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To not adjust my parenting style because it makes you feel threatened

(87 Posts)
MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 19:35:12

I'll start by saying I am nowhere near perfect as a mother, DS is only 18 months and already watches a fair bit of TV, to give one example

But anyway. I have found since he was very little, that if it was discovered that I did something differently to another person (largely MIL, DM and my older sister, but friends too), that they would scoff and try to belittle my choices.

Found it quite upsetting at times but DP has a theory that when I do something differently, it makes them question the way that they parent/ed their children and therefore makes them feel indirectly 'criticised'.

For example DM thinks I'm 'snobby' as I won't let DS have juice in a bottle, DMIL thinks I'm 'mean' for being rigid with bedtimes, Dsis thinks I'm 'controlling' for already insisting DS says 'ta'! and tells me "there's no way you'll have time to be so precious about manners when you have your second" (am currently pg, she has 3)

Why should it bother them so much? Do you think people who do this are genuinely threatened (not even sure that's the right word) by different styles of parenting or after some validation that their own parenting methods were fine?

I should add that I don't volunteer this information, they just witness it when they see me.

probably shouldn't add that I have started to antagonise them a bit now for fun, eg talking to DS loudly about GOING TO BED AT 7, AS THAT'S YOUR BEDTIME EVERY NIGHT, WITHOUT FAIL, ISN'T IT

AnaisB Sun 23-Jun-13 20:27:42

You're as bad as them if you antagonise them - why bother.

But yanbu to not change you're parenting style and they probably so feel judged.

(I say ta sometimes, isn't it just regional?)

amazingmumof6 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:27:50

yep, spot on.

stick to your guns

my Sil has 9, we have 6 and we have time to teach our children manners! wink

(agree with do not antagonize, it will appear as power parenting which is not good)

Thurlow Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:47

Definitely feeling criticised. Fwiw, you've just described how we are. Bedtime is 7.30, no juice allowed at all, and we insist DD says 'please' and/or 'ta' before she gets anything. Why you wouldn't encourage your child to say please and thank you when they are capable of making a sound which to them means please or thank you is utterly beyond me.

messalina Sun 23-Jun-13 21:00:01

You are NBU in having your own way of doing things. But you are are BU in teaching your child to say 'ta'.

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:05:35

For goodness sake the OP isn't being unreasonable to teach her child to say 'ta'.

It's her child and her choice.

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 23-Jun-13 21:07:54

"ta" is ghastly. Why don't you want your child to speak properly?

chocoluvva Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:24

Your DP has hit the nail on the head IMO too.

But also we don't want to think we've done the wrong thing with our children whatever the reason was.

I think the older generation look forward to sharing their expertise with us and are disappointed or hurt to feel that they aren't as expert as they thought they were.

Perhaps you could ask for their advice on unimportant matters or even just ask them about how things used to be out of interest, to make them feel valued as 'elders' IYSWIM.

chocoluvva Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:54

Ta is fine.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:12:12

grin at the pearl clutching at 'ta'

Come on, he has an English teacher father and a translator mother, I think he'll be fine!

'ta' is not fine <<shudder>>. Personally I've got it right up there on the 'hate' wall with people who say they're on 'mat leave'.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:14:43

Yes chocoluva, agree

What bothers me though us that I never ever call into question their parenting, and yet they feel it's fine to mock mine!

And yes I should stop antagonising, it is quite fun though, but yes ultimately shooting self in foot.

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:15:29

Anyone who gets annoyed at an 18 month old baby saying 'ta' really needs to chill out.

If I had a can of polish and a strong laxative, I still couldn't give a shiny shit about it.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:16:33

Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta
TA!!

<flounces>

<comes back>

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:17:17

grin worra

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:17:37

Fucking hell OP, put the machine gun down!! shock grin

Raaraathenoisybaby Sun 23-Jun-13 21:21:04

Yanbu my in laws did this quite a bit when dd1 was born. It's common but really pointless to get in to it. I have a nephew bit older than dd1 that was parented v differently. Now they are older dd1 is a nice kid and dn is a nice kid. They arnt much different grin
I did stand my ground once when sil said I was being daft not allowing mcd's for dd1. Well she's nearly 4 and never eaten one and she's survived grin

Fwiw I am wih you all the way though. Juice in a bottle is negligent. Bed times are v important - kids of that age need up to 16 hours sleep for brain development etc- I think people who are slack about bed time for kids are idiots. Manners are what makes kids feel confident in social situations - why wouldn't you teach them??
Furthermore this oh you won't manage that when you have more than one kid is horses hit too. I'm a lp of two so I should know grin

Thurlow Sun 23-Jun-13 21:23:41

The pearl clutching at 'ta' is hilarious. Young kids who are just learning to talk generally start one syllable at a time. Hence 'ta'. It's not deliberate, the reason so many kids say 'ta' is because that's what they can manage!

Wonderstuff Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:07

I think you are right. I can understand some issues from older generation tbh. I know my dm found the advice change on back to bed hard, because she went through hell trying to get me to sleep on my front because it was best advice, now to know that actually countless sleepless nights could have been avoided! I've also heard lots of 'never did us any harm' on that and on early weaning which was the thing to do in the 70s and 80s.

Not quite what you are talking about I know, but as styles change people do find it difficult to square with what they did.

I try not to judge anyone - I did what was right at the time for my dc. My firstborn didn't have a set, rigid bedtime when she was tiny, it suited us both to be free and easy. Now she is 5 she is a pig if she doesn't get enough sleep, so we are pretty rigid with a 7pm bedtime.

When they are little having different expectations of manners is difficult. I never expected mine to sit at the table after they had finished eating, sil did expect dn to stay until everyone had finished - which was confusing for the children, but neither of us was critical of the other. I wouldn't antagonise, I'd just say that is what suits my family. But then my family may have sucked teeth, but they were never openly critical of me..

PrettyKitty1986 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:28:25

Not drinking juice from a bottle, regular bedtime and saying please and thank you seem like a minimum parenting standard to me tbh...not much there for someone else to get their knickers in a twist about.

I wonder tbh if the op is a bit like a friend of mine....who seems to believe she is the first parent ever to do something (even basic thingss).When said friend gushingly tells me every detail about how her ds eats only home made organic purees, I can't help but roll my eyes and get irritated with her because of the way she states this as if she's the only one who has ever done this iyswim?

Or goes on about how important it is for her ds to remain in a steady routine. Or how she's just soo glad she got him to drop the dummy by age 2. Etc.

chocoluvva Sun 23-Jun-13 21:29:19

You came back Molten - Ta!

Ooh no, it's no good coming from an adult.

I sympathise with your irritation at the 'oldies'. (I used to make sure my baby DS was wearing the pink romper suits his sister had had as I knew it annoyed MIL. And I deliberately wait until after we've been on our thrice yearly trip to the end of the earth to the GP's to get his mop of fabulous curls trimmed as she doesn't like his hair 'long' ). It really gave/gives me pleasure. But she doesn't realise I'm deliberately rebelling against her tyranny opinions.

You need to develop a repertoire of SUBTLE passive aggressive comments that can be delivered innocently.

However, new mums have sometimes been known to be quite sensitive about comments made about their parentingwink

there is nothing wrong with an 18mo saying ta.
there is everything erong with an adult saying it. especially when they say it to an 18mo wgo can say something that actually sounds like thank you (that'z aimed at millions of people i know)
what's even worse is people saying ta to a child when they mean please (as in asking for something and they say ta over and over like dickheads)

ta is a perfectly acceptable devrlopmental stage for a developing toddler. if the adult says thank you, the child will imitate, using (usually) ta, ta-too, fanks, fank ooo then thank you as their language develops.
(otger cariations are also normal)

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:48:23

prettykitty nooo!!

As I said, I certainly didnt start by drawing attention to the things we do/don't do - find that stuff utterly boring. They got picked up on naturally and mocked. Like when we were weaning and DMIL told me DS was 'too young for red meat' (beef stew at 7 months ish) and proceeded to tell me how hers were raised on jars and mashed banana 'and it didn't do them any harm' and why was I cooking beef, where did I find the time and what was the point? It wasn't like I was going LOOK, DS is eating WAITROSE BEEF, HOW DO YOU FEEL???

But yes I'll be honest, I do draw a bit of attention to these things now, as it makes me feel better knowing I'm winding them up. And no, that isn't big or clever and I should stop!

Anyway, ta for listening and all your comments

MummyAbroad Sun 23-Jun-13 21:49:59

ta very much for explaining that to us unique

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:51:42

unique DS says 'ta' over and over when he wants something eg some food

He does a little dance where he wiggles his bum an says ta, ta, ta with arms outstretched

He's not a dickhead. It's cute.

RazzleDazzleEm Sun 23-Jun-13 21:54:21

"Ta" vile. Meaningless and pointless.

Juice in a bottle - rots teeth, the sugar accumulates at the end of mouth piece washing the pearlies with sugar and will rot teeth.

Nothing wrong with having a set bed time. But being ridged and immoveable about anything is un reasonable in my book.

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