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Why are so many parents overly concerned about how others bring up thier children?

(125 Posts)
Hulababy Mon 28-Feb-05 17:39:15

Not read most of the threads going today on related topics, but seen them arising and tons of times before. Not just here - on other parenting sites and in RL too.

Why are some people so concerned over what other mums and dad's do, in terms of parenting?

Why does it matter if another mum

* wants a natural birth or a cs?
* wants to breast feed or bottle feed, or both?
* wants to co sleep or not?
* wants to wean at 4 months or 6 months?
* wants to use jars of food or make their own?
* lets their child have the odd fast food or only ever has freshly prepared organic stuff?
* follows a strict routine or lets baby lead everything?
* AND any everything in between?


I know that I am iunterested in people's parenting decisions and their reasons behind it - but that's all. Just interested.

I don't feel it is my right to criticise anyone else (unless causing actual harm.injury obviosuly)?

Just because one way of doing something is right or wrong for me and my circu,stances, it doesn't mean it is right or wrong for someone else - surely?

I just find the perpetual bickering and criticisms between parents so...hmmm.....odd I guess. We pretty mcuch all want the same goal - happy, healthy children. Why does it matter if we all get there in different ways?

Okay, rant over!

Cod Mon 28-Feb-05 17:39:55

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MummytoSteven Mon 28-Feb-05 17:40:48

cos it can make for a good old barney /cynic

cos there are some emotive issues round birth/feeding experiences that people feel the need to discuss?

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Mon 28-Feb-05 17:40:49

Well said and thank you for articulating all that I've wanted to say here for ages but couldn't be ar*ed because I knew it would get someone's goat.

Hulababy Mon 28-Feb-05 17:41:07

Opinions, thoughts, ideas - yes
Criticisms - not nice

MummytoSteven Mon 28-Feb-05 17:41:58

the weaning one is a bit of an unfortunate one, given that the advice has changed so very recently, and a lot of health professionals don't seem keen to go with the changes.

Cod Mon 28-Feb-05 17:43:10

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dinosaur Mon 28-Feb-05 17:44:27

Hula I try hard not to criticise individuals here, or elsewhere for that matter.

But you cannot get away from the fact that objectively speaking, some things ARE better than others. I am thinking, here, for example, of the research that shows that, all other factors taking into account, human breastmilk is healthier for babies than formula.

To say that is not to criticise individual parents for bottle-feeding, is it? How can it be? How can we pretend that all choices are equal when some of them have better outcomes than others?

If there is one thing I hate about mumsnet, it is the inability of some posters to realise that holding an opinion about something is not the same as criticising people who hold a different opinion!

dejags Mon 28-Feb-05 17:45:00


I don't know - if you find the answer, please tell me.

There seems to be this perpetual one-upmanship going on in many forums/circles, it makes me sad and leave me feeling inadequate sometimes too.

MummytoSteven Mon 28-Feb-05 17:46:17

because it makes arguing far less fun if you stop to think "there for the grace of god go I" /me being sanctimonious

dejags - you OK love?

FairyMum Mon 28-Feb-05 17:46:27

But aren't we here to also discuss issues to do with parenting? Some threads are debate-threads which can get heated. If you don't like it, you stay off them. There's plenty of threads which are just giving advise or supporting or you can go on chat. Personally I am here partly for support and partly for a good discussion. I am not here for chat because I can chat to my hearts content ini RL. Issues discussed here are issues you might not get the chance to discuss in RL. I doubt my colleagues would be interested in weather I weaned at4 or 6 months...

dejags Mon 28-Feb-05 17:46:36

I totally agree Dino but some posters can't resist putting their opinions across in a way which makes the person on the opposite side of the fence feeling somehow "less". Opinions are great, but looking down at somebody because of their choice isn't.

dejags Mon 28-Feb-05 17:48:22

fine thank you MTS .

looking down from my high-horse this evening . must remind myself to stay away from any threads pertaining to my sensitive spot in future.

MummytoSteven Mon 28-Feb-05 17:49:08

tell me about it Dejags (I always end up saying the same things and getting myself upset!)on certain types of threads

Hulababy Mon 28-Feb-05 17:50:43

But some people here and in RL do criticise people's decisions. That is not supporting or advising IMO.

Yes, some ways may be better for baby or better for mum, but sometimes they are not what is best for a set of circumstances..

And often people have had to think long and hard when making decsions, and such criticisms (even if not aimed at yoirself, but are just being bandied around on threads, can be hurtful and insulting.

I have no problem with opinions at all, differeing or otherwise, just criticisms of other's decisions.

As I said at start, just my thoughts. I personally don't like it.

stitch Mon 28-Feb-05 17:58:55

i started a thread today in which i wanted to know peoples reasons behind a particular decision because i was curious. and because i did not have anything else to do that i wanted to do, eg housework, as i have a sprained ankle. a lot of people thought i was criticising them. i wasnt, i was just inquisitive, or being a nosy cow, phrase it how you will, but i was NOT criticising anyone,
i thinkit is just how people take it. but i think the wonderful thing about mumsnet is that you can have such conversations, as well as some very lighthearted ones.

lilsmum Mon 28-Feb-05 18:01:49

hear hear hulababy!!! well said xx

dejags Mon 28-Feb-05 18:05:16

is it possible to accept that some people do think they are better and to let them get on with it. I am certainly over-sensitive on a couple of issues (we all are in one way or another) and should probably manage myself better on MN. I think it may be up to me to steer clear of certain subjects, that way I am none the wiser and a lot less aggravated and everybody else can do what they like?

FairyMum Mon 28-Feb-05 18:06:03

Yes, partly agree Hulababy.

MunchedTooManyMarsLady Mon 28-Feb-05 18:06:30

hope your ankle gets better soon stitch

zebra Mon 28-Feb-05 18:09:24

Sorry, Hula, can't help but disagree. Some choices are mere preferences -- like whether you like vanilla ice cream (which I happen to hate). Not really important. Other parenting choices are important. Sometimes very important. The kind of statements "what's right for you may not be right for me, don't be judgemental, etc." are specious, IMO. Some choices really are poor ones. A single bad choice doesn't make a parent a totally bad parent, but even the best parent can still make bad choices... What you think is the equivalent of ice cream preferences may strike me as very important. I'll try harder to keep my opinions to myself any more, but sometimes I forget -- like when people say "Oh, it doesn't really matter..." -- and I think it does. This doesn't stem from a desire to see myself as better than others, it stems from a horrible sick feeling in my stomach when I hear what is happening in the life of some babies & children.

Do agree that MN is ultra-catty of late, though.

stitch Mon 28-Feb-05 18:09:39

thanks marslady,
its funny, but i am finally beginning to undersatnd this whole community thing. its nice to see the same names popping up again and again. and its nice to have sympathy about my ankle!

PuffTheMagicDragon Mon 28-Feb-05 18:12:47

Is motherhood, like many other aspects of life now, for some reason become more competitive? I think it's got something to do with our society becoming more materialistic, but I'm too tired to think it through properly!

ScummyMummy Mon 28-Feb-05 18:16:49

Agree with dino, mts, cods and zebra.

Dior Mon 28-Feb-05 18:22:15

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