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Quote:

Originally Posted by captain optimism
Well, your milage may vary, as is the common expression---there are just some things that push my buttons, that exceed my tolerance. I could even handle a mom saying, "I potched him when he ran into the street" better than "she was being 'bad' so I sent her to bed without dinner."

Oh, I agree. I wouldn't nod vaguely or just sit there with a disapproving look on my face. But my goal would be to converse with the woman in such a way that she did not immediately become defensive and shut down. I can do this now, at this stage of my life, but it didn't come naturally to me. My Chinese astrology sign is the Tiger, and I would have really lashed out at a person who did something like this at one time in my life, but I think I know a better way to deal with it now.

By keeping the channels of communication open, I would hope to be able to influence her way of thinking and perhaps to offer alternatives that she had not considered...not to mention, maybe increase her awareness of what to expect of a two year old developmentally.

On a bit of a tangent, it amazes me how people will project adult motives onto a small child, seeing 'defiance' when the child is simply too young to be expected to have developed much impulse control.
 

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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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I'd say you may not need to run but you may need to consider the options available if you leave in the near future. Trying to stick it out if it's beneficial to you and/or your son is a great idea but it still may not workout, so there's no harm in researching other groups.

I can understand wanting to provide your child with exposure to a diverse environment and I don't feel that diversity must be 'positive' to be benifical. A lot can be learned from from 'negative' experiences IF your child is old enough for you to explain them and for the child to understand that not everyone is that way.

I think right now at 2 your child is probably too young to even get that this mom did something 'negative' from a story should he have even been close enough to overhear the story, so more than likely he's not aware anything happened. However, if your child was older or just highly aware verbally he could easily have understood that this was a scary thing but not totally understood that you wouldn't do it to him (or that all moms aren't that way) and that could have been a really scary thing for him to be second guessing himself afraid if he did something "bad" you wouldn't feed him. So if this is the kind of woman who likes to 'brag' a lot about how harshly she disciplines her child, then you may be setting him up for a scary situation just as much as if there were someone in the group who could at any given moment smack their child upside the head--hearing something bad can be just as harmful as seeing something bad. There are somethings young children shouldn't have to see or hear (especially if you know they are coming and can do something preventative about it) because they just aren't ready to handle them. And you aren't teaching a child to run from people/things he/she doesn't like by removing them from a harmful situation, so don't be afraid of that if you have to.

So I say listen to your gut, if you think you can handle it you probably can. If you have an eerie feeling that it really won't be ok, leave quickly and guilt free because it probably won't. And don't discredit your feelings about his woman either. If you just dislike her it's easy enough to deal with her anyway, but if there is actually bad blood between the two of you it will do your son no good to go to a playgroup where he always sees mommy get tense and stressed out--especially if you leave irritable from having to deal with her--kids are really perceptive and your distress will become his distress even if you never say anything. So if you think you can't honestly grin and bear it without feeling like you are endorsing something you're not ok with, or without exhausting all your reserves on something that should be a pleasant excursion out of the house (especially if you don't get an additional chance to get out in a rejuventating experience), or if you don't think you can continue to refrain from saying something the next time she tells one of her stories, then it's probably best for you--and therefore your son as well--to find another activity or playgroup to attend.

It's a really tough call, but if you follow your heart after weighing the pros and cons in your mind then you've really made the best decision you can. So regardless of if you choose to stay or go, try to trust your decision and try not "what if..." yourself to death about the other choice. Good luck, CJ
 

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I'd leave the group and establish relationships with more like-minded moms.

No one has mentioned this (I don't think): It could be a POSITIVE learning experience to leave the group because you feel that it isn't good for you to be there. What would you rather: your son to have an allegiance for whomever he first befriends, or him to be discriminating and end friendships if the friend does things he thinks are rotten? I sure wish that I was more discriminating with my friends when I was growing up. Choosing bad friends can impact life in a horrendous way. Most people seem really nice when we first meet them; heck, I'd even say that most people are pretty nice and well-intentioned. But they aren't all positive influences in our lives.

I've been thinking about the martyr AP'er/GD'er issue lately, i.e., trying to convince nonAP/GD people to do the same. This is a wonderful thing to do. I don't think all AP'ers and GD'ers need to have it as their mission, however. I like to write and will probably write some AP/GD philosophy papers at some time. I do not like trying to sway CIO moms or spanking moms to accept AP/GD -- at least not in person. I think that it is likely to come off the wrong way anyway if you aren't genuinely interested in changing them. Trying to help someone (who probably doesn't want help!) is a huge challenge and takes a lot of dedication. For the right person, this is a rewarding and mostly pleasant thing to do. For me, it's stressful and not fun at all. I just end up having bad thoughts about how horrible some people can be to their children and yada yada yada. From this place, how can I convince someone to change? I'm glad that there are people out there who make this their mission. I hope to do something for the cause (as it were) at some point, but it isn't likely to be in the trenches by way of befriending nonAP/GDers and trying to guide them to the light. Then again just being out there in the world and living AP/GD exerts its own statement and evidence that these methods are awesome and work beautifully. I'd much rather give a short remark in favour of AP/GD to a stranger than stress myself out by spending a lot of time with moms I don't fully respect.
 

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I think such behavior requires a call to child protective. I don't agree with withholding meals as a consequence for behavior and at 23 months it is 100% abusive (IMO). I am a mandated reporter so calling CPS is a normal part of life for me. I don't know if you could do this, but in my job, I always let the family know when i have to make a report. I also tell them that it is up to the stste to determine whether or not they will investigate. I doubt I could tell someone I was calling in your situation though. Another thought is to call the state hotline and ask them if with holding food to a two year old is considered abuse/neglect. Sometimes it can help you decide what to do before giving any names.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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Alicia622 said;I think such behavior requires a call to child protective.

I'd like to remind you of the OP's remarks regarding this mother.

Quote:

Originally Posted by goepark
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.
Do you know anybody who, as a child, endured the foster care system? I do. Too bad you can't talk to her because if you did you might be a little less gung ho about involving the government in private lives. That's an action to be reserved for the worst scenarios, IMO. Whatever this mother's mistake, she loves and nurtures her child in ways that the government will never do.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sarihah
Alicia622 said;I think such behavior requires a call to child protective.

I'd like to remind you of the OP's remarks regarding this mother.

Do you know anybody who, as a child, endured the foster care system? I do. Too bad you can't talk to her because if you did you might be a little less gung ho about involving the government in private lives. That's an action to be reserved for the worst scenarios, IMO. Whatever this mother's mistake, she loves and nurtures her child in ways that the government will never do.
I agree that talking with the mother would be the most ideal. I still, as a manadated reporter, would feel compelled to report. I actually work with quite closely with child protective and have worked with many children in the foster care system although I don't know any adults that lived through it. Just calling CPS does not mean the children will be taken away. It takes a lot than one call to get any action. If the case did get investigated, the state would likely offer services to help teach the parent different techniques to discipline. Contrary to popular belief the state is actually out there to help children, not to rip them out of their home. The system is far from a good one but it's what we have. The only way to make it better is to be vocal about getting changes.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sarihah
I'd like to remind you of the OP's remarks regarding this mother.

Do you know anybody who, as a child, endured the foster care system? I do. Too bad you can't talk to her because if you did you might be a little less gung ho about involving the government in private lives. That's an action to be reserved for the worst scenarios, IMO. Whatever this mother's mistake, she loves and nurtures her child in ways that the government will never do

Very good point.
 

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UNBELIEVABLE! Where do mothers come up with this s***? I can say however that I agree with your influence in this playgroup and saying something to this mother may reallly spark interest and/or hot debate about GD and in any case I think thats productive.I think if your relationships with these women are established as you put it,then its definetly something you need to bring up.Maybe by even explaining what you know about GD and how it pertains specifically to a 2 year,you know what they understand and all that.I guess it is possible that this mother doesnt?!MAYBE even you will relieve some of the other moms in this group that feel the same way and dont have the guts to stand up for this baby! Precious girl! How awful! Then after all has been said, the reaction of the group and the mother would determine if I left or not...you never know you could start a new wave of GD moms?! Fat chance,eh? Still....I would give a shot.Wealth is knowledge.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alicia622
I think such behavior requires a call to child protective. I don't agree with withholding meals as a consequence for behavior and at 23 months it is 100% abusive (IMO). I am a mandated reporter so calling CPS is a normal part of life for me. I don't know if you could do this, but in my job, I always let the family know when i have to make a report. I also tell them that it is up to the stste to determine whether or not they will investigate. I doubt I could tell someone I was calling in your situation though. Another thought is to call the state hotline and ask them if with holding food to a two year old is considered abuse/neglect. Sometimes it can help you decide what to do before giving any names.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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as a mandatory reporter, I also would call and ask them if it is worth making a report over. FTR all mothers love their children. My sister has a foster son right now that was breastfeed, co-slept with, loved, and had both his legs broken, was strangled and had multiple ribs cracked. Life is not as straight forward as you think. And neglect is the most common form of abuse...and that is what withholding food is...neglect.

In regards to your situation: run!!!! Sticking around you are not *teaching* them anything. You ARE teaching your sweet baby that what they do is OK. Children aborb this stuff more than we realize. Especially the spanking and yelling stuff.

You said that some of the other moms nurse and GD? Can you start a splinter off group with them? Even 3 other moms would be a wonderful playgroup. Is your town that small? Try the FYT area here. Us PDX moms get together regularly for wonderful playdays where no one spanks, yells and there is nursing galore!
 

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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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I would simply discuss the topic with her and educate her. Sometimes, when our parents did things with us, we think it is OK for us in turn to do the same with our children - we accept them as normal parts of the parent/child/teaching relationship. Like spanking, washing mouths out with soap, or yelling. Without KNOWING it is wrong, she doens't REALIZE in fact that she is doing anything wrong.
 

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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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