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I'm so irritated lately - why is it that so many mothers are such goldarn busybody know-it-alls!!??<br><br>
And AP/ alternative mothers seem to be some of the worst! Or maybe I should say it bugs me the worst when AP/alt moms do this.<br><br>
People have different rules because their families are different! If someone doesn't let their kid eat sand that's fine! It grosses them out, it's too much for them, it doesn't work for their family - their reasons are good reasons and good enough for them! But if someone else just wants to ignore it - why the heck do some moms feel they simply must "step in" and stop the child from eating sand?<br><br>
Another example - I don't let my child stand on chairs. But it's OUR rule for heaven's sake - I'd never even think to ask another child to sit down in their chair <i>if their parent was right there and it was obviously fine with them!</i><br><br>
That's what just makes me so irritated - when someone takes the liberty to direct my child when what she is doing is hurting no one else and I am obviously okay with it. Tell your opinions to me if you can't hold back - but if I have a different rule and don't agree then CAN IT!!!<br><br>
And if I have to say "Ellie sit or kneel please" when she stands up on a chair because the child across from her stands on her chair well I consider that MY problem - I tell Elle that different families have different rules. No problem! I'm not going to try and make the whole blessed world conform to MY standards - aaaahhh! It kills me!<br><br>
And I just get fried when "alternative" type moms do this because it seems so hypocritical. Is the whole "do what works for your family" line just blabber or do we really believe that? It seems we want the "outside" world to give us some space to do what works for us but a good portion of us moms don't want to give that same space to other moms.<br><br>
I hope nobody thinks this thread is aimed at them personally - I assure everyone it's not! I'd bet most everyone here has had the experience of someone stepping on their toes and I mainly just wanted to vent because this has been happening so much to me lately - over stupid stuff that is totally a personal preference! It happened today and I'm miffed about it still (you could tell that though!) because the woman was very rude about it.
 

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I hate that.<br><br>
Though, sometimes it helps me to remember that AP/alternative/whatever people are still people, and people in general (while well meaning) are often a bit thoughtless/hypocritical when it comes to "their way" of doing things.<br><br>
To be honest, being reminded of that doesn't make me less irritated when it happens--but it occasionally helps me to reign in my temper.<br><br>
I'm sorry that someone was that rude to you today!
 

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Hey,<br><br>
I'd be more pissed about the rudeness than anything. What's up with rude people? They're so rude!<br>
Stepping on toes...<br>
That used to happen to me when we lived around all of our friends. We moved and only have one really close friend and their family is really cool about stuff like this. Anyway, an old friend was visiting and he started immediately with the stuff you mentioned. He was telling my daughter constantly to “watch out, don’t fall” and etc. He is a very protective father and worries that his kids will fall. It is his greatest fear. (I gave him some arnica as a gift for him to give to his kids!). In my opinion his fear contributes to why his kids are so klutzy. Anyway, he always removes my daughter from situations that he doesn’t think are safe but that we obviously are fine with.<br>
I wanted to say this stuff so you would know that I know how you feel because I have a new way of dealing with this stuff, especially now that our daughter is a little older (2 years). Lately, I have been stepping aside and letting her figure out the new dynamic for her self. I always watch to be sure that she is dealing well with the new person and the different rules but if she can deal, I let it go. I’ve been doing this for several reasons. 1st, is because I want my daughter to know that there are other people in the world that can care for her, only it will usually be in a different way, with different “norms” than what we have together (this includes her father, who has slightly different “rules” when it’s just the two of them). 2nd I want people to contribute with my kid and I don’t want them to feel that they can’t be comfortable doing so. And 3rd I want my daughter to begin to learn that there are different norms and rules, even when I’m around. For example my friends have a 3 year old and she and everyone in the family do not get up from the table until everyone is finished. I would like my daughter to begin to learn that in their house, these are the rules and, although they are different than mom’s rules, they should be respected. I don’t expect my daughter to be able to fully understand this for a long time but I find that if I set my expectations higher, she will normally be able (and want to) contribute.<br>
Oh my! I just went on and on…I know that this isn’t exactly what you’re talking about and I really, really don’t want to seem like I’m not on your side because I am on your side. It’s just that by turning the experience into a learning experience for my daughter it has helped me deal with this type of irritating behavior from other people.<br>
BTW, yesterday I took my daughter to a party and she was about to eat the pretzel that she had dropped on the floor when a woman came flying across the room to grab it from her. I was sitting right there watching my daughter eat it! It was so funny to me. The woman put the pretzel in the trash and then gave me a look like she had just saved the day. I just got down with my daughter and said to her that the woman probably thought the pretzel was too dirty, ha? My daughter agreed.
 

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IMO, the ones who are judgemental are the ones who are not secure in their parenting. They need to proseleytize others so that everyone can be a reflection of their parenting syle, thus making them feel more secure. In my life experience, the things you are most judgemental about are the things you need to examine within yourself.<br><br>
Admittedly, I am judgemental against babywisers because I have empathy for the baby. When I hear some mom's talking about letting their babies cry for 3 hours to get sleep I want to puke. I certainly think my way of parenting is better in this circumstance,(though not necessarily better for me at times - have threatened to leave DD to figure out how to sleep, and her crying lasts all of 30 seconds!)<br><br>
That's why there are 25 million baby books out there. What works for one won't work for the other. Any mother of more than one child can attest to that!
 

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I don't know any IRL AP mothers, but one thing I like about these boards is the fairly high level of tolerance for practices that are somewhat antithetical to the "usual" practices of AP parents. About a year ago I took a break from here because I felt the self-rightous level about other ways of parenting was too high (while the board also screamed "unfair" when questioned by relatives and friends about slinging or co-sleeping). But the tenor has really changed here. I think the hypocrisy stemmed from AP parents having to defend themselves so much, having to convince so many people that what they are doing is right. Such defense has to create a complex of "my way is the right way." Now that AP is becoming more mainstream, this is falling away, first in AP communities like these baords, and probably next in the RL experiences of AP parents.<br><br><br><br>
edited to change thinly veiled swear words to more gentle phrasing. That is one rule I will differ from many other parents on. I think cursing is colorful and descriptive communication ("for f-word's sake" is my new favorite) and won't have a problem with my kids cursing as long as they aren't cursing people and are following speech codes at school etc. I imagine I will get a lot of grief for this from parents with different rules about their kid's language use; (my nephew isn't alowed to say "stupid" even about inanimate obejcts).
 

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I think this a really a manners issue! It isn't anyone else's place to discipline your child when you are right there, although I don't think I would be irritated if someone did something because they truly felt my child was in danger. I would just smile politely and say, "Thank you for your concern...in our family, our children are allowed to do that." As long as the person didn't act self-righteous about it, KWIM? I've occasionally done this myself if a parent seems distracted, but I'll sort of get the parent's attention and say something like, "I'm sorry, I wasn't sure if you wanted him doing that; it looked dangerous to me and I thought he was going to fall over."
 

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When ds was a younger toddler, I used to get this all the time because I would permit him to pick up a dropped Cheerio and eat it. Other moms would totally freak out, assuming I wasn't paying attention to what he was doing, and they would tell me in urgent voices to stop him. I would respond with a simple, "Oh, it's okay" and then they would seem disgusted. I guess they couldn't understand how I would allow it, but of course, there are certian things I have never been able to understand about others' parenting choices either.
 

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Debi, you and I definitely parent similarly- at least in the respect you described. You wouldn't have to do anything differently around me!
 

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I have to giggle about the food being dropped on the floor issue.<br><br>
I just tell ppl I have a 5-second rule. If it's on the floor less than 5 seconds, they can eat it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
And I really liked HannahSims post. She is a wise mama <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I consider myself to be a way laid back mama, and pretty accepting of other styles (usually). So here's a situation maybe you can help me figure out. Since you don't like meddling mamas. Last week a new family moved in right across the street from us. They have 4 kids ages roughly 5-10, who ride their bikes in my driveway, yard, around several bushes, over the sprinklers, and in the street (without helmets), ride a battery operated jeep in the street at one point making a car stop until they got out of the way, they come over and are so nosy asking questions to me to the point they are hindering my project. My boys are 1 and 3.5 yo so when they are napping and I get a chance to dig some stairs (they were napping at the same time!!!) I don't want to entertain the neighbor kids. I haven't even met the parents yet (except to wave at them in passing), and I'm feeling like a big old grouch to them. I keep just telling them this is my yard, please go back to your yard. I haven't said anything else to them or their parents. Advice on what to do.
 

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Last Friday, I had three women in a store get very upset that my son was sitting in his stroller and chewing on a piece of paper. He's teething, and I'm a firm believer in choosing your battles: I could take the paper away and listen to him scream, or let him chomp on it and amuse himself for a little while. The first woman came up to me and said "Is he eating paper?!?" in a very alarmed voice. I looked at my son, smiled, and said, "Yeah, I guess he is." She had the most pained look on her face, and it was all I could do to keep from laughing. :LOL<br><br>
I understand why people (particularly other parents) want to interfere, especially if the child is doing something dangerous, but I can't stand the way most of them go about it. I know someone, for example, who instinctively and automatically lies to children, for example locking the car window from the front and saying "It's broken!" to keep my niece from playing with it. (He's not a parent, btw.) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"> I will *always* tell people in no uncertain terms not to lie to my child. It strikes me as the most rude thing an adult can do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat"><br><br>
Ja mama, I would talk to the kids parents about respecting other people's property, and to the kids as well. I have no idea what I'd do if that didn't work, because I've never been in that situation.
 

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Hey, Thanks so much SunMountain! That was such a sweet thing to say.<br><br>
Ja Mama,<br><br>
About the new neighbors, I would definitely not say anything at all about the kid’s behavior until you have introduced yourself to your new neighbors, which I would do soon before their kids drive you crazy! There may be a chance that after you have met the parents and charmed them by welcoming them to the neighborhood that they will be more active about insuring that their kids don’t bother you! Give it a chance. If that doesn’t work I would still wait a few more weeks before saying anything because the kids may mellow once the get settled. This advice, by the way, has nothing to do with meddling with other peoples kids. I’m just thinking of how best nurture a new relationship with you neighbors.<br><br>
To get back on topic, I would add a word of wisdom from one of the authors of “Becoming the Parent You Want to Be”. Janice Kaiser said that, as annoying as it is to have all this meddlesome and unwanted “advice” and “help” from others, it is still the continuation and perhaps the last evidence of our cultures “Village”.<br><br>
This is not an exact quote or anything. But she said it to a class I was in and it has always helped me receive this stuff better.
 

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Just a few thoughts.<br><br>
If one hasn't been around alot of babies, it's easy to assume that your child's traits are global. For example, when 21 mo DD drops food on the ground, I always remove any hair or debris from the food before it goes back in her mouth because she has the most sensitive gag relex ever. I don't enjoy cleaning up vomit when the situation can be avoided. It took me awhile to figure out that not all babies are like that. I'm also careful of what DD puts into her mouth because we live in an old neighborhood in which about 1/3 of the lots are contaminated with lead and other heavy metals from years of automobiles parking. Sometimes it's hard to relax in places it isn't an issue.<br><br>
Conversely, DD is really good at not wandering too close to ledges and is attentive when she does climb -- not that I don't keep an eye one her of course. I've often had to tell other parents that she's OK in these situations.<br><br>
However, it's tough to know where to draw the line. Do I assume that a parent is always watching their child and is ready to jump in should the situation require it? I don't know how many times I've been reading to dd at the library and end up with one or two other toddlers... no parents in sight... sitting with us. Part of me is happy they are interested, and the another is resentful that their parents don't even look my way so I can nod that it's OK... espcially when I get no opportuntiy to browse myself (at least when I'm there alone with dd, DH comes along on the weekend.) But I digress.<br><br>
And, it's unfortunately too easy to be driven to paranoia by parenting manuals. This is dangerous, that is dangerous, don't let your child sit this way because their bones will warp... etc. It's difficult sometimes to just sit back and relax and understand relative risk. A discussion of the latter is something that seems to be missing from parenting tomes.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I consider myself to be a way laid back mama, and pretty accepting of other styles (usually). So here's a situation maybe you can help me figure out. Since you don't like meddling mamas. Last week a new family moved in right across the street from us. They have 4 kids ages roughly 5-10, who ride their bikes in my driveway, yard, around several bushes, over the sprinklers, and in the street (without helmets), ride a battery operated jeep in the street at one point making a car stop until they got out of the way, they come over and are so nosy asking questions to me to the point they are hindering my project. My boys are 1 and 3.5 yo so when they are napping and I get a chance to dig some stairs (they were napping at the same time!!!) I don't want to entertain the neighbor kids. I haven't even met the parents yet (except to wave at them in passing), and I'm feeling like a big old grouch to them. I keep just telling them this is my yard, please go back to your yard. I haven't said anything else to them or their parents. Advice on what to do.</td>
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Ja Mama, we have similar issues at our house. Our front yard is a perfect rectangle, with absolutely nothing but grass...with five school-age boys in the immediate vicinity--and two fathers who are apparently school-aged at heart--it is the perfect place for them to play football, baseball, etc. We also have an extraordinarily popular dog. She loves loves loves to fetch and lick and roll around like a maniac. So our yard is very popular. We also have a long driveway with a nice slope--perfect for biking, scooting, skateboarding and skating down. It works most of the time because our kids love all the neighbors--as does our dog--and it means that our kids are quite content to remain in our yard to play. But we now tell the other kids that they simply cannot play in our yard when we are not out there. We say it nicely, usually with a "sheepish" "we don't want you to get hurt accidently" message, but it's more about our need for privacy. We also tell them that they if we are not outside it's quite possible that our kids are napping (they do not actually nap during the day any longer) and so if they play in our yard, they might wake them up. It took a couple of months for all the kids to really get the message and believe it. Several times DH or I had to open the front door and say, "You can't play here right now, ds/dd is sleeping!" We got a few cutting remarks from the neighbor across the street, but we ignored him [meaning, looked scathingly at him as if he smelled] and they stopped. Good luck! I know it's hard, because you don't want to alienate them, but at the same time, you want some privacy! Just try implementing the good old, "if the kids aren't out, you can't play" technique. Good luck again!
 

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This has only happened to me once, and I was surprised at how much it infuriated me for someone else to correct my child when she was doing something completely benign and harmless. Especially because the "girl" (couldn't have been more than a teenager) was so young and obviously didn't have children. I was LIVID for the entire day. I know what you mean.
 

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Part of me understands exactly what everyone is saying, but another part of me has another view. When my children are at someone else's house, our rule is always that we follow their rules. For example, if my childen are allowed to play on their beds during the day, but our host's children aren't--then mine don't play on the beds at their house. On the other hand, at my house, I expect our rules to be followed. I might have reasons for the rules my children have to follow that I haven't explained to our guests.<br><br>
As a general rule, if a parent is with his child at my house, I defer any kind of reprimand to the parent. I explain what our rules are, and ask that he ask his child to follow them.<br><br>
Obviously, all of this depends on the age of the child. I dont think that there is any sense in asking a 2 or 3 three year old to follow different sets of rules depending on where they are. In fact, I think 2 year olds have a hard enough time following ONE set of rules.<br><br>
When my first child was born, my mother told me that the best way to lose a friend was to argue with them about their child's behaviour--or to criticize their child's behaviour. Over the last 16 years, I've come to think that she was absolutely right.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by momea</i><br><b>...Another example - I don't let my child stand on chairs. But it's OUR rule for heaven's sake - I'd never even think to ask another child to sit down in their chair <i>if their parent was right there and it was obviously fine with them!</i><br>
...</b></td>
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Umm, in general, I agree with you. HOWEVER, some things are just safety issues.<br><br>
An example: I have a big old (antique) mahogany club chair at one end of the living room in front of a HUGE beveled glass framed mirror. OK, maybe not totally kid safe, but the mirror IS bolted to the wall at all corners and the chair is not normally very close to the mirror. A girlfriend's daughter was with her one day and TOTALLY hyper. Sugar, or whatever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: She was jumping on and off all the furniture and I wasn't saying anything about it to the child, though I did say to the mother that jumping on furniture is not appropriate (or something like that...no snottiness in my voice, just the words). Finally, the little girl starts taking running jumps onto this chair, throwing herself into it. It starts creeping towards the mirror (it is on casters). I moved it away from the mirror. She moves it into position again and the second time she does it, I see the chair tip slightly. I say out loud to the girl not to do it as it is dangerous (she's five, old enough to know the word<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: ) Her mother says the same again and then the girl DOES IT AGAIN! And the chair tips farther and I'm envisioning broken glass and a busted skull from the HEAVY chair (that thing would probably survive an atom bomb). So, I look at the mother and she sees my expression and says "Well, I can't do anything with her, she's just like her father!" And as her daughter takes another leap, I manage to catch her before she goes into the chair and I am holding her as she screams and is kicking and I held her out for her mother and said: She cannot be here if she is going to do this.<br><br>
NOW, I want you to know, I don't give a hoot about the chair, or the mirror or the upholstery or whatever material thing....but, doing things to furniture that are not what they were designed for IS DANGEROUS and, if someone is going to allow it, they should only do so in their own home, not other people's. No one wants to see someone hurt, nor to have it happen at their home. And, plus, these days, YOU CAN BE SUED EVEN IF THE PARENT WAS THERE AND DIDN'T SAY A BLESSED THING.<br><br>
Ontoh, most people get on one's case about allowing something that isn't obviously dangerous (like flying 5 year olds and a big heavy mirror), it just doesn't fit into their world view.
 

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Oh I get yelled at all of the time. When Goo discovered straws, I got told by many people that she would poke her eye out (um, yeah? Don't you think she would accidently poke herself once and figure out not to do it again? Besides, I am with her when she has straws...)<br><br>
That is a benign issue, don't get me started about the playground and how she goes on the big kid toys and I get yelled at for that!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:<br><br>
sohj: I think you are showing a different issue. That was a mom who agreed with you, but chose not to disapline her child (I am not saying punish, but simply teach her that you should listen and maybe just maybe a dangerous thing is really dangerous)<br><br>
I will enforce another family's rules, but I don't want them to enforce them for me, KWIM?
 

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Foobar: You pointed out the important point very well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> That's exactly why I was so livid (and then banned the girl from my home unless she was specifically invited). However, I have noticed that some people (talking IRL here) think that "not disciplin[ing] their child" is a) their choice -- which it is -- and b) I'm out of line for setting a boundary -- which I'm not -- and they get all huffy about my "interference".<br><br>
Usually, people do get all fussy about some of the strangest things....like me letting my little one walk up stairs with him gripping a finger on each of my hands and I'm right behind him (couldn't be anywhere else <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: , my arms aren't long enough.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> ) or me letting him feed himself (since he started wanting food off our plates, we always let him have some cutlery and try and use it...how else is he going to learn? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: Now (17 mos.) he's pretty good at it and I'm getting accused of "pushing" him<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"> )<br><br>
And, yeah, the straws. Same thing happened here.<br><br>
But, then again, I'm sure we all know people who think that isolating the child from everything interesting is the best way to teach them about the world.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:<br><br>
Anyhow, I just offered my tale as an example of the other end of the spectrum. We all have to pick a point-of-no-return on it where experience ceases to be "exploration" and becomes "dangerous" and I'd hate for someone to, out of a concern of being perceived as meddlesome, fails to speak up in a <i>truly</i> dangerous situation.<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/offtopic.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="offtopic"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">I also have a feeling that if people never get a chance to test their boundaries, they don't get accurate ideas of what exactly IS a dangerous situation. Maybe these meddlesome people fall into this category?</span>
 
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