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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS wil be turning 2 next month and still happily nursing
Today some relatives were over and DS was looking at my Mothering magazine. He was so excited to see another child nursing and was pointing and smiling
It was terribly sweet.

So my mother says to him "See, babies get milky, not Big Boys"

I chimed in that milky is for babies, boys and girls and we all dropped it.

This isn't the first time she has said something like that about nursing directly to him. She knows I'm not trying to wean him and that I'm following his lead, but still says things like this.

There has also been a lot of family members saying "That's for babies, don't you want to be a Big Boy" pertaining to other things. It's driving me NUTS!! I think that it is so shaming. I think it makes a child feel insecure about their natural desires/needs....

I'm just at a loss as to how to handle this tactfully. My family is VERY mainstream and thinks I'm nuts for reasoning with him, not letting him CIO, ....

My mother is pretty defensive about parenting stuff because we do things so differently. If I were to try and ask her not to say things like that to him, she would be very offended and very hurt. She doesn't do it to be mean, she just honestly doesn't understand (or agree with) our approach. We talk almost every day, but I feel like I need to be very careful with her feelings on this issue.

So how can I handle this gently with family? I don't want my son to continue being belittled like this... it's just that "be a big boy" stuff is sooooo "normal", so common, ya know? People don't really think about the impact that kind of language can have...

Am I making too much of this?
 

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I don't think you are making too much of this. Their world is so incredibly small, really, their whole planet consists of a handful of people and is about the size of the drive from the house to the grocery store and back... one person's unthoughtful words can carry a big weight in such a small world.

I don't have any advice on helping your mom get some insight, without being pretty direct and letting her know how you feel about it and how you think its affecting your son. But I wanted to let you know that it would bother me, too.
 

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I agree with you completely. I can totally see how this upsets you. If you sweetly told your momma that nursing is very special to you and you want this special time to last as long as possible and you really want to keep him from weaning and you would be so sad if he stopped nursies because of wanting to please her. You know that nursing won't last forever, but you want to enjoy it for as long as possible. You want him to be your little boy untill he grows into a big boy--in his own time. My mom might disagree with me but she would never contribute to hurting my feelings even if she thought I was irrational

HTH
 

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I just wanted to offer a
I understand exactly what you are going through, we are doing the same thing with my MIL
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks ladies


I think she's actually trying to help. She thinks I should be encouraging him to wean, so she's stepping in to do it since I'm not.

She honestly just doesn't agree with our way of doing things I guess.
 

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I am seriously the worst person to advise on tact. I just wanted to let you know that this would seriously bother me also. I see where you mom is coming from though. Probably from her perspective nursing is a drain on you and she is trying to make your life easier by encouraging your son to wean.
When I hear that though, I just think "Why would you make a secure, happy, well-tended child feel uncomfortable about his wonderful life?" It's like planting seeds of self-doubt. I would hate for your ds to second guess the lovely feelings I'm sure he gets nursing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lovin' It
"Why would you make a secure, happy, well-tended child feel uncomfortable about his wonderful life?" It's like planting seeds of self-doubt. I would hate for your ds to second guess the lovely feelings I'm sure he gets nursing.
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!
 

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I worry that this is coming soon. I hate the "Big Girl/Boy" thing so much.

Maybe a general chat about respect? Can you guys go out for coffee together without DS?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by willow659
If you sweetly told your momma that nursing is very special to you and you want this special time to last as long as possible and you really want to keep him from weaning and you would be so sad if he stopped nursies because of wanting to please her. You know that nursing won't last forever, but you want to enjoy it for as long as possible. You want him to be your little boy untill he grows into a big boy--in his own time. My mom might disagree with me but she would never contribute to hurting my feelings even if she thought I was irrational

HTH

Honestly, this is the LAST thing that I would do. There are a lot of people out there who believe that women choose extended nursing because they get some kind of "perverted" pleasure out of it. I wouldn't ever say that I continued to nurse because "YOU would be so sad" and "YOU want to enjoy it for as long as possible."

I'd use the information from the WHO instead which lists off the continued health benefits to a child who is nursed for a MINIMUM of two years. Let her know that you're looking out for her grandchild's best interest -- not your own.

In general, I really don't like the "be a big boy" comments. Girls are told to "be a good little girl" at the same time. To me, it all boils down to telling children that what they're doing or feeling isn't right, they need to suppress it, and act like what society expects. Boys should be emotionless and fiercely independent. Girls should be demure and acquiescent at all times.
:

I think that you'll probably going to have to have a long talk with your mother about how her words to your son are undermining the kind of parenting you would like to practice eventually. What helped me when I had "that talk" with my mother, was to remember that I was responsible for protecting my son's emotional development -- I wasn't responsible for protecting my mother's. While I don't deliberately set out to hurt her in any way, sometimes it's unavoidable, and I just try to do it as gently, but self-assuredly, as possible.

--Olive
 
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