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To expect this friendship to end?

(58 Posts)
mrsruffallo Thu 09-Jul-09 15:38:17

Do you think that it's possible to be friends with someone who has a completely different parenting style to your own?
I met up with a friend who I haven't seen for years recently. She has had a child who is now 3.
She uses stairgates, reins, the whole caboodle.
Poor kid can't run down the street or eat anything without washing hands first.

She used to be such a free spirit!
Am I wrong to feel differently about her?

rubyslippers Thu 09-Jul-09 15:40:29

none of these are deal breakers IMO

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Thu 09-Jul-09 15:41:11

Parenthood does wacky things to one's brain. In the years to come she'll mellow out (hopefully). Have you had a chat with her about this? She sounds anxious about her child's saftety so she may benefit from some support. You could be a really good friend and help her to chill! smile

FabBakerGirlIsBack Thu 09-Jul-09 15:42:26

You are not wrong to feel surprised by the apparent change in her ways but I wouldn't chose to end the friendship.

It will either do so naturally, or after something happens, or it will continue.

TheChilliMooseOfDoom Thu 09-Jul-09 15:42:27

I have found that it is too difficult to be friends with people who have extremely different parenting styles to me. You end up criticising each other rather than just accepting the differences.

HuffwardlyRudge Thu 09-Jul-09 15:43:47

Well if that's how you feel then yes, I think your friendship will probably die off.

Doesn't have to me that way though. One of my very best friends is a card carrying, badge wearing, bell ringing, Contented Little Baby, early weaning, naughty stepping, Annabel Carmelling, girls-in-pink, boys-in-blue kind of parent. She thinks "I'm A Little Shit' type t-shirts are brill. She'd never heard of butternut squash until Annabel Karmel told her to buy one.

I am the opposite. She thinks I'm a weird hippy.

We love each other though, and love each other's children. We chuckle about our differences and love spending time together.

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Thu 09-Jul-09 15:47:57

It would be kind of dull if we all parented the same?

Karam Thu 09-Jul-09 15:50:01

YABU - you sound as those you disapprove of her... yet have you thought she make think that you take unreasonable risks in your child's safety? Not using stairgates and reins may come across to her as unacceptable risks.

Go with the flow... what she does with her child is no business of yours (providing she's not harming the child of course). Just enjoy each other and not worry about the parenting styles.

I have friends with all sorts of parents - within my social circle there is a mum who did Gina Ford and another mum who does attachment parenting... but it works because we all respect each other and do not judge. After all, you are friends with her as a person, not as a mother.

mrsruffallo Thu 09-Jul-09 15:51:56

I think I do disapprove a bit. I think there is a problem with over protection on our society.
It's funny how parenthood brings these (poss judgemental) feelings out

PlumBumMum Thu 09-Jul-09 15:54:56

She could be saying I met up with a friend I haven't seen for ages and she just let her child run up and down the street, and dosen't wash her childrens hands before they eat, etc

I have her friend who lets her children have a free rein no matter where we are, I on the other hand like to keep a closer eye on my dcs, it hasn't stopped us being friends

BitOfFun Thu 09-Jul-09 15:56:29

It's certainly funny how MN brings them out grin

Oblomov Thu 09-Jul-09 15:57:47

Lol at your reaction.
"Poor kid can't...."
Everyone I know aprents in a different way to me. Doesn't stop me being friends with them.
Am a bit bemused at how your mind works hmm

Oblomov Thu 09-Jul-09 15:59:09

Theres also a problem with this generation. Too much free spirit and letting their kids run riot.
Is an alternative view !!!!

MissSunny Thu 09-Jul-09 15:59:53

Message withdrawn

bohemianbint Thu 09-Jul-09 16:01:44

what's the problem with reins and stairgates? I give my toddler a lot of freedom in many ways but he is a bolter and very prone to getting giddy and doing himself an injury. (Many hours spent in a&e after bizarre accidents.) I know my child and left to his own devices he would be run over or drowned before he learnt decorum. Maybe you're lucky your kids aren't as much of a handful as hers? Some are much more hard to contain than others...

(I'm not that clean though!)

thefortbuilder Thu 09-Jul-09 16:02:03

don't flame me but maybe the two of you could learn a little from each other?

I parent very differently to some of my friends and they parent very differently to me, but we have all learnt from each others experiences.

maybe she can't have any more children and is desperately scared of something, anything happening to this one? or maybe the child has previously been a runner and has come close to being knocked over?

there could be a lot of things behind it and it would be a shame if a friendship died out needlessly.

lou031205 Thu 09-Jul-09 16:02:05

Without stairgates, my DD1 would be injured on a regular basis. Without reins, she would be dead.

Some parents parent differently to others, and some children have different personalities to others.

YABU to think that just because you don't need stairgates and reins, she doesn't & YABVU to think that a friendship would end because she didn't follow your way of parenting.

bubblagirl Thu 09-Jul-09 16:03:18

does he have problems with danger awareness? does she feel more secure dealing with him like this i was nervous with my ds he was a runner and always put him in his chair as was petrified after near accident with him running in road

but no i have whole host of friends we all parent differently and no one batts an eyelid i guess because we are all friends we accept our differences

whats she like at home with child whats the child like at home?

Lizzylou Thu 09-Jul-09 16:04:36

I parent differently to a lot of my friends, but they are my friends, I don't decorate my house like them, dress like them, have different taste in men etc etc etc

You don't have to agree with everything and you are arrogantly assuming that your way is right and your friend has it all wrong, who knows?

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Thu 09-Jul-09 16:05:01

i hate to say this, but OP, are you bored?

TigersChick Thu 09-Jul-09 16:05:57

IMHO it would only matter if
A. there was a child-care situation involved ie if someone was going to be looking after my DD for any extended or regular time then I'd want them to have at least a vaguely similar approach to parenting as me.
B. if it adversly affected me or my DD - tho not sure if I can think of an example...

As this appears to be neither of the above then I think YABU ... unless you don't want to be friends with her; if I knew that one of my friends didn't want to continue the relationship, whatever the reason, then they wouldn't be worth losing much sleep over!

OrmIrian Thu 09-Jul-09 16:06:30

It wouldn't end the friendship. Unless you wanted it to. Might be a bit strained I suppose. But the DC won't be little forever and you might find your parenting styles get closer together as they get older.

lisad123 Thu 09-Jul-09 16:11:23

oh dear must bemy friend, I have stair gates and reins (well back pack type) blush

We all parent differently and we all decide what we think is important. Shes still the same person, just a parent too now.

Devongirl Thu 09-Jul-09 16:11:23

My friend's daughter still as a dummy at 2.5, so therefore I'm going to end the friendship as my son hasn't had one for ages. hmm Is your friendship that shallow? I'm sure you'll move on past this temporary patch and remember to enjoy the differences between you.

Devongirl Thu 09-Jul-09 16:11:49


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