Advanced search

to question decent parenting

(29 Posts)
mildmanneredtwunt Sat 02-Jul-11 00:53:25

So friend A has a 9 mnth old pfb. He is organic home made goodness all the way.
Friend B has 16 mnth old (p)fb munching on doritoes and chips.
Friend A baby is immaculate, full clothes change 6 times a day to ensure no sticky banana residue on cool sex pistols t-shirt, no dummy, don't smoke within 2 miles of him molly-codled. SAHM.
Friend B's baby is grubby, free range, oops tried to eat a ladybird, laid back parented. Nursery 5 days/week.
However .. Friend B's dd is - and always has been - the loveliest, happiest sweetest little girl who I just love spending time with. Can take her anywhere, she'll fall asleep easily at friends houses, sit happily in parks (and beer gardens), interested in everything and fun and lovely. Whereas friend A's boy is whingy, clingy, scared of dirt and so restricted by routine that we can only see parents after 8pm if we visit them at home.
I thought I agreed with friend A's style (apart from the ridiculous clothes changing) but now question the merits of over thinking parenting. I expect there is a happy medium, but AIBU to think that basically you should make life easy on yourself as a parent cause all the extra effort is not worth it.

Liluri Sat 02-Jul-11 00:58:08

As long as you're doing the best you can for your own children, you pretty much just have to accept that other parents are doing the same, even if their ways are different to yours - and bite your tongue! wink

It's gets tougher as the children get older - some will be at eight afterschool clubs a week, others will be permanently attached to a wii controller etc etc etc grin

bethelbeth Sat 02-Jul-11 01:01:35

It may be worth it to friend A though... sometimes people do things for their children that are 'for the children's benefit' but it's really to make them feel better about themselves.

mildmanneredtwunt Sat 02-Jul-11 01:04:25

You're right of course Liluri. And that raises the reason why I was prompted to ask this... Friend A (with whingy boy) never stops bitching about Friend B's parenting. Cause she'll never let little A eat a salty snack, have a snotty nose, be 'raised by others' and I'm so sick of it because - as I keep pointing out to her - little B is fine and happy and sociable. Feel she has become a judgemental supermum who can't see beyond doing the 'right thing'.

BluddyMoFo Sat 02-Jul-11 01:05:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Jul-11 01:08:06

I cringed at 'decent parenting' in your title, but perhaps the differences can be just put down to the DCs personalities?

I'm a mixture of the two, but it's taken time to get to that balance.

We mostly parent the way we were parented and what fits in with how we are.

It must be weird for you to see two such extremes just out of the people you know.

Do you have any DC?

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Jul-11 01:11:15

I'm with friend Bs snotty nose policy, there's nowt worse than caterpillar tracks, especially when they're on other peoples DC.

It's out of respect for the vomit prone to keep it snot free.

thursday Sat 02-Jul-11 01:14:55

i winced at 'decent parenting' too. i do a mixture of those things, and have a mixture of children. i'm a semi-indecent parent with semi lovely children.

thumbwitch Sat 02-Jul-11 01:15:35

Your friend A IBU to be so smuggety smug, especially as child B is a happy carefree little soul.

YABU to have put this in AIBU because you are not really doing an AIBU yourself. grin

I think of course there is a middle ground - it's not wrong to want the best for your DC, but tight routines can be overly restrictive (depending on the child, some thrive on it) and a bit of dirt is not really a problem unless the child in question has severe immune deficiencies. Perhaps mum of child A is too much of a perfectionist, in which case feel sorry for child A because its life is not going to be much fun - a friend of mine was brought up by a neat "freak" and couldn't even leave the book she was in the middle of reading on her bedside table overnight - it had to go back in the book case.

mildmanneredtwunt Sat 02-Jul-11 01:15:50

I apologise for the 'decent parenting' title - not well thought, sorry.
Good points about them prob having other very different children.
AZZ - no, I don't. They both involve me a lot because despite years of ivf I've none of my own (yet) so I don't feel I can question or comment to either of them on their own methods. I know this makes me very ignorant of the realities of babies and the difficult decisions parents make so please don't think I'm judging either. It's more that I'm shocked because I would have thought I would lean more towards friend A's style but it seems that she gives herself a hard time compared to friend B for no baby-related benefit.

MerylStrop Sat 02-Jul-11 01:20:21

Friend A perhaps feels she has to "justify" her choice to SAHM, hence the barbed comments and ultracleanliness. Perhaps she sees B's approach to parenting as an affront to her choices.

AgentZigzag Sat 02-Jul-11 01:24:12

I'm pretty reactive to my DDs, if they tell me they're unhappy or need something I'll respond (mostly) straight away, but if they're happy doing their own thing then I don't intervene.

Unless it's stuff that needs doing of course, and I don't just sit there on my arse waiting for them to complain and never interacting with them much as I'd like to with DD1s constant talking grin

DivineInspiration Sat 02-Jul-11 01:26:08

I'm more or less of the opinion that short of actual abuse or neglect or incompetence or disadvantage etc, most children of most parents end up perfectly okay regardless of whether the small stuff was sweated or not. When I think of all the people I know who I knew as children and the way they were brought up and the attitudes of their parents towards parenting, and then think of the adults they've become - well, there's not a lot in it.

The vast majority of my friends are well-rounded, well-adjusted, capable, independent, successful (to varying definitions), charming, sociable, pleasant people. Who spent their formative years being allowed to eat nothing but spaghetti hoops and bread with the crusts cut off versus who had a strict wholegrain organic diet; who had a SAHM versus who went to nursery from 10 weeks old; who was coddled from one structured activity to another versus who just rolled around the garden until it got too dark to see - this stuff doesn't seem to have factored much in the grown-ups my friends became. Though I don't doubt it did have some influence, I just question how much and to what significance. When I think of the things the people I know have in common, it's fairly obvious to me that values and parenting structures far greater than whether the odd ladybird can be considered extra protein are what really shaped who they are.

Understandably this isn't what parents want to hear, that the things they put so much love and energy and determination into probably don't matter very much in the bigger picture.

I don't have DC, but if I ever do, I'd like to think that I'll look to this completely anecdotal and in no way academic evidence to help me decide what the important stuff is.

PenguinArmy Sat 02-Jul-11 06:45:17

Friends A judgy attitudes are UR, but I don't think it's fair to ascribe differences in the DCs personality due to parenting differences.

Babies that fall asleep easily will be naturally be taken out and about more. Would you want a crying overtired baby in the same cafe/restaurant as you because it doesn't sleep when there is any stimulation around, even if it used to once upon a time?

x2boys Sat 02-Jul-11 07:19:51

yep my baby munches on chips toast any thing really [13 mo] gets grubby sometimes judgeaway dont have time to change him six times a day as i work full time have a 4yo as well both are happy health and lovely

hairfullofsnakes Sat 02-Jul-11 08:05:56

You think nursery five times a week is better than being with mum? I don't.

It is probably more to do with their personalities than the parenting.

MavisCruetTheFairy Sat 02-Jul-11 08:20:00

OP didn't say that nursery was better than being with mum. She said that from what she can see it doesn't seem to have done Child B any harm and certainly doesn't justify Mother A's sneeringly superior attitude.

purepurple Sat 02-Jul-11 08:26:39

It's not about decent parenting, it's about good enough parenting. Striving to be perfect is like a dog chasing its own tail. Pointless.
Friend B is obviously confident as a parent and understands the concept of good enough parenting.
Friend A, however, needs to learn not to sweat the small stuff.

hairfullofsnakes Sat 02-Jul-11 08:27:54

I didn't say she did I was askig the question.

And how did you get that Mother A is sneery?! Just because se likes to do things a certain way it does not mean she is sneery. I have seen lots of sneery attitudes towards her on this thread though!

DuelingFanjo Sat 02-Jul-11 08:30:49

friend A is a cow for using the phrase 'raised by others' and you would not be unreasonable to stop hanging around with her.

LaurieFairyCake Sat 02-Jul-11 08:31:28

Your friend A is conveying their massive anxieties about life to the child hence making them whiny and clingy. She has made them afraid and distrustful of the world.

DuelingFanjo Sat 02-Jul-11 08:32:17

but this is a sahm and wohm debate by stealth isn't it ;)?

DuelingFanjo Sat 02-Jul-11 08:33:51

or another bashing nursery thread, sigh. Hides thread from people who will no doubt be making me feel like shit about my choices at some point.

ScarletOHaHa Sat 02-Jul-11 08:37:39

It is all about being good enough. Overindulgence and neglect are equally damaging. Maybe Friend A is jealous of B?

I find it difficult to maintain friendships when people have very different parenting styles to my own.

nethunsreject Sat 02-Jul-11 08:39:03

BIt of a nasty, judgey op.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: