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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes it's true. One of the moms that I have playgroup with actually did this. Actually, her dd is 23 months old, not yet 2. I know some of us complain sometimes about mainstream methods, but this is outrageous, right?

She said she did this because dd was being "bad".


I've been trying to be tolerant of the different ways the other moms in the playgroup handle their kids, but I'm not sure how long I can do this. I feel like I'm participating in the wrongness of it all by sitting there and watching it happen without intervening. Not only this, but with stuff like spanking and general disrespect towards her dd. The unspoken rules of the group is that moms will not tell other moms how to raise their kids. In fact, I once confronted this particular mom because she was yelling at my ds. I told her that she should leave the disciplining up to me. Other moms in the group also certainly do not "get" my extended nursing and "lax" disciplining (whereas some definitely do). So although no one is rude to me, I'm starting to feel that my time would be better spent doing one on one stuff with ds or doing stuff with people I do enjoy. But I've built a relationship with these moms and feel that I should teach ds to hold on to friends and to embrace people even if they do not agree with you or do things your way.

What would you do? We need to teach our kids about diversity, right? I feel like I shouldn't run away every time I see a mom do things that I don't agree with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can write pages about the no food as punishment thing. It is one of the worst forms of control for the very fact that it is a necessity and can lead to eating disorders, etc. When dh heard about it, he was like, should we call social services? My response was that sadly enough, it is probably a more normal type of punishment than we would think, though 2 years old! Come on.

I can understand the people who say run because if it wasn't for ds, I probably would just blow her off and say it's not worth it. But I really feel duty-bound to not give up on people, again, even if they seem to be horrid. I mean ds will have horrible kids in his classroom, right? And horrible teachers. He'll have to make do.

For those of you who say that I should stick it out, is there a reason for me to do so beyond my usefulness to the other mothers? I really need a reason for myself.

Vermillion - But is it true diversity if I approve of whatever I'm getting? I feel that diversity is not necessarily positive as is reflected in the world at large. I know ds is young, and I would never let him alone with this mom, but I think he's not too young to know that other moms do things differently. But I agree that the way a mom treats her kids is very important in determining compatibility. I suppose that is why I'm so torn.

Sarihah - Sorry to hear about your sis. I actually have a great relationship with my sister and our kids love each other. But I have heard of sisters who can't get along, and it makes for a very unhappy situation. I can understand why you want to try to stay in her life for her kids, but what do you get out of it? Is it worthwhile for you too?

Starr - She feels the same way of me as I of her. I am as likely to take her advice as she of me. So maybe I wouldn't influence her at all except maybe to force her more the other way because she does think I'm neglectful (because I don't tell ds what to do all the time) and she probably thinks I continue to nurse ds for my own kicks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
All this discussion has given me a lot to think about. Thank you, thank you all for such poignant comments and thoughts.

Mom2alicia, your situation sounds just like mine, and I have daydreamed about doing just what you're doing countless number of times. Because although I have known them for over a year and a half, they, in the end, really aren't family, and I'm not bound to work things out in the way Sarihah might feel she has to work things out with her sis. Honestly, Sarihah, I think what you're doing is right and good, but it also sounds like an awful lot of work and stress. I can tell just from the posts you've made here.

One thing that I think is getting lost in the shuffle a bit is what is best for ds. (!) I took him out of daycare in April. He was going part time, and seemed to enjoy the kids and caretakers there, but never asked for them once after he left. He seems happy as a clam to be with me and my baby care share partner. But I wonder if he doesn't feel that he's lost them somehow. I feel like I would be inflicting loss upon him again if I abruptly stopped hanging out with the playgroup. But maybe not. How are you going to deal with that Mom2alicia? Actually, I've noticed that ds does not seem all that close to any of the kids, but that may be because he's still in parallel play mode. He certainly is not attached to them like he is to his cousins and one or two other kids his age. So maybe he wouldn't miss them at all.

The offending mom and I have had a history. I didn't mention it, but I actually introduced her to the group! Oh boy. She seemed AP enough, and she does breastfeed and babywear (after having met me and the other ap moms of the group). But whatever AP philosophy she thinks she has, it is really subverted by her own bizarre personality. But the other moms are very nice, and have not shown any signs of displeasure with her as I feel towards her. I feel like I'm in lala cuckoo land sometimes being in that group. I would feel more justified if one of the other moms would look at me and say what the f*** is she thinking?

But I do agree with Sarihah that the bad parts are only one aspect of the whole picture. It's all greys. She is not a monster after all. She loves her kid, is very affectionate, praises to the heavens (that's another story), and really dotes on her dd. These things are also not my style except for the affectionate part, but we're talking about a mom who loves her kid as much as we all do.

I haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning towards slowly getting away from the group. I have a finite time to spend with people. There are plenty of moms out there who I can respect and get along with, why stress myself out like this? I can model for ds that he has choices when it comes to friends.

Sorry this was so long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Everyone seems to agree that withholding food from a 2 yo as a punishment is wrong, but no one seems to agree whether I should maintain a relationship with a mom who would do that. I still don't know that. Yesterday, it was my turn to drop off a dinner for this mom, J., as she had a baby two weeks ago (uh oh). She was pleasant, I was pleasant, and it was nice to be able to help a new mother out. It's again not so black and white, and it's nice to be a part of a group that does want to help each other out.

But what is the saying? The road to hell is paved with good intentions...something like that. Though in this case it would be love for a child.

I don't think I could call protective services. Maybe I should, but I probably won't. I suppose if I see an escalation, I'll consider it, but there is not enough of an abusive situation to call for that IMO. I may try to advise her more about what I think she's doing, but I think that'll be really hard as she is not predisposed to my point of view at all. Would you listen to advice from this mom? Well, she feels the same way about me. She abhors (though doesn't say out loud) my lack of ostensible discipline and the extended breastfeeding, etc. In fact, I get the feeling she would do the very opposite of any advice I'd have.

I do see the other two moms "on the side", but one of the moms is moving out of town, and the other mom and I have different personalities, though we do see each other in various NFL type groups and acitivities. I also have friends outside the group and enjoy their company. That's another reason to leave the playgroup. Why not spend more time with my other friends? Has it become that ingrained a habit to go to playgroup every week? The mom with a personality different from mine is also very focused on being "nice". So she wants to be "nice" to everyone, and never say a bad word no matter what. So I wouldn't say anything negative about J. to her. She's much too sweet for that.

As an aside, another thing that happened between us that caused a lot tension (she actually tried to ignore me even when I said hello. Whenever I tried to speak, she would loudly speak over me
- She's a bit nuts) is that she picked out the same name I had planned to name any fututre daughter for her own daughter, who was just born. She claimed that she never heard me tell everyone that that would have my ds' name had he been a girl (in fact, I was sure of the girl's name, but not the boy's name). I took her aside and told her that I was surprised about her choice and that she is certainly free to name her daughter anything. But whatever she chose to do, I was planning to use that name in the future, so it was her choice. That's when she stopped talking to me. I know it's petty, but just imagine someone you had not gotten along with coming along and "stealing" your name! I sound so territorial. Anyway, had no idea what she would do, but she chose another name in the end. By then, I would have been okay with whatever she wanted to do, but I was glad to sidestep that awkward situation.

Anyway, thank you all again for your great insights, and I am still in the middle of my deliberations about this. I guess I feel that this will define how I choose to handle similar situations in the future, so I want to take the right steps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Actually, her history is that she had a father who treated her too much like a friend, and maybe did not give her enough boundaries. Now she feels she has to set limits, even if it be excessive in somepeople's opinions.

I think going too far away from your parents (so as to be defined by them!), is also a dangerous thing.
 
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