one child' policy in china. yes it curtailed the population growth but they now have way more societal problems. 

 

'judgement' is a good thing. i think its a survival instinct. ancient man. if a fruit is sweet it is safe to eat. i think we all judge through out the day  to discern what is good or 'bad'. judging as a new parent is reality. what you do with the thought could become a problem. 

 

one of the things i feel v. strongly about is how the blame is all on the speaker. how about the listener giving the speaker a break. this is a huge point for me. coz most of the time the issue is NOT what they spoke about. they let off steam talking about that issue - but its more about where they are emotionally and financially going through or have gone through. why do we take everything personally?!!! i know what i am asking is a tough thing to do - but why do we have to react. why cant we look at a mother going off on something - say the strawberry yoghurt thing - and either look at it from the perspective of a caring mom, or that she is having a bad day. 

 

btw sugar reaction in our brain - neurotransmitters lighting up is teh same when one is on sugar or heroine. 

 

to be honest with you i dont get the sugar thing. why substitute sugar. sweet from another source is bad too. on honey or rice syrup your brain lights up too. but of course i blame the government and the corporations for this. you throw out such temptations and expect us to say no. sugar addiction is just as hard to kick as cigarettes imho.

 

when dd was little i was a horrible judgmental woman. looking back i see my life then was a mess. here was a new high needs baby, i had NO help, my marriage was falling apart, i had no support, financial worry - all i wanted to do was hit out at the world. now at menopause somedays my judgemental self is sooo big and so loud. its always on the days i am not feeling well. or feel overwhelmed. my absolutely worst punishment has been when i've gone off on someone during those moments (usually not their fault) and they have been the nicest to me ever. however it has helped too. when my angry judgmental self was slammed against kindness - all my anger, stress, etc completely dissipated. and i felt horrible. 

 

 

and i totally believe that we only communicate a small portion through talking. we communicate more with unconscious gesture and body language. no matter what act we put on, the reality shines through. i also feel people read those unconscious social cues better than children. 

 

it definitely though is a thought provoking article. 

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#11 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 08:32 AM
 
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one of the things i feel v. strongly about is how the blame is all on the speaker. how about the listener giving the speaker a break. this is a huge point for me. coz most of the time the issue is NOT what they spoke about. they let off steam talking about that issue - but its more about where they are emotionally and financially going through or have gone through. why do we take everything personally?!!! i know what i am asking is a tough thing to do - but why do we have to react. why cant we look at a mother going off on something - say the strawberry yoghurt thing - and either look at it from the perspective of a caring mom, or that she is having a bad day.

 

Agreed. Even the best parents can have a really bad day where they reach the point that they say or do something that they're horrified with themselves for. Sometimes, the "bad parents" in restaurants and such are just people having an awful day who need help rather than condemnation.

 

I really do hate how personally we take everything. If someone chooses to parent differently, too many people take it as a personal offense. There are some who'll judge anyone who parents differently, but there are others who don't and support those who are doing what's right for their families. Nothing works for everyone, you have to do what's right for your individual needs and circumstances. It's not just parenting, of course, but I think it can be worse with parenting because, especially when you're a new parent, a lot of us are insecure and put too much stock in external validation. Part of the reason people reacted so negatively to the sugar-free mom was because they felt she was judging them, or maybe they actually felt insecure for not going sugar-free with their own kids and lashed out at her in response.

 

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btw sugar reaction in our brain - neurotransmitters lighting up is teh same when one is on sugar or heroine. 

 

to be honest with you i dont get the sugar thing. why substitute sugar. sweet from another source is bad too. on honey or rice syrup your brain lights up too. but of course i blame the government and the corporations for this. you throw out such temptations and expect us to say no. sugar addiction is just as hard to kick as cigarettes imho.

Sugar is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I've got a severe sugar addiction and severe depression (which can be worsened by sugar and also causes sugar cravings), so I'm trying to kick the sugar habit. It's terrifying how hard it is. In part because you simply cannot avoid it- even health food stores have sugary sodas and candy and such. It takes way too much willpower.

 

Sugar is complicated. Sugar is, ultimately, just energy, which on its own isn't a problem. You can't live without sugar- you'd have to completely cut out all fruits and vegetables, as they have sugars in them. Most fiber we eat is cellulose- a sugar. White, refined sugar is basically pure energy, which is why we crave it. For the majority of human evolution, we spent huge amounts of calories a day just trying to get food- from that perspective, pure energy is wonderful. You still need other vitamins, nutrients, etc, but you also need energy. The problem is, when you flood your body with FAR more energy than it could hope to use, bad things happen. There's actually a level of sugar intake that has no ill health effects, the problem is that the average American eats something like 5x more than that.

 

I agree with you- all added sugar is bad. Some may be slightly less bad (white, refined sugar has had ALL the good stuff removed from it, honey/rice syrup/etc still has some other good things to it), but they still aren't good. Rice syrup is also controversial due to arsenic levels. Fruit is actually a good substitute for sugar in baking, if you know what you're doing (you can also substitute applesauce for butter, just FYI).  There's sugar in fruit, so it's sweet, but it comes with all of the fiber and nutrients as well.

(Also- carob has twice the calories of cocoa. It doesn't have fat, but excess calories are converted to fat in our bodies and unsweetened, pure cocoa doesn't have saturated fat. So. YMMV.)

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#12 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 12:39 PM
 
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Actually, i didnt see much judgment in the article at all. In the first example, a mother was telling the other how much sugar was in the yoghurt. Maybe the first mother hadnt noticed that. Personally, ive noticed some organic proucts have more sugar in them than their non organic  counterparts. As for the 1st mother, all she did as explain that she 'watered down' the sugar content. I actually do this alot. Whats wrong with explaining that to  someone? I dont see this as competitive or judgmental at all, just sharing information.

 

Actually, the more outspoken one is about these things, the less judged  and/or judgmental one usually feels. I find judgmental silence is the worst.  Or plain laziness (which i am guilty of)  isnt much better. I admit, i am more outspoken with people i feel comfortable with, even if we disagree...

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#13 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So many great thoughts. I just love a philosophical parenting discussion!  

 

Meemee, I totally, 100% agree with you and think your point about communication being as much about the listener as it is about the person doing the talking!  I am not a person who tends to feel judged. I've nurtured a healthy combination of self-confidence and obliviousness. ;)  I have found that on occasion where I do feel judged if I just lay on the obliviousness, that the person will give up and we can get quickly back to a nicer way of communicating. 

 

I also agree with you and SP about judgement and other behaviors being a result of that person just not being their best selves. I am a person who spent a great deal of energy worrying about what other people think and feel. I attribute this to some parts of my childhood where I think I was the peace keeper. I have an inflated opinion of my ability to interpret how others feel and what they need. It's exhausting. But, for the first time in my life, I'm too busy to do that and that is SO FREEING!  I'm older too so I know better that not everything is about me. Someone can be rude and I can just let that be on them - no reason to take it personally or to try to fix it. You couldn't pay me to be 20 again. :rotflmao

 

That's a double-edged sword though because the same energy that went into dwelling about someone else's behavior is the same energy that I used to put to work trying to put myself in their shoes. I probably don't do that as much anymore. 

 

Sugar...

 

We're not really a diet focused family (we have embraced a fairly typical, old-fashioned American diet with a focus on moderation and it's working well for us). It probably would irritate me for someone to point out that what I'm feeding my child is less healthy than they think I realize, if we're being honest and straightforward. Chances are that I may not have checked or chances are that I may have checked and still chosen to feed it to my kid. The chances of me not appreciating someone pointing that out to me are pretty darned good.  But, it's all about context and intent. Like I said upthread, I had a friend compare gummy snacks to heroin...and no one cared (to my knowledge) because she was on a personal, political rant and wasn't talking about any one family's diet.  Also, the debate over diet and health is so complex that it seems like a bad idea (to me) to initiate a conversation based on someone's choices about food. Better, go philosophical, IMO.  

 

One of the things about the article I thought was interesting is the idea that many alternative parents want their kid to fit in. Of course that's true to some extent but I personally LOVE and appreciate when a family is comfortable sharing their rules when we're together. I find this is a wonderful teaching moment for my own kids who are the odd kids out for various reasons (not about food generally but I'm quite strict on other things).  Certainly with a pre-teen our mantra lately is that some kids are allowed to do some things and others are not and that's life. 


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#14 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 02:57 PM
 
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It's not just sharing information when you stick your nose into a strangers business to preach at them about the good news of sugar consumption prevention and awareness. It's lack of social skills at least and definitely tends to come off as judgemental. If it's between friends I could see it as just sharing information though or if they were already talking about the topic.
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#15 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 03:25 PM
 
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I'm pretty neurotic about what kind of food my little one eats, but I would *never* do something so bold as to tell other parents to do things my way. However, if anyone asks why we're neurotic about it, or is interested in being as neurotic about food as I, I will gladly give them my two cents. This kind of behavior does not surprise me.

I've posted on mothering.com forums before about my experience with one particular AP parent at church of all places. She wouldn't let my daughter near her daughter, acting as if my little one's motor delay was contagious. She also commented that using a stroller is akin to child abuse. She didn't know that I injured my back, due in part to babywearing. Or the homebirthing mama (also at church) who wanted to rub it in my face about the wonders of homebirth, blah blah blah every woman should have one... Apparently I should have "trusted my body" and risk death by sepsis, instead of ditching my homebirth plan and being induced in a hospital prematurely (at my midwife's urging!) to save mine and my daughter's life!


People will be judgmental no matter what, and think they know what's best for everyone. Teehee, do they even realize that tofu, carob, and rice syrup are processed foods? Rice syrup is not really any better for your health than corn syrup, sugar, or grape juice concentrate. Sigh.

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#16 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 05:33 PM
 
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If no one's in immediate danger, I think you really shouldn't comment like that to strangers- you're only seeing a snapshot of their life, you don't know the whole situation. There are situations where you want a kid to get extra calories so would go for the more sugary yogurt. If it's already come up in conversation, that's one thing, but walking up to someone you don't know and making a comment about how they're doing it wrong is generally rude.

 

Part of the reason that it's rude for strangers to do is because no one knows everything, yet too many people are in the habit of talking as if they do. An expert coming up might be a little more well accepted ("I'm a pediatric nutritionist with 3 kids and...."), but that'd be really weird, honestly, and I'd expect an expert to recognize that they need more information to make a judgement. The people who tell babywearers that they'll stunt their child's development and that their child won't learn to walk are honestly trying to be helpful and saying what they think is true- but it's not even remotely accurate. The people who make comments about how you shouldn't hold your baby too much or you'll spoil them- again, they honestly believe it, they think they're being helpful, but what they're saying isn't true. With food, we don't know the real story- we keep learning new things. The mom in the first post really does think she's helping her kids by using rice syrup instead of cane sugar, I think she's not doing them any actual good, someone who's more worried about the arsenic levels in rice may even say that she's hurting her kids worse than if she just used cane sugar.

 

Saying these things to friends is generally far more accepted- because you're supposed to know your friends.


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#17 of 55 Old 03-04-2014, 06:26 PM
 
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DIgressing....

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Originally Posted by sillysapling View Post
 

I agree with you- all added sugar is bad. Some may be slightly less bad (white, refined sugar has had ALL the good stuff removed from it, honey/rice syrup/etc still has some other good things to it), but they still aren't good. Rice syrup is also controversial due to arsenic levels. Fruit is actually a good substitute for sugar in baking, if you know what you're doing (you can also substitute applesauce for butter, just FYI).  There's sugar in fruit, so it's sweet, but it comes with all of the fiber and nutrients as well.

(Also- carob has twice the calories of cocoa. It doesn't have fat, but excess calories are converted to fat in our bodies and unsweetened, pure cocoa doesn't have saturated fat. So. YMMV.)

ooh my favourite subject - nutrition. first let me say i believe we really have no clue what we are talking about nutritionally. i think our knowledge about nutrition equals Leonardo da vinci when he was cutting cadavers to draw muscles. most docs dont have much of a clue and are taking pot shots in the dark. 

 

food is terribly addicting. esp. sugar. why even get into baked goods. i mean yeah you are using fruit in baking. but you still end up using more fruit than you would eat. you'd probably use 6 apples to make apple sauce when in reality you'd only eat 2 fresh apples.

 

i have a 11 year old. growing. and growing. and growing. her nutrition is trash. high high carbs. sugars. both candy cake and fruit. a healthy balance. she is a bit pudgy but VERY strong and solid. all muscle. i dont watch her food mainly for two reasons. one i have no clue what her nutritionally needs are except obviously high energy needs to help with growing. and second of all she self regulates and usually eats healthy. she knows about nutrition. 

 

we mainly cook stuff from scratch. rarely eat frozen food. eat processed snacks ocassionally. eat out sometimes. somedays dd eats from noon to midnight. somedays she'll only eat a couple of meals. she is more the few small meals rather than one big meal kinda gal. we do get a lot of flack for letting her graze and not watching her when she heaps rice and seaweed. 

 

ah well!!!

 

ICM - HAH!!! i didnt speak till i reached my 40's. once i crossed to the big 4 boy did i turn into chatty cathy and nothing stops me. 

 

back to discussion. i dont see why a mom or any adult cannot speak up. as long as they maintain the etiquette of telling a stranger about some sensitive subject. esp. when there are so many lonely people here... so many desperately wanting to be heard (their need is so much that at times they appear rude). a crotchety lady might appear rude. but she wasnt meaning to be. that is her demeanor. she is just 'normally' rude. i really like people who speak up - even if i dont like what they say. i'd rather people be upfront and honest with me than play the spare your feelings communication. it is really really hard to have an honest conversation with anyone - least of all family and friends.  


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#18 of 55 Old 03-05-2014, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

It's not just sharing information when you stick your nose into a strangers business to preach at them about the good news of sugar consumption prevention and awareness. It's lack of social skills at least and definitely tends to come off as judgemental. If it's between friends I could see it as just sharing information though or if they were already talking about the topic.

 I agree with that. I guess it wasnt clear in the article whether the mothers knew each other.

It is a lack of social skills  to offer information where it wasnt asked for,  and it takes very refined social skills to manage that same task diplomatically/or rather, in a way that doesnt sound judgmental.

Sometimes i  wish someone had  been less worried about sounding judgmental, and had been able to pass information onto me that would have benefitted me.

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#19 of 55 Old 03-06-2014, 08:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

It is a lack of social skills  to offer information where it wasnt asked for,  and it takes very refined social skills to manage that same task diplomatically/or rather, in a way that doesnt sound judgmental.

Sometimes i  wish someone had  been less worried about sounding judgmental, and had been able to pass information onto me that would have benefitted me.

dd and i really enjoy watching Big Bang Theory (she knows the lyrics of the whole song). the one thing that she has REALLY learnt from that show is to lower her expectation of social skills from anyone. in the sense that its unfair to expect social skills from everyone. the fact that the stranger coming off on you, is just being a sheldon and giving you information in the best way they may know how.  since social skills has a 'face' these days, its easy for her to accept other people. 


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#20 of 55 Old 03-06-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

 

But then she went on about how her daughter gets ear infections, and what do you do, and that she wanted the doc to prescribe antibiotics anyway... and this is her 5yo. I wanted to say something helpful, but all  i could think was, i haven't a clue how to treat ear infections, because none of my kids ever got them.....

 

I think the speaks volumes as to the judgment aspect. It's a pair of shoes you've never walked in, because you've never had to. And I think sometimes we all think we know how things work because of what we have learned... however we don't always know. Just because it's in a book, on tv, on the Internet, from your Dr's mouth or the latest research, doesn't always mean it works for every situation. 

I am/have been the ear infection parent. Not your exact one but I have before pretty much said word for word what the other mom was complaining about. Yes I know antibiotics are over used. And yes I do know a bunch of natural ways of trying to prevent, manage, deal with ear aches. And I don't run to the doctor for every sore ear or ear ache. But I *do* know that when my ears hit a certain level of pain that antibiotics are needed. Some ear infections are bacterial and some ear infections really do need antibiotics. I have what are assumed to be small Eustachian tubes. Without constant care of my ears (and how I care for my ears often goes against Dr's advice as well, because I know what works for *me*) I can get a bad ear infection twice a year. It just is what it is. They most often come on suddenly, so little chance to even try natural stuff, and are so painful that I can't function, can't drive myself to the Dr and more. 24-48 hrs into an ABX and it's night and day the difference. I've been to student Dr's who look in my ears and give me the "Not all bugs need drugs" speech and 2 minutes later have my regular Dr walk in, look in my ears and immediately write me a script because they are so bad. 

My DD also has ear issues and we try a lot of preventative maintenance that seems to work ok for her. Plus her ears usually start with a slow ear ache that I can usually cure naturally. However there has been once or twice where she wakes up much the same as me and has a sudden and bad ear infection. The kind of inconsolable, vomiting inducing ear pain that just won't go away without antibiotics. And I've been scared to take her to a walk in before because of this same attitude that ear infections are easily cleared up without antibiotics. No not all of them are. Sure some can be and I think it's good to not just automatically prescribe for every ear ache. But some ear infections DO need drugs to help clear them up without doing further damage to ones ears. 

I like a couple other posters used to judge more when my first was little... I think it's almost a given that a first time parent of small children will be judgy. Because it seems to happen almost naturally in the people I've seen. But once that child hits their mid childhood or the parents add a second child... Well things usually take a turn and there is not much judgment anymore. I honestly don't care how other people live their life as long as it's not hurting (in an actual harmful sense, not in a projected/perceived sense... and sometimes I think we project or perceive more than is actual) anyone else. All I ask is that *I* be left to run my life myself as well. 

I very much dislike when strangers or people I don't know well try and give their two cents. They have never walked in my shoes, or had my experiences. And I haven't had theirs. Things aren't always as cut and dry as we think they are. I would have no problem if the parent in the article wants to send her choices for shared snack to school, the kids will either choose to eat it or not. But I would be put off if I was sent home recipes to make for a shared snack situation because one parent doesn't want their child eating other stuff.

We have had allergies and intolerance's. I have never wanted anyone else to try and accommodate my child. We'll work around you and accommodate ourselves to fit in. I would bake special cupcakes when my child couldn't have the cake at birthday parties, I would bring a special meal for my child if we went out for dinner where they couldn't eat and others wanted us to join. It wasn't a big deal. Sure sometimes it sucked that my kids couldn't have the ice cream or whatever but we'd send them with something they were excited about. 

I really don't think it's that hard to co exist with others even if your choices are a little different. Sure sometimes people have social skill issues that may make it a bit harder, but I think it's ok to be yourself and make your own choices for yourself, your children/family, as long as you allow others to do the same for their families. 


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#21 of 55 Old 03-06-2014, 12:01 PM
 
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dd and i really enjoy watching Big Bang Theory (she knows the lyrics of the whole song). the one thing that she has REALLY learnt from that show is to lower her expectation of social skills from anyone. in the sense that its unfair to expect social skills from everyone. the fact that the stranger coming off on you, is just being a sheldon and giving you information in the best way they may know how.  since social skills has a 'face' these days, its easy for her to accept other people. 


It's interesting that you list BBT when a major part of the show is everyone hating how Sheldon pulls crap like this all the time. They put up with it, but there is no secret that they dislike it greatly.

 

No one's suggesting that these people be lynched or shunned or exiled- we're just saying we dislike it and wish people wouldn't do it. Just like Raj gets rightfully angry when Sheldon tries to teach him about his own culture. Everyone still has free speech, these people are allowed to continue doing what they're doing, no one is saying that people with social disorders (and, for all Sheldon argues his mother had him tested- his mother also was advised to follow up with specialists, heavily implying that he does have some sort of disorder) should be banned from anything.

 

Frankly, BBT is a perfect example of why it's perfectly fine to be insulted when someone comes off as judgemental. Just like everyone on the show can still be friends with Sheldon and care about him and be there for him no matter how he grates on their nerves- I'm sure everyone on this thread is still polite to those who poke their nose in where it doesn't belong and, when the advice turns out to be good, do appreciate it even if the delivery was obnoxious.


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#22 of 55 Old 03-06-2014, 12:45 PM
 
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 But once that child hits their mid childhood or the parents add a second child... Well things usually take a turn and there is not much judgment anymore. 

This is so true!!

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#23 of 55 Old 03-07-2014, 02:46 PM
 
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Contactmaya wrote:

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The parent (who is always loud and pushing her opinions, but thats just her personality), was saying how her doctor told her antibiotics were now not considered the best option to treat ear infections. (duh, and what else about antibiotics should you know? That it kills off your good gut bacteria and  whose overuse is part of reason (well probably the main reason if you read about GAPS) in the rise in spectrum disorders,  and autoimmune diseases, and thank Gd at least your doctor is smart enough to know that antibiotics are harmful to health, unless they are absolutely necessary...)

 

I was too lazy to say anything there.

 

But then she went on about how her daughter gets ear infections, and what do you do, and that she wanted the doc to prescribe antibiotics anyway... and this is her 5yo. I wanted to say something helpful, but all  i could think was, i havent a clue how to treat ear infections, because none of my kids ever got them.....

 

Im still pretty sure the   the extended breastfeeding, and avoidance of antibiotics is one reason my kids never get ear infections...

My mom breastfed my brother until he was nearly 3, took him off dairy the moment he showed symptoms of allergy, and avoided antibiotics--and he still got ear infections.  Two or three every year until he was about 10.  Every time, she would fret about whether to get the antibiotic (which WAS what the doctor was recommending, at that time) or not.  Sometimes it did clear up on its own.  But usually it would get worse and worse until he took the antibiotic, and he never seemed to have any big complication from antibiotics, whereas he had miserable pain and minor hearing loss from the ear infections.  Ear infections can cause permanent hearing damage and other serious side effects.

 

So I think you did the right thing by keeping quiet there.  You haven't experienced the worry of a child's ear infection yourself.  What might be most helpful to you from that conversation, and might be encouraging to her, is to ask her what the doctor DOES recommend.


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#24 of 55 Old 03-08-2014, 06:56 AM
 
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Im not saying that because my kids didnt get ear infections, that the ear infections of the mother were her fault. I dont know if she breastfed or not, and i know of  breastfed children who get ear infections.

 

But i know a little bit about gut dysbiosis caused by  overuse of antibiotics, and the connection of gut dysbiosis to ear infections. Should i have shared that information?

 

My motives were selfishness and laziness, and fear of being judged because  my own children didnt get ear infections.

 

She missed out.

 

In her shoes, i would have preferred that someone speak up, and im glad that at least her doctor is doing so.

That doesnt mean antibiotics are never useful, or should never be prescribed for ear infections.

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#25 of 55 Old 03-08-2014, 07:45 AM
 
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I also like that it comes from the parent of an older child. I find myself having less and less to identify about with the judgment or perceived judgment of mothers with young children. I can remember back to that time but it's such a fog.

So true! Many of those issues that seemed like hills to die on during my kids' infancy and toddlerhood are things that now I have a live-and-let-live philosophy about. There are still certain issues that I feel strongly about, but with most of it, as long as the kids feel loved and secure, it just ... I don't want to say doesn't matter, but it isn't the huge, make-it-or-break-it thing that I once thought it was. But, at the time I was truly committed to that ideology, and that too (coming around to a more tolerant position) is something that every mom needs to go through for herself.

Some of the discussion in this thread reminds me of when my DS was in kindergarten and there was a big email blow-up between two moms regarding the lack of healthy foods at a class party. I actually posted about it at the time and there was some interesting discussion about it. Here's the thread if anyone's interested in reading it:
http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1231061/wow-kindergarten-mama-drama
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#26 of 55 Old 03-08-2014, 08:02 AM
 
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"That way, her child could have the same yogurt package as everyone else without having all the sugar." Now that I've had a few days to ponder this parental judgment thing.... I feel sorry for this kid. Yes, I "water down" sugary products for my daughter. However, what kind of example are you setting for your kid when you go through all this trouble (bringing a syringe with you? REALLY?!) just to be like everyone else. This mother is basically instilling values like conformity, jealousy, etc into her kid by doing things so her kid can be "like everyone else."

Finding "her own style"? My parents would have answered, "You can buy new clothes with your own money." Yep, I was in hand-me-downs until I got my first babysitting and lawn-mowing gigs in my teens. I was taught to be grateful for what I had, because some kids' parents can't afford clothes. The author did nothing helpful by placating her daughter. She is teaching her daughter that judgment is okay, just as the yogurt-syringe mom did. She is teaching her daughter that caring what this "cool" girl thinks about her appearance should be motivation to change her appearance.

I might have said something in response to the incredibly sexist comments about violent play amongst boys, but otherwise would have shut up. My daughter is into all kinds of "boy" things, like trains and dirt and taking stuff apart to see how it works, and it has nothing to do with her plumbing, kthanks! My daughter is allowed to play with Disney princess garbage at other people's homes, but I refuse to allow it in my home. She is allowed to play violent games in other homes, but not here.

When I was a kid, I remember any time my siblings or myself said, "But, Mom/ Dad, EVERYONE else does _____." Their answer? "We're not 'everyone else'!" I will pass judgment's on someone's actions if they put themselves out there in this manner. My judgment is that these parents are teaching their kids that it's perfectly fine to let other's judgments about what's cool dictate how you live your life. When my parents were really frustrated by our "...but everyone else does" whining, they'd say, "What if everyone else decided to jump off a bridge?"


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#27 of 55 Old 03-08-2014, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There was a really lovely thread around here recently about teens and issues of conformity. I think maybe the "If everyone jumped off a bridge..." response is a little simplistic, to be honest and I'm sure I would not have appreciated it as a child. I have a pre-teen who is not yet interested in conformity though she is mildly concerned with what she wears beyond comfort/practical concerns. As am I. I'm not ready to pass judgement on how a parent chooses to address issues of conformity, because I haven't been there yet and I don't know how I will handle it. I will say that I will likely honor my child's feelings on the matter even if I still decide that it is not possible or advisable to provide for her wishes.  

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#28 of 55 Old 03-08-2014, 10:01 AM
 
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Wow. I think the best way to make a statement, nutritionally, is to feed your kid an apple. Or a banana. Or sliced tomatoes. Very little time and effort involved there, and everyone in the world will see your kid eating something healthy. In addition, you will be teaching your child a healthy way to snack. Really, why would you want to give them healthy food that looks like junk food. I'm not sure I understand the benefit. Hiding 'healthy food' in a junk food form just teaches kids to identify with and crave the junk food you are trying to keep them from.

I do think that is your kids get older, these small diet infractions become less of an issue. You can't control their diet forever (or much past preschool). Teaching them how to identify healthy foods and eat excess sugar in moderation is a much more usefull life skill.



The style thing... I have an 8 year old daughter, and haven't really dealt with this. So glad her school has uniforms! lol


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#29 of 55 Old 03-08-2014, 11:10 AM
 
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I don't believe the "if everyone else jumps off a bridge" idea is too simplistic. It gets the point across to a five year old. It makes sense to a teen. It still makes perfect sense to me, over a decade since I last heard it from my parents. The desire to conform is a very slippery slope. The desire to conform just to be "cool" or "fit in" feeds into such issues as eating disorders, promiscuity, drug use, and general dissatisfaction with life. Granted, these things can still happen to free spirits.

That "if everyone else jumps off a bridge" thinking lead my parents to raise a small army of children who are all fiercely independent, and unafraid of following their ambitions... free spirits, if you will. People are shocked to learn any of us are related. "How in the heck did you and (sibling) come from the same home, the same parents, all so close in age? You are nothing like her/him!" Myself and every single one of my siblings has gotten this comment on numerous occasions. We are proud to say how awesome our parents were for teaching us not to care what others think.

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#30 of 55 Old 03-08-2014, 11:11 AM
 
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I think the best way to make a statement, nutritionally, is to feed your kid an apple. Or a banana. Or sliced tomatoes. Very little time and effort involved there, and everyone in the world will see your kid eating something healthy. In addition, you will be teaching your child a healthy way to snack.



Wow, what a renegade! Putting a banana in your kid's lunch box! ;-)


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