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Thread: Having trouble accepting other peoples style of parenting...

  1. #1

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    Default Having trouble accepting other peoples style of parenting...

    Wasnt sure where to post this...

    I have a group of friends in the uk who i went to school with years ago, we are all at that stage in our lives where we are having children, some have two some are just having thier first. I keep in touch with these people mainly via facebook.



    I feel like a horrible person because i cant help feeling horrified when i hear about things they do in regards to thier children. I hate that im judging these people but i just feel like i dont even want to go on facebook at the moment because i know there will be something there that will upset me.

    Two of them have had thier babies in the last week or so, one was her second and one was having her first, they are both talking about how thier babies are crying in the night and refusing to sleep in thier own beds and they are talking about was to change that....controled crying etc. One friend actually said ''you bassically just have to ignore them and not feed thm over night'' i spent an hour in tears after reading this and feel like i just cant be a part of this little group of friends who i have cherrished for so many years.

    Im sure this makes me the problem becasue i know they love thier children and are, at the end of the day, just trying to do the best by them, but i just want to cry every time i read a comment from them or talk to them on chat. I havent voiced any of my feeling to them, i just try to recant how i did it with DD, for example, to the comments i metioned above i just said that DD (2 years) had only just started sleeping through the night in the last few days but i didnt mind that.

    Dont even know what i want to get out if this post, just to get it off my chest might help. TIA

  2. #2

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    Where in the UK? Can I go and shout at them?

    I know other people parent diffferently, but neglecting a baby is just cruel. And people seem to think it's OK just because the human being cannot vocalise in English to other people.

  3. #3

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    I know what you mean. I have a few mums from my MG that were talking just on the weekend when we caught up about how they'd let their son cry from an early age, and that's why he slept through the night from 6 weeks old. According to her, if you run to your child when they cry, well that's just creating a rod for your own back, blah, blah, blah... I know she loves her child, we all do, but it's really hard to hear . I just wish parents would really educate themselves instead of blindly following the mainstream or popular way of doing things. In that way I am so, so thankful for BB!

  4. #4

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    Can you maybe block their comments so you don't have to read them?
    It's so hard when you don't agree with someone who is a friend.
    I'm so sorry it's upsetting you - I quite often raise my eyebrows at things people do with their children.

  5. #5

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    Oh hun its distressing isnt it....I find sometimes the more information we hear and get the sadder it makes me. Maybe block thier comments like Bec said? i know i struggle with trying not to judge people who do the CC etc its hard but once you get past it it feels better.

    Big hugs hun its always hard hearing that people leave their babes to cry. Have you thought of suggesting a pinky book in passing? xxx

  6. #6

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    Educate them, send them a link to BB, encourage them to get some books on the topic? Something? Without BB and other gentle parents telling me it was ok to hold your baby, to pick them up when they cry, to not have baby in a strict routine from day dot etc I probably would have been just like them.

    ETA: I think though it would be important to do this in a gentle, non critical way as much as you possibly can.. Maybe a "Ooooh I thought that was the only way too, but I have heard fantastic success also with these gentler methods, maybe have a peek at them before you try CC?"

    FWIW My DS slept through from 6 weeks too...Being demand fed and without CC. Some babies are just like that! There's no wrong or right about it.

  7. #7

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    hun.... it is hard isn't it.
    Is there any way when your on chat with them you can say have you tried.......
    As an example take co-sleeping...

    Have you tried co-sleeping at all, yes it can take some getting used to but it can be less tiring for the 2 of you (mum & bub) and it's a great bonding experience, i did .. xyz and thats what worked for me but each to their own.

    Make it a casual conversation, they may not be getting that kind of support from other friends and family, especially the person who's 1st, you always get people asking if bubs is sleeping through yet etc, maybe she feels she NEEDS to say yes and is desperate to try anything.

    I don't see anything wrong with you being upset about it but rather than loose friends over it maybe next time mention BB, gentle parenting, settling techniques.. any little hint that makes YOU feel better, that you have atleast offered a 'friendly' solution.

    I'm probably not making any sense...

  8. #8

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    It's not worth losing friends over. Like you said, they love their babies just as much as you, it's just that they have had some awful advice.
    Maybe just post a few links to your FB profile with little notes to say that you though it was really interesting or that you like reading new perspectives. I dare say that like all Mums they second guess themselves and worry about their parenting so being anything but gentle towards them will probably make them feel a bit defensive.

  9. #9

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    If this is FB, then I'd link some articles with titles along the lines of cuddles being important, it's ok to go to your child, etc, etc.
    It's hard to address this directly unless someone actually asks because of the natural tendency to get defensive - and then your attempts will just be counterproductive.

  10. #10

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    I am not going to get into my opinions on parenting. I don't think it matters what kind of parenting you choose, you have no right to judge anyone elses. I understand that this is a gentle parenting forum, but I don't think that gives anyone here the right to judge anyone elses parenting methods or beliefs. If you don't like the way someone else parents, it is not your place to judge, or 'educate', or make assumptions about that person and their children. There is no 'right' way to parent, and to assume that yor way is the only good way to do it and everyone elses are not is sheer arrogance.

    People do things everyday that you don't agree with. It isn't your choice and it isn't your role to tell them otherwise. It is their decision (even if you do disagree) and you need to leave them to these choices and stop judging. It is not your place to judge. And I don't think it is your place to 'educate' them, unless they ask you to.

    Like you said; they love their kids. They are probably fabulous parents, they just do some things differently. You don't have to agree with them.
    The problem with fb is that you only know what they are putting up there. You don't know what is actually happening 24/7 in their houses or their lives. you only see a snapshot status uptdate.

    Those who see my fb status updates my think I am a deliriously happy individual who has revolting monsters for kids: couldn't be further from the truth - but my status' do seem to alternate between how happy and excited I am, and how I would happily sell my monster children on ebay.

    Anyway the point I am trying to make is that next time you feel yourself judging your friends based on something they put on fb, maybe stop and think "Is it really likely to be as bad as I am imagining it?" "Do my friends love their kids, and would they ever do anything to hurt them?"

    If you cann't do that, maybe you would be best hiding their status updates or deleating them as friends - for their sake as much as yours; it isn't nice when you are being judged by someone you thought was a friend.

  11. #11

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    I sent the lady having her first baby that book ''the effects of love, nurture and play on your child'' or what ever its called, and she said she really enjoyed it, i also told her about gentle parenting and if she wanted to chat about it ever then id love that, but thats about as far as i feel comfortable going, otherwise id feel like im pushing my views onto her and i be being hypocrytical as i emailed her a week ago and told her that no one else can tell her how to parent and that she should listen to her baby and follow her heart, but that includes me.... she feels she is doing the right thing and i guess as long as its done with love it shouldnt matter. i still find it hard though. i think i will just keep answering her questions and comments with tales about what we did and what worked for us, but say that everyones different in the way they do things, at least then im giving her the option to talk about it if she is interested. i want to stay involved with these friends so mot keen to block thier comments, its my issue to move past rather than ignore.
    thanks for the possitive replies, i felt so bad about how i was feeling, i was sure someone would tell me to stop being so harsh and judgmental. its good to know that others have struggled with this sort of thing too.

    ETA: looks like i spoke to soon. Misty. i totally agree, its not my place to judge them atall, and thats why i posted, because i was finding it hard to get past those feelings and felt bad about it! i know they love thier kids and would never imagine otherwise, i know they have happy children and are good parents, but i STILL find it hard to think about these one week old babies being left to CIO. i talk to these friends alot more than just reading FB status updates and go out of my way to make sure i dont say anything that would upset/hurt/make them feel judged.

  12. #12

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    I can definitely understand how you feel, hun!! I have friends who are not just on a different page, but in a totally different library when it comes to parenting!! It is painful and hurtful to me, as a mother who takes quite a lot from gentle parenting methods and has had fantastic successes with them, to watch these babies be smacked, cry-it-out, be denied comfort and sustenance for the sake of 'routine' or 'preventing them from becoming brats'... but I guess it depends on how good a friend they are as to how you deal with the problem.
    For me, the friends are close enough to want to keep, but we're not in each others' pockets (we talk maybe once a week on FB and see each other every few months or when we run into each other at the shops) - I value their friendship and so I try to ignore or avoid discussions about parenting for my own sake, just so I don't have to have the details 'rubbed in my face'. Don't ask, don't tell, I'll let you carry on with your business if you don't give me cause to dispute what you do behind closed doors, itms.

    As far as FB, I like to post or share links to resources and articles that have struck a chord with me, and get the word out. If it starts a discussion, so much the better - anybody who's interested is free to ask for the info in 'layman's terms' or find out how it's worked for me and I'm happy to share. If it doesn't change their minds, that's okay, I've done the best I could. I also refer expecting friends or friends with kids (who I haven't met on here... which is rare!) to BB by telling them what a lifesaver it's been for me - the resources and information contained within this site are matched by the sense of community I have found here, and I want to share it with as many 'needy' people as possible!! If it helps make a difference in just one person's life, then I'm happy to have helped, and if it doesn't... well I'm free to form my own opinion on someone else's parenting methods even if I have to keep it to myself and try gently to provide them with resources that could put them on a different path, or just leave the subject alone so it doesn't stress me out

    I think it's great that you are so concerned about your friends' parenting methods and want to give them advice that you have found helpful. There definitely is a sensitive, tactful and gentle way to go about it and I know you'd take that route first anyway If it doesn't help, and you find you just can't accept their style of parenting, that's okay too - it's then up to you to decide whether you just try to avoid that subject in conversation, or whether you put some kind of end to the friendship. Good luck to you hun. x


    ETA: Misty - just wanted to say that I appreciate your post and the points you made (and very eloquently), but I think it's human nature to form opinions on different things. We call it judging, and in most cases it is, but it's natural to disagree with others and I honestly just don't think it's possible to *not* judge if you see something happening that you personally don't like, approve of, support or agree with. I know I am guilty of judging lots of people, lots of the time, and I don't feel bad for doing so, it's just the way humans are. Obviously I don't go around telling everyone what I think of how they live their lives, but I'm entitled to an opinion even if it's not supporting someone else's If there's no nice way to come across, I just hold my tongue and say and do absolutely nothing about it.
    Last edited by Glamourcide; September 20th, 2010 at 03:55 PM.

  13. #13

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    beckoe's - sorry if my comment seemed a bit harsh, it was directed to some of the other post in this thread as much as your own original post. I understand that you don't want to be judgemental, and personally I sympathise - I have family whom parent their children in such a completely different fashion that I sometimes hesitate to call it parenting. But it is not my place (or anyone elses to judge this) and any problem I have with it, is my own problem. It just threw me that your question was along the line of "how do I stop judging?" And some of the responses you got were so judgemental in themselves.

  14. #14

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    It's hard isn't it! I have a friend who has just had her second bub (her first is about the same age as my DS), this time round she is breastfeeding which I am so proud of her for doing but she insists on following a strict 4 hourly feeding routine. He's 4 weeks old. I went over to visit the other day and he was so blatantly hungry, fussing and rooting around while I was giving him cuddles. As someone who is a passionate demand feeder I found it really distressing to see this hungry baby and a mum watching the clock. I sympathised with her how much hard work breastfeeding small babies can be but there is only so much you can suggest things. Hopefully in her own time she will realise he will be a lot more settled if she just feeds her DS when he asks. Same with your friends, perhaps if they ever comment on how unsettled their child is you could offer some advice? That way you don't seem pushy.

    I suppose you can email a few links about gentle parenting but it's a sensitive issue that can be easy to get defensive about. Tread carefully!

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    double post

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    It IS hard hey? My best friend is also back in the UK and a HUGE fan of controlled crying because "it worked" for her little man and a lot of her friends have also gone down this road and have "good" babies who sleep all night.


    I'd never tell her what I thought about that though, as I do value her friendship, as I can gather that you value yours too. I think in these cases, it's just about accepting that we are all different - upsetting as it is sometimes to hear what others do with their babies, but we can be sure that someone else will disagree with our gentler ways too hey?

    Sue x

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    i think that as long as everyone knows they have support from ppl even if its from the other side of the world and they confide in u they are asking for your opinion even facebook... My sil does this controlled crying through the night and her baby is 9 weeks old now.. she feeds her when she wants too not when the bub is hungry and i feel like slapping her and saying "feed the child u can affors to feed her FEED HER" when my mil asks her y she does it she days so she isnt spoilt and doesnt get used to me so i can do wat i have to do... that too me is selfish and its none of my business so i shut up.. but i think its wrong there are babies out there starving who cant get anything and sum who are worried about their night sleep instead... parenthood is hard and i feel that controlled crying is cheating.... u want the baby then u have to travel the ups and downs... i have had 2 kids who literally screamed for nearly 5 days after birth non stop but they were my babies n my problem... im sorry if my opinion is too out there but i believe that there is books out there offering parenting tips but yet we have too tread carefully... it just breaks my heart when these poor lil ones have to scream their lungs out for hours over just wanting to eat (which are meant to be fedevery3-4hrs as advised by medical staff) just so there parents sleep easy... its unfair...

  18. #18

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    I thought of this post this morning when i saw the following on my cousins FB page:

    My little man is so sleepy he is fighting it! So I have put him in his cot and I am trying to do control crying and it's killin me I just want to pick him up!! ;(!!!!!
    He is only a little over a mth old, i just want to say no no no don't listen to your friends:

    ohhh i know its so awful at the start but it really works and its worth it in the end. we did it with harry now we just put him in bed when he is getting tired and he goes to sleep.. most of the time lol stick at it
    yep its def worth it, my little girl Zarlee sleeps through and shes only 6months if she wakes puts herself back to sleep n at bedtimes i only have to put her in bed n she puts herself to sleep its great. good luck it will be worth it in the end.
    So i wrote:

    Massive hug cous.. do what works for you guys, if you want to pick him up pick him up. CC doesn't work for every child, if you don't want to try that you can try rocking, going for a walk, pushing the pram in the house, do you have a baby c...arrier.. Z wont take a dummy and CC never worked so i gave up, she was so little and only wanted her mum so i used to put her in the carrier and walk around getting things done and she would fall asleep no problems, now she goes in her cot and it's no big fuss at all... GL.. sounds like your doing a wonderful job.
    ** i never eally tried CC but thought i should tell a white lie rather than sounding like i had a perfect child.. god knows i don't she's a velcro baby through and through, i let her sook herself to sleep for max 2min but never actually crying **

    This is her 1st baby, it sounds like people are telling her to try CC.. it's HER choice but it breaks my heart she thinks it's the only option, he's only a mth old.
    Is there anywhere i can find that suggests the recommended age for trying CC, am thinking i could post links... do you think i did the right thing?

    Is this the kind of info you could pass on?

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