Other people's parenting decisions

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Other people's parenting decisions

Post  Henri on Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:02 am

This isn't really a 'WYOO' post strictly, I'm more hoping to provoke a discussion and maybe gets some tips.

How do you deal with other people's parenting decisions in a respectful, non-confrontational way? Especially if you're in a group and one person asks for advice, and you know that at least one person in the group is going to have done something you are going to advise against? How do you basically say 'I think what you have done is wrong' by advising someone to do something different?

for example, on another board I belong to, one of the ladies has just asked for some feedback about allowing a child solids before 6 months after her child swiped some food off her plate and ate it before mum could get it off her. I'm not 100% on how old babe in question is, I think around 4 months. I was incredibley wary of saying anything because I knew another mum started giving her kid solids at 4 months, and I think another couple weaned earlier than 6 months too, and I didn't want to start a slinging match over what is an incredibly contentious issue. So I ended up giving her my opinion/advice with a bunch of caveats about how it was a hot issue and everyone would have opinions and this was just MINE based on my research and readings. But that feels like a cop-out.

Some stuff is obviously pure lifestyle choice, but we all know how fiery things can get over parenting issues that relate more to health. I just had my first NCT ante-natal class and I realised two things: these people are potentially my new best friends, and they are potentially going to raise their babies very, very, very differently to how I will raise mine. So, you mums who have dealt with mummy-politics, how do you deal with this? How do you navigate through the maze that is parenting decisions where your friends differ from you, without getting into fights, offending people, and generally crapping where you eat?
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Re: Other people's parenting decisions

Post  Koru on Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:06 am

When people are asking for advice and your opinion, then I think you are perfectly justified in telling them what you believe and if you think they are wrong. Although, I perhaps wouldn't put it as directly as that. With weaning, as with other similar things (bf, cloth nappies etc) there are always going to be two camps and people won't see eye to eye. All you can really do is point out the guidelines, if they are going to wean early, then they will do it any way no matter what you say. As far as a baby taking the food, if you look at Baby Led Weaning, you are supposed to let babies do this, they won't be able to actually eat and swallow the food until they are ready for it. That said, there is always the danger of salt or other nasties being on adults food that they could suck off.
As for your friends at NCT, yes they will do things differently to you, but there is no right or wrong way of raising a child (within reason) and unless they are doing something that could harm their baby, then you don't need to say anything. The only person who's parenting style I'm interested in, is my husband's. We don't always agree, but when we talk about it, we can usually come up with something. No one else really matters, not friends, not my parents, and certainly not my MIL!
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Re: Other people's parenting decisions

Post  EeeGee on Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:13 am

Koru wrote:When people are asking for advice and your opinion, then I think you are perfectly justified in telling them what you believe and if you think they are wrong. Although, I perhaps wouldn't put it as directly as that. With weaning, as with other similar things (bf, cloth nappies etc) there are always going to be two camps and people won't see eye to eye. All you can really do is point out the guidelines, if they are going to wean early, then they will do it any way no matter what you say. As far as a baby taking the food, if you look at Baby Led Weaning, you are supposed to let babies do this, they won't be able to actually eat and swallow the food until they are ready for it. That said, there is always the danger of salt or other nasties being on adults food that they could suck off.
As for your friends at NCT, yes they will do things differently to you, but there is no right or wrong way of raising a child (within reason) and unless they are doing something that could harm their baby, then you don't need to say anything. The only person who's parenting style I'm interested in, is my husband's. We don't always agree, but when we talk about it, we can usually come up with something. No one else really matters, not friends, not my parents, and certainly not my MIL!
Very well said Smile
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Re: Other people's parenting decisions

Post  Jeliwobble on Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:22 am

Agree with Koru.

Just to add, though, with regard to the NCT group, the best part of being part of that group is that you ARE so disparate. I didn't do an NCT group with dd1; couldn't afford it and I was going back to work very quickly so didn't see the point. So that meant that I was the only lady on my NCT course on #2! We also had a young lass who got pg at the end of her first year at Uni (is now a post grad at Imperial so I think she's AMAZING!) and a mistress (whose other half left his wife and bought her this FABULOUS house...then left her and went back to his wife...) as well as five 'older' first timers although only three of those were career women, the other two were 'hadn't had the opportunity before'! Was an amazing collection of women! So I really wouldn't worry about what they think of you. Just be a regular attender and an enthusiastic contributer and you should get on really well, regardless of how they all decide to parent.

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