What aspect of your parenting has... - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: What do you get the MOST criticism about?
breastfeeding at all 5 1.67%
extended breastfeeding 35 11.67%
co-sleeping 66 22.00%
not doing cry-it-out sleep training 27 9.00%
cloth diapers 5 1.67%
babywearing/holding baby a lot 18 6.00%
vaccination choices 46 15.33%
circumcision choices 10 3.33%
delaying solids 4 1.33%
other food and diet-related issues 27 9.00%
gentle discipline styles 32 10.67%
other (please explain-- I couldn't think of anymore right now!) 25 8.33%
Voters: 300. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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What aspect of your parenting choices have you gotten the most negative comments and criticism about, whether from strangers or family/friends?

A thread in diapering about strangers making comments about a child's cloth diapers got me thinking. I realized that I've gotten far more comments about babywearing, both positive and negative, and negative comments about co-sleeping, than I have about cloth diapering. And I know so many of us have gotten criticized for our AP and NFL choices, and felt the need to defend them.

So I thought we'd have a survey about what has brought on the most negative comments for YOU!

I voted for co-sleeping. Absolutely anyone who ever visits my house comments on the lack of a separate room for DD. Although she has slept in her own room part-time for about a month now, so I guess the comments might decrease soon. Surprising, nobody has ever said a word to me about CIO. My family and DH's are not the sleep-training types, I guess.

************Edited to add an apology for leaving out homeschooling, and also homebirth and natural birth. Sorry!!!

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#2 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 11:32 AM
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I said CIO. But it was really a toss-up between that, co-sleeping, or food/diet-related issues.

The only comments that actually bother me are the ones from people who KNOW that we are happy with our arrangements, but they still choose to believe that it's not possible, so they continue to make unwanted suggestions. I have it pretty easy, though overall, because I am older and most people know I am not the type who takes well to uninvited advice.

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#3 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 12:11 PM
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Co-sleeping has gotten the most negative attention from my family. They were all concerned about me "killing the baby by rolling over on him" and "suffocating him with the balnkets" and the ever popular "he'll get wedged between the wall and bed and die a slow and painful death" : It could be because no one in my family ever breastfed so they had to get up and walk across the house to make a bottle at night anyway. I really enjoyed not having to get out of bed to feed DS, and having him close to me helped us both sleep better.

Three years later and we still co-sleep part time and I wouldn't have it any other way

Not vaxing has gotten us a lot of negative attention when we have to go to the Doctor. I don't mind though, I've done my research and am comfortable with my descision. I'll go head to head with any doctor any day to support my choice not to vax.

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#4 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 12:48 PM
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EBF is the only thing that has ever gotten snide comments.

Home'bing, hsing (I get the most support with this), selective vax on our timeline, no circ, no spanking, no CIO-share sleep, organic foods, wooden toys-- all fine and interesting to most, ime. Over the years, people have asked respectful questions about most everything. I've never had any really bad conversations. But even the most homeschool-y- hippie-libertarian-free- love-no-war, hang-Bush folks will do the freaky face thing when hearing or seeing a 3 yr old nurse. 'Wow! Are you sure that's *healthy* for them"!? Too much reading of Greek tragedies, I guess.
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#5 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 01:03 PM
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Thats really a tough one because I seem to get negative comments about EVERYTHING. But I get the most about still breastfeeding...James is 11 months old.

I also get lost of negativity about wanting to homeschool (he'll be socially retarted-direct quote- He won't have any friends. He won't be smart as the other kids. He'll be stunted, socially...yup because I intend to keep him locked away and not let him have any friends)

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#6 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 01:36 PM
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Unassisted birthing, atheist, WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids 17, 11, 6, 3
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#7 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 01:43 PM
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I get some very negative comments about the co-sleeping thing from my parents and some of DH's friends. The most direct and negative comments, however, seem to concern the way I try to let DD lead the way in terms of her comfort level. She's an initially very shy child, and also very mommy-focused. Sometimes we will go to parties (family-oriented-type affairs) and she insists on spending the first 45 minutes in my arms, hiding her face, despite lots of little ones running around for her to play with. People say things along the lines of, you need to put her down, she'll never learn to be social that way, sometimes you just can't coddle them, etc etc. Or, I'll be chatting with a couple of neighbors on our street, and DD will want to be held as we chat, and I will hear similar comments. This burns me - I know my child and she's the biggest, silliest, most verbal and imaginative chatterbox out there (at 19 months asked me "why are you fluffing my curls?"), but she's painfully shy around people she's not comfortable with and I see no need to force her beyond what is comfortable for her. People can't seem to understand this child-led approach. More frustrating still, they feel a need to try to cut it down and "educate" me in front of my child. : She is gradually outgrowing her shyness, but she's going to get there at her own pace, y'know?

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#8 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 02:04 PM
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Well, my family is totally supportive of all my parenting choices so this is based on strangers and acquaintances, all whom I couldn’t care less about their opinion. So the negative opinions never really bother me.

Anyway, I picked gentle discipline. Only because all of the other choices on the poll rarely come up with people outside of my immediate circle.

My “discipline” style is very laid back. As long as my DS isn’t harming himself or causing others harm I pretty much let him make all of his own decisions and he deals with the natural consequences of his actions. Despite him being a wonderful, bright child who is usually very mild mannered people who I discuss this with still feel the need to go on and on about how children need discipline, preferably the strict spanking, shaming type crap.

I have actually heard one person say that small children are comparable to puppies or other semi intellegent animals. They need to be trained right from the beginning or else you’re going to have major problems later on.

So, because I don’t believe in hitting my child or degrading him on a daily basis for age appropriate things, I am basically looking forward to having a completely out of control sociopath later on.


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#9 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 02:14 PM
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Co-sleeping. We've heard some safety concerns (mainly from MOL because the mayor of her city made a drastically uninformed statement against it and got a lot of press, but to her credit she stopped fretting about it by the end of her visit when he was a newborn) but mostly people tell me EnviroBaby will never be able to sleep without me and tell me I "need to get more sleep" by sleeping in a different room--as if!

I think we'd get more negative comments about not circ-ing if more people knew about it.

We've never gotten a negative comment on cloth diapering, but people's reactions are usually along the lines of, "Wow, it's great for the environment that you do that, but you must be a saint to take on all that horrible extra work!" They never tried it, so how would they know? We rave on and on about how easy it is!

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#10 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 02:21 PM
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lets not forget homeschooling.

I only nursed my children a couple of years so I didn't get a lot of somments about that bcause it is entirely unusual. Same with co-sleeping.

people think I am realy cool for cloth diapering and some kind of martyr.

But the vax thing
. Holy moly - not only am I putting my baby in a life threatening position but also thiers. How dare I. I don't get to just opt out. everyony has to do it or it won't work ya know.

and homeschooling. I think a lot of people feel judged when I homeschool and they dont (those who feel it really is the best choice but are too lazy to do it)or they feel like I should be putting all that time and energy into making thier childs school better for everyone. (I would so not be the type of parent to volunteer.)

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#11 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 02:24 PM
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We live in a v "progressive" area & have supportive family, so we get no crap about our parenting generally. The most negative stuff I have heard is about vaccinations, and all of that has been from people who feel they are more AP / more natural-living than they think I am. Basically high-horse, "you're injuring your child," conspiracy-theory crap, and always when they are announcing their own non-vaccinating status and think I'm going to disagree w/them (which I've never done -- I trust other parents to make vacc. decisions for their children).
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#12 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 02:28 PM
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Vaccinations -- I've gotten flak at a couple of playgroups, and one of my grandmothers has a hard time understanding our choice. She was a nurse through WWII and lost several members of her immediate family to polio, so she has very strong emotional associations with the subject. But while she might not agree with our decision, she does respect our right as Q's parents to make that decision and has handled our discussions politely.
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#13 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 02:45 PM
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There was no option for me. I haven't received any negative comments about my parenting decisions.

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#14 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 02:51 PM
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I wish this was multiple choice. If it were it would be, in order: vax, delaying solids, circumcision, ebf

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#15 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:18 PM
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I choose circ. We don't get a lot of flack from anyone now, but many questioned our decision not to circ. and put pressure on us to do so. We've also had friends w/out kids tell us that intact penises look ugly :

We don't discuss our vax decisions w/ many people but I'm sure we'd get negative comments about it if we did.

The grandparents think we are "too strict" when it comes to nutrition--basically all we do is limit sugar and junk and no soda

In general DH's friends think we're crazy liberal hippies when it comes to parenting and we get into some pretty good debates with them but they aren't negative or rude about it (other than the circ issue) We co-sleep, cloth diaper, babywear, extended BF, no-circ, selectively vac., gentle dicipline--they do none of these

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#16 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:35 PM
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It's a toss-up between co-sleeping and extended breastfeeding. I do not make it a point to let others know I co-sleep, but when they find out almost everyone makes a big deal out of it My mom has made comments before, but I think by now she realizes I am not going to change it just for her so she doesn't say anything about it. I can see her holding back her comments some days though. I do nurse DS anywhere he wants, at any time, so that's gotten me quite a few looks lately (he's 26 months).

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#17 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:38 PM
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That's a really hard thing to decide! (Which is kind of sucky really lol) I voted "co-sleeping" but I could have also said gentle discipline, extended breastfeeding or "other" for unschooling. Also the fact that we have no problem with the kids watching TV or playing video games gives some people fits.

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#18 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:38 PM
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I have received the most criticism for not BF my baby, my last child. (got the snip) I was berated on another board and basically told I was an unfit mother. Let me just say that I am not BF novice. I did not do the EBF, but my 2 older children were BF, one until age 6 months and one til a year old. I worked my butt off to get the oldest to latch on correctly, tried all of the tricks and used one of those bottles with the tubing you tape to your breast (sorry the name escapes me right now~brain fart). Finally he did it. The second one was a natural. I know how BF. With my third, I tried for a week, and ended up back in the hospital with a medical problem requiring medication that would interfere with BF. Baby also was tongue-tied (since fixed). So, I decided that it was best to go to formula instead of being sick and trying to care for 3 children. My DH was a help but he had to go back to work soon after the birth.

So, I tell my story on another board and this person tells me that since I was "too lazy" to BF, and would not get milk from a milk bank as we do not have money for that, that I was unfit as a mother. She claims that my medical problems were a lie and that everyone who ever said they "couldn't" BF just made up excuses not to do it. She talked down to me as if I were totally stupid. I told her where to get off and how to do it.

I do not judge anyone for their choice on how to feed their child. I would never ever speculate why a mama is using a bottle or not. However, I also am FULLY supportive of NIP. I think that BF moms get a bad rap too. I would have even participated in those "nurse-ins" some people were doing awhile back, but since I FF, I figured I might not be welcome.
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#19 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:39 PM
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Hands down, vaccination choices here.
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#20 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:41 PM
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Cosleeping definitely. I'm so sick of hearing about how she will never leave our bed and that we better just stick her in her own room now before the baby comes because 'you know you can't have TWO in your bed!' We've gotten some pretty stupid remarks when we mention we are planning a homebirth also. I won't even mention some of the moronic comments about it, because they'd seriously make your head spin!

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#21 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:43 PM
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Nothing. Perhaps I give off a don't eff with me air or something , but no one has ever made a negative comment about my parenting choices. If they did, I'd probably just ignore it anyway.
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#22 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 03:48 PM
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Mine isn't on there - formula feeding. Without a doubt I've gotten not only the most comment about how I supplemented with formula but also the most hurtful comments.

Only one person gets on my case about not vaxing. The world at large doesn't know about that. Likewise with co-sleeping, only close friends and family know but I'd have to say that's getting the most comments now from family.

It'll be homeschooling soon, though. I have a feeling the homeschooling stuff will make all that came before it look like small potatoes.

Another biggie has been No TV and our diet. Alot of ppl feel the need to comment on those two things as well. (I am so sick of the 'forbidding it will make it more alluring' argument I could scream.)


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#23 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 04:07 PM
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I'd have to say cosleeping, though as DS gets older it may change to discipline. And the comments are more along the lines of "is he sleeping in his own room yet?"

Diapers - when pregnant with DS, my dad asked my hubby if he wanted in on the pool about how long the "cloth diaper thing" would last, most people were betting 2 weeks. Before Christmas this year, when asking for the link to buy DS' new size large pocket dipes as a gift, my dad asked if they should just get gender-neutral colors from here on out. Talk about a 180!

Vax - I don't talk about it, my son's medical record is nobody's business.

Extended breastfeeding or not circ'ing - anybody who questions it can go F off.

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#24 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 06:33 PM
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All the critisim I have gotten comes from my dad. But, I let him do it only once. I nip it in the bud right quick. He knows I will not discuss it with him. The things he has brought up are babywearing/"never putting the kid down", co-sleeping, vaccs, circ, EBFing, home birth, GD, homeschooling, and long hair and pink/purple for boys. I can tell he bites his tongue A LOT these days.

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#25 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 08:15 PM
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Everybody just kept volunteering to buy us cribs. THey just couldnt imagine why in the world I would want to have a baby without a crib.
That said I have probably received almost as many comments about ebf, cio and circ.
However I must say that my family is rediculously supportive, even my in-laws so even when they are baffled by the things I do they usually get over it pretty quick and think that I must be some sort of gifted ubermom to have thought of these things.
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#26 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 08:36 PM
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"That baby needs water. and some formula. Breastmilk will not be enough."
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#27 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 09:39 PM
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I've gotten negative comments for alot of our parenting choices. Cloth dipes, always holding, gentle discipline, breastfeeding, and even circ (from DH and we don't have a son yet!)

But by far the one I've gotten the most comments about has been my no-vax stance...from my mother, who says I'm putting my dd's life in danger and she has made comments to other people about calling CPS. *sigh*

Of course, my mother, who has always praised me for being an independent free-thinker who doesn't follow the flock also thinks I blindly follow everything MDC says If that were the case, I'd being living off-grid, in a yurt, eating an organic vegan diet (from my own garden of course), ECing, using cloth TP in addition to my cloth mama pads, raising chickens, sheep and goats, knitting and sewing all of my clothing (from yarn I spun from my sheep) , unschooling my kids who never watch TV, and DH would never touch another video game.

Come to think of it... that sounds like a nice vacation Anyone care to join me?
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#28 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 10:48 PM
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We don't talk about not vaccinating with many people so people haven't had much opportunity to criticize us for that... though I'm sure they would.

I said babywearing because almost every single person we know has said, "you'll need to put the baby down sometime and you definitely need a stroller". Yes, we have had to put the baby down on occasion (not very often at all though - and I happen to LIKE holding her ), but I personally HATE strollers and find them to be the biggest pain ever. I helped push my younger siblings in them and it was no fun at all. The wheels get messed up, it's really hard in a crowd of people, and stairs or trails cannot be done at all. When she's bigger we may think about getting one, but for an infant??? I think not. Not that I care if other people use the stupid clunky things...

The other thing we get a lot of flack about is EC. At least till I explain it in great detail. Then we get looks of absolute awe and amazement. "Your 6 week old has gone 12 hours without messing up a diaper???????" Wow. Amazing "She TELLS you when she has to go????" Yep!

But before I explain everything about it, people think we're completely mad

love and peace.

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#29 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 10:51 PM
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Breastfeeding in public.

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#30 of 105 Old 12-29-2005, 11:42 PM
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Haven't gotten many negative comments on anything. People don't seem to want to lecture me, I guess.

I think people probably thought I was crazy to EBF and WOH, since it involved so much pumping, but everyone was, for the most part, supportive. Now when I find out a woman is WOH and pumping, I make sure to tell her what a great thing she is doing for her baby.

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