Wedding Woes

Different Parenting Styles

I have a wonderful and darling friend who happens to fall on the side of (what I consider to be) fussy and overly indulgent helicopter parenting, where I tend to the free-range-with-a-vengeance and zero-censorship side. I come from a large, involved family (I have more than 50 first cousins, and I’ve babysat most of them!) and I’ve also fostered kids at different times in my life, whereas she comes from a very small family—just one sibling and both her parents are deceased. I will admit to having a little bit of arrogance where kids are concerned—if a kid does it, I’ve probably dealt with it. Which by no means makes me perfect or infallible! It seems to me she’s her own worst enemy where her son is concerned. He’s 4, and she complains that he’s a terrible sleeper—but she’s spent the last four years indulging a bedtime routine that makes circus acts look quiet. Projector-style mobiles, starlight walks, rocking, swaddling, car rides, time-outs, and existential discussions about the biological functions of sleep, often until midnight or later. Bedtime and sleep hygiene are the worst area, but this parenting style stretches across every aspect of her life. She’s been my best friend for 15 years, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult not to be judgmental and tell her off every time she complains that Baby kept her up again last night. My own kids are grown or nearly so (17 and 20), and all I can see is years of behavioral problems that she’s manufacturing with her own behavior. Remind me how to separate myself from her issues without losing a friend I really do love dearly?
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Re: Different Parenting Styles

  • The writer is a bit arrogant.   Every kid is different and different parenting styles can work.     Don't compare babysitting your first cousins to having kids of your own unless you nannied for them from birth.

    Listen to the friend, ask if she's interested in techniques that worked for you and if not, just drop it.   
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomcowgirl8238
  • Yah the LWseems pretty smug. Kids are different. Offer tips if she's receptive but maybe she's just venting. 
    short+sassyOurWildKingdom
  • Offer suggestions.  Mention what worked with your kids.  But keep the convos about her child short if you find them irritating.  This is not your child, it is hers.  Let her find her own way.

    Admittedly, I have some trouble with this myself with a good friend.  I'm not even a mother at all.  I know how she raises her child is none of my business.  But I just inwardly cringe at some of the choices she makes.  I will gently make "have you thought about this..." types of comments, offer other thoughts, but largely keep mum.  And only make even those comments if it is related to something she is complaining about.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    charlotte989875


  • Offer suggestions.  Mention what worked with your kids.  But keep the convos about her child short if you find them irritating.  This is not your child, it is hers.  Let her find her own way.

    Admittedly, I have some trouble with this myself with a good friend.  I'm not even a mother at all.  I know how she raises her child is none of my business.  But I just inwardly cringe at some of the choices she makes.  I will gently make "have you thought about this..." types of comments, offer other thoughts, but largely keep mum.  And only make even those comments if it is related to something she is complaining about.



    My kid was terrible sleeper for 2 1/2 years. You get a little sick of, "he'll just cry himself to sleep", no, no he wouldn't. He would scream for 3 hours. We tried every method of "sleep training" until we just gave up and did what worked. 

    My advice to parents is always, this is what we did, but you do what works and keeps you sane.
    OurWildKingdomYogaSandyMesmrEwecowgirl8238














  • Offer suggestions.  Mention what worked with your kids.  But keep the convos about her child short if you find them irritating.  This is not your child, it is hers.  Let her find her own way.

    Admittedly, I have some trouble with this myself with a good friend.  I'm not even a mother at all.  I know how she raises her child is none of my business.  But I just inwardly cringe at some of the choices she makes.  I will gently make "have you thought about this..." types of comments, offer other thoughts, but largely keep mum.  And only make even those comments if it is related to something she is complaining about.









    My kid was terrible sleeper for 2 1/2 years. You get a little sick of, "he'll just cry himself to sleep", no, no he wouldn't. He would scream for 3 hours. We tried every method of "sleep training" until we just gave up and did what worked. 

    My advice to parents is always, this is what we did, but you do what works and keeps you sane.






    Oh!  I wasn't referring to the child's sleep problem that the LW seems hung up about.  Or any behavioral issues for that matter.

    I'll give an example.  I am vehemently against home-schooling, at least for the vast majority of children.  I certainly don't think parents who home-school are bad parents.  It is absolutely NONE of my business that she home schools her child.  I know that, I know that.  I do.  But I also can't help that it makes me cringe and I think its a mistake.

    And what my friend loves about home schooling, is exactly what I find disturbing about it.  All her daughter's friends are from family's that are the same race, same economic status, largely the same religious and political views.  If one of her friends says a cross word to her, momma is immediately there to correct the situation.  I just don't feel like this little girl is learning how to navigate social situations on her own.  To me, that is also a big part of what school is.

    However, what I've said to my friend, is not remotely as strong as anything I've have said here.  If there is a natural opening...like my friend joking about what a helicopter parent she is...I'll make a comment like, "I know it must be such an instinct to try and always keep her out of harm's way!  But it's the bumps and bruises.  The spats with friends and interactions with people we don't like.  That teach us how and give us the confidence to navigate in our world and work with others."

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    Greenjinjo
  • Her kids are 17 & 20, she's forgotten what it's like to have a 4yo. who very well may not have a personality like any of the other cousins she babysat for (babysat does not equal the kids actually following their normal routines). I had one Unicorn sleeper and one who I didn't see a full night's sleep until he was 3.5, every kid is different.  LW sounds arrogant and judgmental and needs to let friend be a parent for the next 15 years then reconnect.
    charlotte989875






  • Offer suggestions.  Mention what worked with your kids.  But keep the convos about her child short if you find them irritating.  This is not your child, it is hers.  Let her find her own way.

    Admittedly, I have some trouble with this myself with a good friend.  I'm not even a mother at all.  I know how she raises her child is none of my business.  But I just inwardly cringe at some of the choices she makes.  I will gently make "have you thought about this..." types of comments, offer other thoughts, but largely keep mum.  And only make even those comments if it is related to something she is complaining about.





    My kid was terrible sleeper for 2 1/2 years. You get a little sick of, "he'll just cry himself to sleep", no, no he wouldn't. He would scream for 3 hours. We tried every method of "sleep training" until we just gave up and did what worked. 

    My advice to parents is always, this is what we did, but you do what works and keeps you sane.


    We're all the greatest perfect parents in the world - until we have children, and then teenagers...  Same goes for dishing out sleeping advice, we're all perfect until we have the child that needs no sleep and is content to scream for 8 hours if you let them.  There are some nights where chanting "I won't be rocking them to sleep when they go off to college, this is only a phase!" is what preserves the remaining few ounces of sanity.


    TrixieJesscharlotte989875

  • 6fsn said:

    Here was my mom smack down moment.  I was in the waiting room at speech therapy for 6let, very pregnant, tired, and M2 would not be quiet.  I looked at another mom and said "sometimes I wish they'd just be quiet."  She looked at me with zero malice and just said "I've been coming here for a year hoping mine would talk."  Her child came out from OT and was very clearly a child with different abilities. 

    She wasn't trying to shame me or anything, but  boy did she put things in perspective.  We never know what is happening in someone else's home.  What may be an annoyance to one would be a blessing to another.  I'm not perfect, but I try hard to keep this in mind when I see something I want to judge.

    I find myself in a place where I have a group of friends with older kids and I ask them how to manage certain things.  I have another group of friends with younger ones.  I don't offer advice unless they ask and it's always said with "this worked for us, but you have to do what works for you and your family."


    ^^This!!! 

    I also have zero issues with other parents discipling my child (within reason) if I'm not there or I don't see what happened. 

    I've met a few holier than thou parents, and the thing that struck me is how lonely they seem to be. They seem to keep themselves in this bubble of "I know better", and keep other people out. Personally, I think you need as many people as you can have around you to help with your children.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom

  • MesmrEwe said:

    Her kids are 17 & 20, she's forgotten what it's like to have a 4yo. who very well may not have a personality like any of the other cousins she babysat for (babysat does not equal the kids actually following their normal routines). I had one Unicorn sleeper and one who I didn't see a full night's sleep until he was 3.5, every kid is different.  LW sounds arrogant and judgmental and needs to let friend be a parent for the next 15 years then reconnect.


    This was my thought when reading the letter. LW forgets what it is like to be in the throes of some of that stuff. While my LO is only 5 months, I know when I talked to other new moms at work about a 4 month sleep regression I'd read about and most of them couldn't remember what their LO's sleep was like at 4 months even though their kids were maybe 5-6 months older. You forget stuff, especially some of the day to day stuff.

    Maybe her kids were amazing sleepers or maybe she's forgotten that she used to have to do the Boot Scootin' Boogie line dance while reciting the alphabet backward to get her 9 month old to fall asleep.  
    OurWildKingdomshort+sassyMesmrEwe


  • I have a wonderful and darling friend who happens to fall on the side of (what I consider to be) fussy and overly indulgent helicopter parenting, where I tend to the free-range-with-a-vengeance and zero-censorship side. I come from a large, involved family (I have more than 50 first cousins, and I’ve babysat most of them!) and I’ve also fostered kids at different times in my life, whereas she comes from a very small family—just one sibling and both her parents are deceased. I will admit to having a little bit of arrogance where kids are concerned—if a kid does it, I’ve probably dealt with it. Which by no means makes me perfect or infallible! It seems to me she’s her own worst enemy where her son is concerned. He’s 4, and she complains that he’s a terrible sleeper—but she’s spent the last four years indulging a bedtime routine that makes circus acts look quiet. Projector-style mobiles, starlight walks, rocking, swaddling, car rides, time-outs, and existential discussions about the biological functions of sleep, often until midnight or later. Bedtime and sleep hygiene are the worst area, but this parenting style stretches across every aspect of her life. She’s been my best friend for 15 years, but I’m finding it increasingly difficult not to be judgmental and tell her off every time she complains that Baby kept her up again last night. My own kids are grown or nearly so (17 and 20), and all I can see is years of behavioral problems that she’s manufacturing with her own behavior. Remind me how to separate myself from her issues without losing a friend I really do love dearly?


    Bolded is correct.

    Offer advice, if friend doesn't want it then drop it. How someone parents is none of your business.
    Just sympathizing would be fine if they don't want your advice.

    I can't help but not get over the fact that LW's kids are 17 and 20, where as friend's kid is 4. Parenting changes. What worked for LW's kids may not for friend's kid, or even be a good idea anymore.
    OurWildKingdomMesmrEwe
  • Also, the best advice I ever got from a friend in dealing with my parents regarding child rearing is "They don't remember anything!"

    If I remembered how bad labor w/ #1 was I wouldn't have had a second.   Kids are different, some are easier and some are harder.    But unless you're a child psychologist with 12 kids of your own, save the "I know it all" attitude.  
    TrixieJessshort+sassyMesmrEwe
  • 6fsn6fsn member
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    20 years ago kids slept on their bellies with bumper pads and blankets and stuffed animals. 
    MissKittyDangerTrixieJess

  • 6fsn said:

    20 years ago kids slept on their bellies with bumper pads and blankets and stuffed animals. 


    My mum didn't realize about the bumper pad change until recent! So much changes
    TrixieJess




  • 6fsn said:


    20 years ago kids slept on their bellies with bumper pads and blankets and stuffed animals. 




    My mum didn't realize about the bumper pad change until recent! So much changes


    Honestly, if my mother didn't work in a doctor's office with mostly children, I wouldn't let her around my son as much. Since she has to be up on all the latest health and safety, I'm actually more comfortable with her than FI's mother.
  • My first couldn't talk at 2.
    Docs and therapy and two years later, I have times (multiple. Daily) when I wish he'd pipe down.

    He slept through from six months and has literally had a handful of "bad" nights (refusing to sleep until an hour later) since.

    My not-quite 2yo is already chattering away in broken sentences, and still waking multiple times a night.

    If there was an answer they'd come with a manual. 

    Offer advice if she brings it up. Ultimately, it's her call. 
    If LW has the experience she says she has, she should know better than most that one size does not fit all.
    OurWildKingdomTrixieJess
  • I have friends that parent their kids in a way I don't agree with. I've learned to bean dip when stuff like that comes up. We also don't hang out with the kids as much as we used to. Throwing food is a hard stop for me in the absence of a disability or young age. One of the kids is 8 and they brush it off as expressing themselves. 
    short+sassy
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