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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

parakeet Sun 23-Jun-13 19:39:57

I think you're spot on - they feel defensive about their own choices.

It is often said on here that in these circumstances you should smile and nod - but personally I dislike giving even that slight impression of agreement. I have always preferred to smile and change the subject.

Breatheslowly Sun 23-Jun-13 19:42:07

Some people do see differences in parenting as a critique on their own.

Do try not to antagonise though!

AKissIsNotAContract Sun 23-Jun-13 19:42:17

I think all your decisions are correct. Google 'bottle caries' to show your mil the harm juice in a bottle does to teeth.

TheSecondComing Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EagleRiderDirk Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:25

I think your DP is bang on.

And if it makes you feel better, my DD was 20m when DS was born and I never stopped insisting she had manners. It barely takes two seconds.

fluffyraggies Sun 23-Jun-13 19:45:01

"there's no way you'll have time to be so precious about manners when you have your second"

Ha! Rubbish!

I was told this one too. I found, in fact, that my 2nd and 3rd DCs learned that manners were a natural part of day to day life through seeing and hearing their older sister behaving nicely. So don't worry.

FriskyHenderson Sun 23-Jun-13 19:45:03

Some people will see it as a criticism of their own choices and feel threatened. Other people will have more children experience and were where you are but have now adapted their thinking.

Doogle2 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:45:09

I think you sound like a nice mum and should ignore what they say. I have had 2 children and I have managed to bring them both up to say thank you!
Your children, your rules.

MummyAbroad Sun 23-Jun-13 19:46:19

I think you are right, they are scared of admitting "they did it wrong" with their own kids, which is nonsense of course, there is no real "right or wrong way" its what's right for your family that counts.

If its any consolation, it wears off! I used to get this a lot with DS1, it wore off once we had got through most of the "issues" weaning, toilet training, naps etc, I got in much less with DS2 (first time mums are easier targets!) and now DS1 is 5 I dont get any comments about anything, they have realised I will pay not attention anyway!

CreatureRetorts Sun 23-Jun-13 19:47:11

Of course they feel threatened as will you one day I'm sure

Now I've got my second, I don't think twice about what others think but I did with my first!

pantsjustpants Sun 23-Jun-13 19:49:14


I have 4 dc's, they all said thank you. Dc4 is 18 months and has been saying thank you sounds for months. I can't stand "ta", but I wouldn't judge anyone about it wink.

Beamae Sun 23-Jun-13 19:49:55

Yep. Spot on. I get this a lot but find it odd because I couldn't give a monkeys what anyone else is up to parenting wise.

Northernlurker Sun 23-Jun-13 19:50:24

I think you're being unreasonable for teaching your child to say 'ta'. It's a meaningless sound of a word and I can't bear it. I'd rather have a hug from a child to young to say thank you tbh. Your sister is utterly wrong btw. She may not be arsed but I have three dcs too and they have all been bought up to say thank you.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 19:54:53

Ha! Had a feeling the ta thing would come up

He's not really mastered thank you, so I think 'ta' is the natural stand in, gets him used to acknowledging someone when they give him something (although he doesn't quite get it and also uses it when giving things!)

DMIL actually told me she thought it was 'a bit common' but...meh

MummyAbroad Sun 23-Jun-13 20:07:07

I think ta is cute (ex Londoner here) mine says "queue" as in "Than -queue" smile

lougle Sun 23-Jun-13 20:13:10

My eldest DD has SN. Without a doubt she is the most polite child I've ever met. She could sign 'sorry' and 'thank you' before she could talk.

It harms no-one to be taught that there are some words which make life nicer for everyone.


MrsMangoBiscuit Sun 23-Jun-13 20:13:29

"Ta" doesn't offend me in the slightest. DD started with ta, moved onto thank you, and has now developed "thank you for having me/for my drink/my present etc" I think she realised that she got fussed at by others for "being SO polite!" so she's milking it! grin

As for the "you won't have time to be so precious" bullshit, my DSIL has 4, and is elsewise also very busy. Even her youngest(4) has impeccable manners. Won't have time, and can't be arsed are two very different things.

Er, in other words, YANBU!

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Sun 23-Jun-13 20:14:09

I have 3 children and they stick to a regular routine etc I think the more children you have the more important that becomes to avoid descending into chaos, my MIL in BIL always wanted to give my first baby kettle chips and always used to say knowingly just wait until you have your second and it's a load of all crap, you may become more relaxed in some areas but stuff like juice in a bottle will always feel wrong

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:03

I agree with all the things you do .But having to re teach the word thankyou after having taught him ta is a pain .

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:18

I agree with all the things you do .But having to re teach the word thankyou after having taught him ta is a pain .

TippiShagpile Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:23

My children are 7 and 8.

They go to bed at 7 pm and always have done.

UniqueAndAmazing Sun 23-Jun-13 20:20:50

I think your dp is right, too. they think you're criticizing them.

fwiw, the examples you've quoted (dd is also 18mo)
no wonder you don't want juice in a bottle! how to ruin teeth. dd doesn't have juice at all.
strict bedtime - you've git a baby on the way, you wsnt the transition to be as easy as possible and making sure ds has a sensible routine is a good idea.
manners - the earlier you stsrt the more they'll just be a natural way they behave. as I take dd to work every day in my shop, one of her first words was thank you (and in context too) mainly because she watches me and customers always saying thank you when things are passed to the other person.

Flobbadobs Sun 23-Jun-13 20:21:22

I have 3 and have enough time to be precious about manners... Even the 16 month old can say 'ta' at the right moment!
Your DP is right I think, it does make people question ad doubt their own choices. Not just wrt babies but in all walks of life. If a person says they are going to do X and you did Y you may think "did I make the right choice?" Or take it as a criticism because they are not following your example.
It's one of the less nice sides of human nature I think.
YANBU to not change.

JADS Sun 23-Jun-13 20:25:36


The only 2 liquids that should be given in a bottle are milk and water. Juice is a bottle is wrong wrong wrong.

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