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Thread: Parenting philisophy differences

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    ex-Melbourne girl in Hong Kong

    Question Parenting philisophy differences

    I made friends with a lovely woman recently who has a baby due a week after mine but also has a 2 year old boy.

    She was put onto me by a mutual friend as she needed a babysitter when her regular was not available and we live only a couple of kms from each other.

    I looked after her son one evening and he was a delight. When she came home we ended up sitting onthe sofa and chatting for about 3 hours and so started our friendship!

    We have so much in common and similar tastes/interests and I was really thrilled to have made a new friend who lived so close and had a baby due at the same time.

    I really like her and I like her son....I just have some issues with how she handles him.

    I'm not a fan of smacking....she smacks freely. Hands, bottoms...whatever happens to be in reach. After a few smacks, she interjected with 'Oh, I hope it doesn't shock you. We french people smack all the time'.

    Then there's the yelling. She yells at him all the time and for small things. I haven't had the need to yell at him when I've been babysitting him as I can diffuse tantrums, dirrect him away from things or reprimand him without raising my voice. It seems like 70%+ of her communication (when I'm there) is yelling.

    Then there's the bed time thing. He goes to bed at 9 or later each night as his dad works late and wants to tuck him in. This kid is dog tired by 6.30 or 7pm and gets difficult to handle (which leads to more yelling and smacking from his mum) and when I've hinted 'oh, doesn't he look sleepy rubbing his eyes and yawning like that' she says that it's not his bedtime yet and he has to learn the patterns of his culture so when they go back to France he will 'fit in'.

    Then there's how he has to be the centre of attention (yeah, I kn0ow all 2 year olds do!) but she lets him have centre stage and gives him whet he wants (then gets p'ed off and yells more), rather than insisting that he can wait 3 seconds...imagine what it'll be like when she has the newborn to handle.

    Then...the other day when I went over to visit, I was surprised that she let him have a can of Coke to begin with..... BUT FROM A BABY BOTTLE.... I really feel like a 2 year old doesn't need to know what that stuff is and a whole can of coke has a truck load of sugar in it...way too much for a little kid.

    I was talking to a close friend the other day and she thinks the friendship is doomed from the beginning...I somewhat agree with her...but I really like the time we spend just the 2 of us either shopping, out to lunch or having a cuppa.

    We'll both have small babies in 2 months and will have even more reason to hang out in the summer here and Idon't feel like I've known her long enoough to have a frank chat about it with her (about 3-4 months).

    Is it possible to continue this? What would you out there do? Have you had similar situations?

  2. #2


    I guess the hardest thing to get your head around is, each mother has a different style of parenting. Whilst i agree with everything u have said....thats her way of bringing up her son. I sure as hell wouldnt be like that with DD. I have had comments on how i raise my child....but this is my style. Every amily is different, have different beliefs, diff cultures. Also depends on how they were raised as a kid as well.

    Id find it extremely hard not to speak up. and say something....but theres a line you cant cross i feel. Thats her way...and u have to respect that?

    What would i not sure.. i guess id stop seeing her.....i feel for the child...and hate her mothering ways.

    Sorry im not much help!!

    Goodluck with ur pregnancy..not long to go now!!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Darwin, NT


    This is a very hard one!

    You will always find people like this. They are everywhere - but difference is what makes the world an interesting place.

    Personally, I would work slowly, making very small steps. When the next baby comes along, she will find the whole 9pm thing very hard, and that would be the perfect time to help.

    The best way I have found to help people like that, is to wait until they are in crisis (I know - it's nasty to wait that long - but often they will not listen until then) - and then say - "Well, I have that exact problem, and I found that *this* (insert suggestion) really helped" - then they might reach out for your help.

    My friend has a terrible time with her 4 children and they are awefully difficult, and she really loses it sometimes. Sometimes I call her and say "Oh - I really lost it with the kids today" - and that starts her 'confessional' - and then I can make helpful suggestions about behaviour modification/routine management.

    Good luck!

    Rather than taking the high road, try coming in from a position of "wow - I really know how that feels". You could be surprised at the response.

  4. #4
    Kirsty77 Guest


    Its really up to you if you want to remain friends or not.

    The thing is that he is her son not yours and she can raise him how she wants(Without abuse of course). I mean everyone raises their children how they want them to be raised. I hoestly don't think its anyones business how I raise my get my drift.......LOL Its really your decision if you can sit and watch her smack her son when it clearly upsets you.......Each to their own.

  5. #5


    Maybe if youenjoy your child free time together then just focus on that. Have girl's days out together but try to avoid situations where you will have your children together.
    I think that differant parenting styles can often be a bit of an issue in cross-cultural friendships/relationships. In realtion to bedtime, in Spain it's not uncommon to see kids running around long after they would be in bed in most English and Australian households. Alot of my Arab friends also send thier kids to bed very late. That's thier culture so I figure that its worked for generations so although it's not my way there's nothing wrong with it.
    I have a friend who's husband is really rough with thier children and I have really cut back on the mount of time I spend with them as a couple because I can't cope with watching a man screaming at a little girl until she cries. These days I try and arrange it so that I see her and her children sans the husband.

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