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To anyone who gravitates towards the unconditional parenting end of the scale

(44 Posts)
milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 08:43:27

Do you quite often get the impression that other people are judging your parenting skills, and see you as 'a soft touch'? I do. I'm sure that pretty much everyone I know thinks that I let my dcs get away with too much.

Take dd (nearly 4) for instance; she is quite loud and boisterous at times, but I believe that she has a strong sense of what is right and wrong. I have never known her to once hit or hurt another child, she is never rude to adults, and is generally impeccably behaved when being cared for by others.

Yet I sometimes sense that because I'm not actively threatening/punishing/stifling her, people are a bit hmm about my parenting style.

Anyones else get this?

CoteDAzur Tue 28-Oct-08 08:46:52

As long as your DD doesn't go around hurting other kids while you are just sitting there smiling... why would anyone care?

In which kind of situations do you feel judged by other parents?

myermay Tue 28-Oct-08 08:51:32

Yes i know what you mean, although i wonder if it's because i sometimes i question how i've dealt with something. I'm not too much of a soft touch but i do pick my arguements, although am consistent. We mustn't worry what other people think, she's your child and it's up to you how you deal wiht her - and as long as she's got nice manners, shows compassion for others then surely that's a good thing.

My sister often butts in and tells me that i should've walloped my kids for this and that - which always makes me laugh.

We are all different and doing the best for our kids

giddly Tue 28-Oct-08 08:52:16

To be honest I think it's you who's judgemental. Those of us who guide our kids a bit more are not necessarily "actively threatening / punishing / stifling." Infact I know very few parents who does this.
Do what you want, but if you want respect for your approach I think you need to have some for others.

milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 08:53:13

Umm.... it's actually a bit tricky to be specific. Oh okay - a situation where dd is playing with friends and they're dashing around being fairly noisy etc, and I just don't see that as 'bad' behaviour and others might. So I'll just be quite happy that they're having fun and the other parent will be telling their dc off and in my eyes thinking my dd is being a bad influence.

giddly Tue 28-Oct-08 08:53:41

"...very few parents who do this

mrsgboring Tue 28-Oct-08 09:05:12

I do know what you mean, and I worry about this myself. I am not a soft touch; I can sometimes come across as strict but I don't do sticker charts and naughty steps and the macho "I will not stand for this behaviour" language of Supernanny. Added to that DS is not ready to potty train at 3 (and I'm getting more and more paranoid that people just think I'm too lazy to make him do it), so I do feel judged.

BUT I think it is mostly in my head. And also, however parents approach discipline, they feel bad when their child shows them up in public or worry about others judging them. If you are very vocal about your discipline, it's easier to show that you're doing something about the child's behaviour, but it's much more embarrassing if they then carry on doing it after all that.

If your DD usually behaves well, you shouldn't feel embarrassed, really (though maybe readdress what is and isn't acceptable levels of noise; she's old enough at 4 to start learning about moderating her voice in different situations, and being sensitive to social norms)

milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 09:05:43

giddy - my op is not intended as a criticism of others' approach to parenting. Yes there are certain situations where I would construe other parents' actions to be stifling, hence the reason I choose not to engage in them myself.

cory Tue 28-Oct-08 09:06:20

Depends on how bad the other people's headaches are wink

A child who is never told not to express her loud and boisterous personality can be a bit of a trial...

giddly Tue 28-Oct-08 09:14:04

MAG - I think your use of language is very emotive if you really don't mean to criticise. I have no problem with your style of parenting - just your use of words to describe the actions of others.

milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 09:19:23

mrsgboring - yes you've hit the nail on the head I think.

To clarify, dd is not a really loud child at all times, she can be quiet too! I was just using that as one example of a time when I've felt judged.

I've just thought of another. Dd really loves nursery but still has a little anxiety about the actual 'walking in'. Her class is upstairs and she always wants me to hold her hand going up the stairs and leave her at the top instead of sending her up. I know staff think I'm barking for not insisting she walks up alone. They see she is a confident little girl who settles really well; but I feel that if she feels she needs that extra bit of support to make her feel secure getting off then I don't want to rock the boat. There will come a time when she's ready.

milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 09:33:58

cory - if I think people are becoming irritated/bothered by levels of noise created by my dcs I will always ask them to pipe down. That's just consideration for others smile.

mrsgboring Tue 28-Oct-08 09:40:09

Re the nursery thing, I'd be just the same. Nursery staff wouldn't be human (or doing their job properly) if they didn't constantly evaluate whether you or they are doing the right thing by your DD, though. People are bound to hold opinions on the right way to do things - it doesn't really matter (but I know how you feel because I have a similar little thing with one of our Junior Church leaders and can lose sleep over it in neurotic moments)

doggiesayswoof Tue 28-Oct-08 09:43:57

I agree with OP.

I sometimes realise I am telling dd off not because I deem it necessary but because I feel it's expected.

Good on you - don't cave in

I'd do the same re nursery. DD is very similar about walking into the room and sometimes I think the staff feel I hang about too long.

cory Tue 28-Oct-08 09:49:27

I think telling your children off can become a kind of competitive sport. You don't want to get pulled into that.

FeelingLucky Tue 28-Oct-08 09:53:33

oooh gawd! yet another label ... unconditional parenting ... why can't we just all be parents and do whatever parenting suits us and the temperament of our child???

FFS - your description on "unconditional parenting" seems the way every parent I know parents.

I'm afraid I agree with giddly about the tone of your OP.
Nobody's judging you - if you want a pat on the back for your parenting, then ask for it.
Here you go: "Well done for being such a patient, liberal-minded parent!"

milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 10:09:31

Fellinglucky - notice my use of the word 'scale'. I am capable of recognising that we don't all belong in ' brackets' as such, as I am also capable of realising that people parent in different ways. I have every right to feel how I feel thank you, and who made you the authority on who is judging me or not? You do not experience my life/feelings. I was seeking to find out whether others who have similar parenting views, feel the same way.


FeelingLucky Tue 28-Oct-08 10:18:56

I'm sorry, your post just made me feel a bit crap about myself because I'm one of these many parents who goes around actively threatening, punishing, stifling my child. And when I see other parents in the park who obviously practise Alfie Kohn's methods, I just wish I had their patience and intelligence, so I look at them in a judgey way, just because it makes me feel a bit better about my own inadequacies.

milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 10:42:03

I don't subscribe much to the traditional methods of discipline so yes - I feel that in some situations/company this is not the norm, hence I feel that I am being frowned upon. I'm not apologising for that.

FeelingLucky Tue 28-Oct-08 10:51:14

Poor you for feeling frowned upon ... I sometimes feel frowned upon too with the parenting choices I've made and in my frustration I just tell DD to shut up when she shouts in the park or at playgroup.

Funny really, the parks I go to are all very quiet, no loud boisterous kids at all - you get the odd one who's not so quiet and you can tell straight away that their parents veer towards the unconditional parenting route wink

milkysallgone Tue 28-Oct-08 11:00:29

Perhaps you should start your own thread requesting support/experiences of those who share your parenting views. I wouldn't reply because I am not one of those people.

FeelingLucky Tue 28-Oct-08 11:04:19

Now that would be an idea ... if I was looking for sympathy or a well done for what a great parent I was ... but I"M NOT grin

FeelingLucky Tue 28-Oct-08 11:07:50

Sorry ... I'm being very mean. Want to call a truce.
Just wanted to pick a fight this morning because sun is shining and I wanted to procrastinate. But, have loads of work to do so must go now.

Good luck and sorry for being a meany smile.

stayinbed Tue 28-Oct-08 11:09:04

i can see what you mean. some people look at you and 'expect' you to react in a certain way when your child is being boisterous or loud.
and my children are the same, they are impeccably behaved when with others. i think that is because they know home is where they can be/do whatever they want and try stretching limits, while outside there are behaviour codes.
ignore everyone. every child has times when they are loud/boisterou/misbehaving if you are not telling them to stop/behave it may be for a number of different reasons (parenting style, too tired, know they might go into a bigger tantrum following, don't care, prefer to scold in private tec etc) which the people around you can't guess so they must be very narrow minded if they are thinking you should 'do something' when they look at you...

stayinbed Tue 28-Oct-08 11:12:15

about the nursery i agree. while most mothers would leave their children crying at nursery the first days/weeks i would stay as long as my dd needed to feel secure, and leave without her shedding a single tear (maybe i needed that as much as her!) .
the teachers thought it was a little much, (why couldnt i jut leave her even if she cries a little they'd seen it a thousand times they all stop crying), but i feel it really helped and my dd has transitioned to new classes etc very well

don't give in, nobody knows what your dc needs better than you so they can look and think whatever they want and do that with their own children

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