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#61 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 02:46 PM
 
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Yeah you know who you are, sitting at the computer with a cupcake...
*Guiltily eye's her Dr. Pepper*

I know what you're saying. I see the extremists, too (on both sides of the spectrum.) And sometimes I don't know if they really ARE that disciplined and/or stubborn, or if they're just playing it up on the message board so that they don't look "bad" to their peers.

Personally, when I ask for advice I tend to ignore what I don't agree with. Especially if it's extreme. Many parents will say that leaving your child to CIO is going to scar them for life. But for a mother at the end of her rope, and at the end of her patience, leaving the child alone for a few minutes is far less scarring than snapping and screaming at the child or worse.

Parenting really is about following your own instincts. If it feels wrong, it probably is. And if you need to use a stroller because you have a bad back or a heavy child, by all means, use one (I know I do). I don't have much guilt about what my children's clothing is made out of. Heck, I don't even know what some of it is made of. There are a handful of things I feel strongly about - keeping babies intact, and at least trying breastfeeding being at the top. But even that, I don't voice any judgemental comments towards friends or family who have different views than me. I think we get louder objections here, because people aren't afraid of offending 'strangers on the interweb.' It's so easy to forget that the people posting are REAL people, who are only trying to do what's best for their children.
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#62 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 02:46 PM
 
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I think, though, that by asking "is this CIO?" and responding to that question, we're already getting things backwards. It's turning it into an ideological discussion, not advice on practicalities. And while such discussions are fine, they aren't really relevant to the needs of children--they're more about the needs of adults to fit in with other adults. Then again I don't go around calling myself "AP" because I think having a parenting "style" with a name is very yuppy and somewhat ridiculous to start with.
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#63 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 02:53 PM
 
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Maybe I don't understand Attachment Parenting as well as I thought I did, but I can say something about how I got here and how I relate to the whole extremism question.

My mom hit me a lot growing up and lost her temper frequently. She wasn't that great at showing affection, and she offered (and continues to offer!) a lot of criticism. I lose my temper a lot and I was kind of scared to even have a kid. What if I turned out like my mom? The way that I learned about AP made it seem like I could form a stronger bond with my child (then in the womb!) and maybe have a less-reactive and less damaging parenting style.

I don't think I'm alone in this, either. I see that many people here came to AP because they wanted some kind of guideline to non-abusive parenting.

Subsequently, I learned from a friend who is a child psychologist that she considers AP "the Martha Stewart approach to parenting." She doesn't think that it enhances attachment at all to co-sleep or babywear or whatever.

She could be right. I don't know. I think those things made our lives easier. My son seems to be doing okay so far.

It's kind of scary, not knowing what is the magical behavior that makes a child grow up secure, healthy and loving, and that keeps parents compassionate, optimistic, and supportive of their children. I can see why people get attached to one practice or another. "If only they would just breastfeed, their children would be physically healthy and emotionally secure!" we say, for example. But you know, my mom nursed me, and that didn't stop her from hitting me. You just can't predict.

In some ways it's actually a beautiful thing that we all care about each other's kids so much that we are judgmental about parenting practices. Not that we should be giving people a hard time for using a stroller or something! I just mean that our desire to do this well, and our fervor to proselytize, come from a good place.

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#64 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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Especially online where I suspect many pretend to be more orthodox AP than they really are. : Yeah you know who you are, sitting at the computer with a cupcake...
:

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Some things that I feel I shouldn't share here about my parenting...it's truly absurd.
Yeah me too. Maybe I should come clean now about a couple things too. I use sposies and my dd now sleeps in her crib. I am not even going to explain why or apologize because I shouldn't have to.

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Like we've been using the stroller a lot lately. We walk everywhere. I love the ergo but I messed my back up during pregnancy and birth and don't have the cash just now to see a chiro (soon I hope!) and it was getting to the point where going anywhere HURT like nobody's business. I realized I was going to develop PPD and start gaining back pregnancy weight if I didn't let myself get out WITHOUT having a 20 lb weight strapped to my front. She likes her stroller, oh sorry, her detachment parenting tool/baby containment device. She likes being able to look at the scenery oh sorry "people's knees and crotches." And I am feeling so much better! And I think we'll still be friends when she's 30. :?
I am glad you are feeling better. I am all about babywearing. I always advocate for it because I think it is great for baby's development and makes life easier for mama, at least it has for me. However, BOTH mama and baby should find it enjoyable, and nobody should ever suffer through it. I hope I have never come off as holier than thou or judgemental about it to anyone.

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#65 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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But some people look down their noses at anyone who doesn't go that far, so the pressure's on. Especially online where I suspect many pretend to be more orthodox AP than they really are. : Yeah you know who you are, sitting at the computer with a cupcake...

I think that something else that happens is that people read things that aren't there. Like people have accused me of being totally gung-ho (only organic clothes, no sugar etc) when I don't usually comment on those topics 'cause we sure don't live that way Sometimes just because a person is outspoken about SOME aspects, people take that to mean that they're just as outspoken on everything- when there's nothing to say that.

-Angela
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#66 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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Funny enough, my parents could have been members in good standing of MDC. Extended breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing before there were cool devices for it, cloth diapering for a while, etc. They didn't do GD, though I think they thought themselves very enlightened for only humiliating us and not beating us down physically. But they were terrible, terrible parents. The main warmth in my life came from my karo syrup formula-feeding, "mainstream" as heck grandmother.

So whenever I see a thread about those poor babies with mainstream moms, it angers me, but it angers me even more when I see someone going on about how dare anyone think so and so could be abusive, I mean, they're AP, after all! Like a sling could stop someone from treating their kid like crap.
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#67 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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So whenever I see a thread about those poor babies with mainstream moms, it angers me, but it angers me even more when I see someone going on about how dare anyone think so and so could be abusive, I mean, they're AP, after all! Like a sling could stop someone from treating their kid like crap.
This is why gentle discipline is my single biggest childrearing soapbox issue. Being gentle with an infant is pretty easy, compared to when they become toddlers and older. I believe most adults looking back on their childhood would be more likely to be appreciative of beign raised gently and responsively than whether they had cloth diapers versus disposables, or ate organic foods versus McDonalds twice a week. Maybe it's more likely that if you're AP/NFL and "in tune" you'll be more likely to be GD, but it's clearly not a sure thing.

I think the most important thing I've taken away from the boards recently has been living responsively, thoughtfully and intentionally...which I think can lead to a more AP/NFL lifestyle. BUT, that doesn't mean I don't like me a Wendy's frosty and vegging in front of the tube sometimes, too.

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#68 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:43 PM
 
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I believe most adults looking back on their childhood would be more likely to be appreciative of beign raised gently and responsively than whether they had cloth diapers versus disposables, or ate organic foods versus McDonalds twice a week.
Well, fwiw, I was spanked (VERY occasionally) as a child, and looking back, I don't care about that at all. However, I'm deeply appreciative of my mom's efforts to feed us a healthy diet.

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#69 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:53 PM
 
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Well, fwiw, I was spanked (VERY occasionally) as a child, and looking back, I don't care about that at all. However, I'm deeply appreciative of my mom's efforts to feed us a healthy diet.
True - I guess i'm talking about the people in 'the middle", which I think many, many of us are on MDC....that eatign McDonald's a couple times a week in teh grand scheme of things isn't that big a deal...and I'm talking about gentle parenting as more than just an occasional spanking. I guess I'm just not expressing myself well on this particular topic. Sorry.

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#70 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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There's this female version of macho, too, whose birth was more unattended, who is more willing to be vicious to formula feeders, who is willing to psychically bleed to death for the sake of "constant contact," etc. I make an effort to reject it. Sometimes that puts me in the "bad" column for AP, sometimes not. I'm trying not to care.
I could have written this. I totally agree. I have seen some lives, marriages, and women badly damaged by going to martyrdom extremes. Though it's anathema to say so on MDC, I think I martyred myself too much in the name of BFing. I was in a very bad (and fortunately rare) spot with it and basically "lost" DD's babyhood to constant pain, worry, and obsession. Looking back, I was indeed psychically bleeding to death, to my and my child's detriment. I have seen other women do this with cosleeping and nightparenting, and with always being the only true "parent" all the time, even when they're literally losing it, because they're afraid to leave their child with the father.

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#71 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:54 PM
 
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You shouldn't apologize. You are doing what works for you.
I agree with this, but I think the problem is that we all draw the line at different places. Do I personally think it's okay for someone to use a stroller if they have a bad back (or, heck, even if they don't)--of course. Do I think it's okay for someone to formula feed by choice--well, I think it's unfortunate that our culture doesn't do more to encourage bfing, but I don't think it's useful to shame individuals. Do I think it's okay for someone to "blanket train" their 4-month-old by using a switch--no, I don't. I just don't. And in that last case, yes, I WILL condemn the behavior, even if the mom says it's "working for her family."

The issue of "what works for you" becomes complicated when people genuinely believe others are harming their children. I truly believe it is harmful to use physical force to discipline a child--but there are plenty of "experts" and books that disagree with me. So what about that mom who truly believes that you are endangering your child (and hers) by not vaccinating or that nursing a 4 year old is sexual abuse? How much can either side really condone "what works for you" when what works for you is just morally wrong to me?

ETA: If anyone is really sitting out there with cupcakes...will you send one my way? I've already polished off the box of chocolate dh got me for Valentine's day.
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#72 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:56 PM
 
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It makes sense to me. You're talking more about the attitude behind GD than the actual details of practicing it, right? The attitude that kids are people. I'm sure Storm Bride's parents had that attitude also, even though they didn't practice GD, and that's why she feels positively about them.
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#73 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 03:57 PM
 
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True - I guess i'm talking about the people in 'the middle", which I think many, many of us are on MDC....that eatign McDonald's a couple times a week in teh grand scheme of things isn't that big a deal...and I'm talking about gentle parenting as more than just an occasional spanking. I guess I'm just not expressing myself well on this particular topic. Sorry.
No worries. I think I'm in a contrary mood today...

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#74 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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NYCVeg, that's why I prefer to go with the idea of something being evidence based. That and weighing harms. There's massive evidence against formula feeding by choice. There's paltry little evidence against stroller using by choice. There are studies showing TV can be bad for kids in excess, but little evidence on what small amounts can do. The flipside of that is that if 20 minutes of quality TV is what allows mom to get the time to write in her journal that keeps her from bursting at the seams from PPD, TV is the lesser of evils by far--objectively.

I know it's impossible to be completely objective about such personal matters as what is involved in childrearing, but I think keeping the actual evidence in sight helps a lot with perspective.
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#75 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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It makes sense to me. You're talking more about the attitude behind GD than the actual details of practicing it, right? The attitude that kids are people.
Right - I guess maybe I'm just for *thinking* about how you raise your child, looking into the various options available, instead of just doing something because everyone else is, or it's the way it's "supposed" to be, or it's the easiest thing to do. That kids are human beings and deserve to be treated respectfully in all aspects of their lives. I'm not a big fan of mommy martyrdom, but it really bothers me when children are seen as an irritation or inconvenience (though my 3-yo can be pretty irritating sometimes! ) AND, I think that it is possible to be responsive and fully entrenched in mainstream society; it's probably just more difficult.

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No worries. I think I'm in a contrary mood today...
Hey, we all get that way. No prob.

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#76 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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NYCVeg, that's why I prefer to go with the idea of something being evidence based. That and weighing harms. There's massive evidence against formula feeding by choice. There's paltry little evidence against stroller using by choice. There are studies showing TV can be bad for kids in excess, but little evidence on what small amounts can do. The flipside of that is that if 20 minutes of quality TV is what allows mom to get the time to write in her journal that keeps her from bursting at the seams from PPD, TV is the lesser of evils by far--objectively.

I know it's impossible to be completely objective about such personal matters as what is involved in childrearing, but I think keeping the actual evidence in sight helps a lot with perspective.
I agree with this as well, but...my evidence and someone else's evidence aren't the same. For one, I think many issues are not so clear cut--on vaccinating, for instance, I'm sure most people would say that the majority of the evidence says overwhelmingly that I should vaccinate my child. I read the evidence differently. Many moms might read Ferber and say that the evidence supports CIO as a good way to get baby to sleep--and to help that mom with PPD get the rest she needs. For many issues, I think the waters are just too muddied with competing experts, ideas, and styles. And on things like formula, the pro/con factors get skewed in the eye of the beholder--what seems like just an inconvenience on the road to bfing to one mom might make another say that the cost of bfing is just too high.

I'm eagerly awaiting the results of that stroller-by-choice study, though...let me know if you find one.
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#77 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 04:20 PM
 
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Wow, you guys are so, um, civilized!: What's going on? Inhaled too many cupcakes or something?

Moderation and common sense are the keys to everything in life. Yes, that's my take on it. : Where's that darn golden key smiley....

My kids are happy. My dh and I are happy. Our needs are met emotionally & physically. We fit nicely in our state and community where the norm is do whatever the heck you want and keep out of my business.

My inlaws (here in town now) probl. see us as WAY over there pegging the crunchy anti-establishment scale but my folks are pretty much the same as us.

Party On, Ladies! And, if you choose to use sugar in your cupcake or to make them vegan...who cares...ENJOY

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#78 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 04:23 PM
 
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BelgianSheepDog, you should talk. I still remember when I found you, friendless, helpless, hopeless, unemployed... in GREENland!

Sorry, couldn't resist TPBness.

To me, the crunchiness has always been more about attitude and intentions than anything else. I used a stroller tons with my kids. I had no car/license and it's not comfy to "wear" your 20lb baby while walking 3 miles across the city in 80 degree heat. I never felt guilty about using a stroller or an exersaucer and honestly I can't think of a reason why I should have. The kids were/are certainly attached to me the rest of the time! Same with watching TV, etc. Unless you are strapping your child into the babyseat and plunking him down in front of the TV for hours every day (like one mother I know), I don't believe that TV=non-AP. If you don't want to use these "devices," that's great, but simply owning a stroller or a TV does not disqualify a person from being AP/crunchy.
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#79 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 05:09 PM
 
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There's a recognized social psychology phenomenon in which, as groups of liked-minded people discuss their positions, they gradually become more extreme over time. I definitely see that happening at times in AP/NFL communities. It's like the bar is continually set higher and higher - first for what is considered ideal, and then for what is considered *minimally* acceptable.

For example:

Mothers should breastfeed for at least a year.
Mothers should breastfeed for at least a year, without EVER supplementing with formula.
Mothers should breastfeed for at least TWO years without supplementing.
Mothers should breastfeed for at least two years, AND breastmilk should be the primary source of calories until children are over two.
Mothers should breastfeed for MORE than two years.

Or, for GD:

Parents should not use physical punishment or humiliation.
Parents should not use time-out.
Parents should not use ANY form of punishment.
Parents should not criticize.
Parents should not use rewards.
Parents should not praise.
Parents should rescue their children from natural consequences.
Parents should not use distraction or playful techniques which are manipulative.
Parents should be careful not to indicate approval or disapproval of their children's behavior.

The "right way" keeps getting redefined to include fewer and fewer people. Delaying solids until 6 months is no longer enough - now people are being urged to start later and later, and then to only give "tastes" of solids until after the first year. Keeping your child rear-facing to the seat's weight limit is no longer enough - now people are being urged to buy new seats with higher rear-facing limits. And so on.

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#80 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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OK, how did you see me eating that cupcake? I was polishing off my Maggie's birthday cake from yesterday when I stumbled on this thread!

Yes, I gave her chocolate cake and took pictures of her pigging out. I also changed her cloth diaper this morning with chocolate cake poop.

I too have seen extremes in NFL circles and the more mainstream type circles. We carry Maggie everywhere. I wear her in my sling or dh wears her in the Babybjorn (more macho looking I guess ). When the weather breaks in the Spring and we start walking more at night, we might finally invest in a stroller for her but I still havent gotten to that point. Last summer, she only weighed about 6 lbs so she was worn everywhere. She loves to be worn right now everywhere. But she also stopped breastfeeding. She is only 1 yrs old. Its killing me since I nursed my older one until she was 2 1/2 and upped and did a child led wean. Maggie also did a child led wean but on her own schedule. I am now wondering how I will get thru the tot time without nursing!

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#81 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 05:20 PM
 
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NYCVeg, that's why I prefer to go with the idea of something being evidence based.
One of the problems there though is that the "evidence" changes. I would venture a guess that in 1975 you probably could have found plenty saying that formula feeding was at least just as good as breast feeding.

-Angela
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#82 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 05:42 PM
 
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Rather than keeping up with the Jones, she's keeping up with the Raynbow Arwen Starrs.



I think that it is the nature of the beast for a message board to tend to an extreme, whether it's NFL or AP, or who can make their child cnform to a more rigid schedule than the next person.

Yes, you get the discussions of whether having your husband present make it a real UC, or whether it's negligent to not change wet nappies every two hours all night long, but that's neither the opinion or the aspiration of the majority. And you get some very prolific, very opinionated posters who just go all over the place putting one line judgements on everything.

It is better for everyone to eat as much whole food as possible, minimise our impact on the earth, etc, etc. And I don't think that's incompatible with feminism. Why would it have to be the female who cooked the food, or hung the nappies on the line? Of course she's the only one who can breastfeed, but you can still share the total tasks equally between the sexes. So while you're feeding the baby he's doing the dishes or washing the floor.

But I maybe have a non-traditional view of feminism - I see it as the freedom for all humans to choose the roles they want to play. So if I was told my choice to stay at home with my child for a couple of years was derided as not feminist, then isn't feminism just the opposite sort of restriction? Surely it's not meant to make working out of the home compulsory? If it was, does that make my husabnd a feminist, and if he was at home, would it make him an anti-feminist?

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One of the problems there though is that the "evidence" changes. I would venture a guess that in 1975 you probably could have found plenty saying that formula feeding was at least just as good as breast feeding.
Actually, Angela, no, there were never any large randomised controlled trials to show that formula feeding was anywhere near as good as breastfeeding. That's why evidence based parenting is the way I go.
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#83 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 05:46 PM
 
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Actually, Angela, no, there were never any large randomised controlled trials to show that formula feeding was anywhere near as good as breastfeeding. That's why evidence based parenting is the way I go.
Right, no full-on trials, but plenty of "experts" For so many things, there ISN'T any real evidence yet. (after all, who pays for those studies?) So I think there are many things worth taking a stand for that can't be demonstrated *yet* with randomised controlled trials.

-Angela
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#84 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 05:47 PM
 
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Or, for GD:

Parents should not use physical punishment or humiliation.
Parents should not use time-out.
Parents should not use ANY form of punishment.
Parents should not criticize.
Parents should not use rewards.
Parents should not praise.
Parents should rescue their children from natural consequences.
Parents should not use distraction or playful techniques which are manipulative.
Parents should be careful not to indicate approval or disapproval of their children's behavior.
Excellent example. GD is an area I have the hardest time with in this regard.

I'm a totally gentle mom. I know in my heart that I am. GD works great in our house. And yet, the other day, when leaving a play area with DD, she had a minor melt down. We had to go, she didn't want to. I worked with her for as long as I could. There were a few minutes where she wasn't really happy. She's 2. This is normal. But I felt like the biggest loser on the face of the earth, and I beat myself up all the way to our next appointment (while, I might add, DD was singing happily).

Why? Because I could feel the invisible eyes of the GD Righteous glaring down on me. It didn't matter that I spent the entire day doing gentle things with my daughter. It didn't matter that my personal philosophy is that it IS okay to draw a line and say after appropriate preparation, we're going NOW, I'm sorry if you don't like it but we have an appointment we cannot miss. It didn't matter that we *couldn't* stay if we'd wanted to, because the space was being used for something else. It didn't matter that our next destination was one that my daughter had been looking forward to and that she enjoyed very much. Oh, no. All I could think of was how I wasn't GD enough, because I *made* my daughter put on her coat and boots when she wanted to play some more, instead of coming up with a better solution. And my inability to find that solution made me feel LIKE CRAP. You'd think I'd swatted her in the face, the way I felt.

It took me several hours to talk myself down from the fact that I was applying a standard that was unattainable to my parenting. A minor blip - three minutes - in the course of my ENTIRE DAY with DD where things didn't go smoothly. Did I mention she's 2?

I was thinking about posting that situation in the GD forum, but I didn't, because I knew I would have been told by multiple posters that if I had been just resourceful enough, I could have come up with a mutually agreeable solution and DD wouldn't have been unhappy.

It's enough to make me reconsider all the research and time I put into parenting by reading these boards. Because they just make me feel inferior sometimes.
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#85 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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Actually, Angela, no, there were never any large randomised controlled trials to show that formula feeding was anywhere near as good as breastfeeding. That's why evidence based parenting is the way I go.
True...but doctors, magazines, books, and other mothers consistently reinforced the idea that formula was scientific and easier than and superior to bm. In the 50s, all the doctors and experts would have told you that spanking and CIO were necessary if you wanted your child to delvelop properly. There was no internet to search for alternative information. Many of the studies on bfing hadn't been done at that point either, even if you were a mom with the time and resources to go to the library to pore through medical journals looking for "evidence".

I think Angela's point is a good one. "Evidence" is ideal, but there are serious limitations. There will always be an absence of studies on certain issues (erm, vaccination anyone?), as well as a disparity among experts (how else to account for the fact that some people on this board think that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly suggests that a "nourishing traditions" type diet is best, while others think the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that a vegan diet is healthiest?). The other problem with "evidence" is that relying too muc on studies and experts can seriously deaden one's parenting instincts--which is what happens often with CIO, I think.
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#86 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 06:28 PM
 
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There was no internet to search for alternative information. Many of the studies on bfing hadn't been done at that point either, even if you were a mom with the time and resources to go to the library to pore through medical journals looking for "evidence".

IThe other problem with "evidence" is that relying too muc on studies and experts can seriously deaden one's parenting instincts.
I wholeheartedly agree on those two points. First off, we can get so caught up in certain ideas, traditions and studies that we forget to listen to our own instincts. We all have them because each child is different, and who better to know that child and understand what s/he needs than their mother/caretaker, etc.? Not every child is going to respond to a certain technique or parenting style the same way.

And about the formula....my DP's mother was told not to breastfeed with all three of her children (and my DP's the youngest, born in '69) because it formula was more nutritious...for who knows better than science? (meaning the science of making formula) I actually had to use one of their bedrooms to breastfeed when we visited because it made them so uncomfortable. I could have pushed the issue, but it wasn't worth it to me.

loving a small homestead with DH and DS (12/2005) keeping it natural, frugal and back to basics :
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#87 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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I think we should all stop caring about what other people on a message board think of us and what we do

Really, something to take into an account is that I think there is always an "arc" of development among our beliefs and who we are. I came to this board just because of cloth diapering... being here has changed what I believe about parenting and we now do many of the "ap/gd" things... but there was definately a point after really subscribing to this ideal that I was fanatic about it. I wasn't trying to mean or better than thou... it was just my sheer excitement about finding something that really resonated with me and that I really believed in. Over time I still have those same beliefs and probably have developed them to further extreme thanks to this board BUT I am not so adamant or voiceful over them anymore. Part of growing older and wiser has helped me realize that there isnt a set solution for ANYTHING and all things must be considered and sometimes you have to set your ideals aside. I think everyone who comes to this board and is young and new to it probably goes through a similar process and journey.


chinakat - I try very hard to be a non coercive/non punishing child, but sometimes things just dont go as well as i planned. You sometimes just have to let go because you can't change what has already happened. Take note, think about what you could do differently (if anything) and move on. No one in the GD forum wants anyone to feel bad all day because of for 3 minutes out of the day you weren't your best. The GD forum is a lot of things tho.. besides just a forum for practical advice it hosts a lot of philosphy based discussions and that has to be taken into account
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#88 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 06:59 PM
 
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Excellent example. GD is an area I have the hardest time with in this regard.

I'm a totally gentle mom. I know in my heart that I am. GD works great in our house. And yet, the other day, when leaving a play area with DD, she had a minor melt down. We had to go, she didn't want to. I worked with her for as long as I could. There were a few minutes where she wasn't really happy. She's 2. This is normal. But I felt like the biggest loser on the face of the earth, and I beat myself up all the way to our next appointment (while, I might add, DD was singing happily).

Why? Because I could feel the invisible eyes of the GD Righteous glaring down on me. It didn't matter that I spent the entire day doing gentle things with my daughter. It didn't matter that my personal philosophy is that it IS okay to draw a line and say after appropriate preparation, we're going NOW, I'm sorry if you don't like it but we have an appointment we cannot miss. It didn't matter that we *couldn't* stay if we'd wanted to, because the space was being used for something else. It didn't matter that our next destination was one that my daughter had been looking forward to and that she enjoyed very much. Oh, no. All I could think of was how I wasn't GD enough, because I *made* my daughter put on her coat and boots when she wanted to play some more, instead of coming up with a better solution. And my inability to find that solution made me feel LIKE CRAP. You'd think I'd swatted her in the face, the way I felt.

It took me several hours to talk myself down from the fact that I was applying a standard that was unattainable to my parenting. A minor blip - three minutes - in the course of my ENTIRE DAY with DD where things didn't go smoothly. Did I mention she's 2?

I was thinking about posting that situation in the GD forum, but I didn't, because I knew I would have been told by multiple posters that if I had been just resourceful enough, I could have come up with a mutually agreeable solution and DD wouldn't have been unhappy.

It's enough to make me reconsider all the research and time I put into parenting by reading these boards. Because they just make me feel inferior sometimes.
Well, that certainly does not sound like it was very pleasant, eh?

But I guess what I have been getting at during my posts on this thread is what exactly do you want people to do about that? There are some people in the world that may have done something different than you did. Should they not because it makes you feel bad? Should they do what they want but never talk about it because it makes you feel bad?

Suppose you had posted that on the GD forum. Those posts are always there. The "this happened and I did not like how it went, what could I do differently?" threads. I tend to not reply to those. It is almost always going to be a trainwreck because the OP is usually not actually looking for suggestions. They want everyone to say "you are right, there is absolutely no alternatives to that situation except exactly what you did". When someone posts asking for suggestions, by mind starts brainstorming and I might pass along ideas or my own experiences. Or at least I did, until I discovered that indeed, they are looking for validation rather than suggestions. I think it is perfectly fine to ask for validation. But to ask for "suggestions" and then start calling posters "holier than thou" for making suggestions that unbeknownst to them are unacceptable to the OP is not really productive for anyone.

So my point? Guilt is not good. It is either a manifestation of deeper feelings about a situation or it is useless baggage caused by knowing people do it different even if you think what you did is perfectly fine. The first case should be examined and the second should be discarded. It sounds like your case was in the second catagory. You like the way you discipline. You are not interested in changing it as you feel it works fine for your family. Then you do not need to worry what anyone else thinks. To do so is damaging for you.
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#89 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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But NYCveg, it was not ever evidence based (formula over BFing). It was popular, but not evidence based, just as, for example, routine epidurals are popular but not evidence based these days.

Evidence based parenting is not about choosing what's popular or unpopular, or making decisions based on hearsay or anecdotes but about what has good quality evidence to back it up.

Quote:
we can get so caught up in certain ideas, traditions and studies that we forget to listen to our own instincts. We all have them because each child is different, and who better to know that child and understand what s/he needs than their mother/caretaker, etc.?
But what about the mother whose first instinct is to put her crying newborn down alone to sleep, or whack her whinging two year old across the face? Instincts can be bad as well as good.

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"Evidence" is ideal, but there are serious limitations.
I would agree with that excpet in the context of your post, which is that I'll go alomg with it until I disagree and then I'll ignore it. How would you feel if your midwife ignored the evidence that epsiotomies are mostly harmful and cut one anyway because she had a gut feeling that heads couldn't fit through vaginas? Or if she didn't tell you your child was a footlng breech stargazer because she had a feeling you'd be fine at home? It cuts both ways. You can't cite the WHO BFing recommendations as applicable to first and third world countries unless you also cite their vaccination ones, for example.

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OTOH, I have RARELY seen mainstream mamas do that[gang up]. Is that inherently part of ap/nfl?
You just don't read the right boards. Mainstream parents are just as willing to annihilate a woman they saw feed their child coke in a bottle as anyone here is.

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I think, though, that by asking "is this CIO?" and responding to that question, we're already getting things backwards. It's turning it into an ideological discussion, not advice on practicalities. And while such discussions are fine, they aren't really relevant to the needs of children--they're more about the needs of adults to fit in with other adults.
yes, exactly, belgiansheepdog, exactly!
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#90 of 327 Old 02-16-2007, 07:43 PM
 
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I've been following this discussion and I'm really enjoying reading the posts. I think the biggest thing that worries me about this "extreme" is the illusion of control. What I mean by that is that we can become so consumed by making the best choices for our dc that we think that end up feeling completely overwhelmed.

As most of us know you can do everything right per say, but still be surprised by the result. Life has many curve balls, of course it isn't easy- but trying to control everything in terms of parenting can lead to disappointment and confusion. I am all for doing the best for our dc and making the most sound decisions we can as parents, but when I start to think that I can control everything- I'm only fooling myself.
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