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Non-attachment-friendly adults in your child's life

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  • Non-attachment-friendly adults in your child's life

    How do you handle these interactions? Some are unavoidable, like family.

    For instance-

    My mom doesn't have a very toddler friendly house. Which is fine, of course, its her house. But the problem comes when my toddler walks up to the host of things he can't play with. As an example--she has a phone right at his level and is very against his playing with it (even unplugged--I asked ). Typically, I will get very excited about another toy nearby and engage him in it (distract him) and/or go find his toy phone. But, WHILE I am doing this, my mother will say "no" over and over (I do occasionally remind her that we reserve that word for life-threatening situations) and/or she'll pick him up to physically remove him from the telephone. While I feel these actions would be appropriate were he, say, playing with fire--I prefer to use distraction for the "little" things. This happens over and over with many things in her house and sometimes even if we are out together. Whenever I tell her I'd prefer to use a different strategy, she always tells me of her worry that my son will break her things. What would/do you do in a situation similar to this?

    As another example of a "tricky" situation with other important adults in your child's life is- an adult friend/relative using harsh punishment in front of your child. What do you do with that situation?

    I'd love to hear any stories and solutions others have

  • #2
    Yes, that is very hard and there are many routes you can take to make it possible that you both can enjoy your visits with your mom. Because = your house is non-child friendly
    Ask to meet at a park, out on the porch etc.....because
    Ask her to only come to your house because....
    Ask if you can move her things around when you come over (breakables up high) because....
    Bring a table activity for her to do because.....
    Give her literature to read so she can understand why you don't want to come over because.....

    I can tell you I do try to avoid those situations where children are being obviously non-AP parented. IF people are yelling rudely at their kids at the park, I just leave and try to explain why that mommy or daddy was doing that.

    I went to Costco tonight and felt slightly in a hostile AP environment.... Nothing blatant or anything just a general stick-outedness. Why is my the only baby not in their bucket seat, not with a paci, nursing. Why is my 3yr old permitted to do 'X' or whatever and not fearfully compliant....
    So in a way I feel most of America is non-attachment parenting friendly. We have to do our best and try to surround ourselves with our kindred spirits or carry on in the public trenches to show it can be done...with love!
    Give me more specifics on your situation and I will tell you what I would do!
    give her thease====
    HOW TO TODDLER-PROOF YOUR HOME: A ROOM-BY-ROOM GUIDE
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/T060600.asp

    18 WAYS TO SAY "NO" POSITIVELY
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/T061100.asp

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    • #3
      Hi Brandy,

      My kiddo was born the same month as yours

      Your question is great, and one I have struggled with myself. We live very far away from our families, so, unfortunately (or fortunately?), don't see them often enough to have to struggle with these issues. But I've faced similar things in public places, like the library, during storytime. Like when my child has something that belongs to someone else and I want to gently get it away from her, but for varying reasons have a hard time doing so.

      I have realized that I cannot control other people. All I can control is my interaction with my own child. Avoiding situations you don't want your kiddo in is one option, as mentioned above. If this isn't a good option, though, my suggestion is to remember that you will never be able to control other people. I would use the opportunity to educate your child and your mother. For example, explain to your mom that a good strategy for the phone would be to put it away where your toddler can't see it so that your mom doesn't have to spend her precious time telling her no. Or, when your mom is telling your toddler no, explain to your toddler that you think your mom is saying no as a way to meet her need for order. This may not actually get your toddler to stop playing with it, but it would put the need into perspective for your mom, and your child may learn to deal with the ineffective strategies many people use to get their needs met. This is really an NVC approach, I guess

      Hope these ideas help! Looking forward to hearing what others have to say.

      adrienne

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      • #4
        I think this is a very common, but immensely frustrating problem. I have issues with my MIL, who thinks she can teach my baby how to control his "temper" or brags about how her kids knew what "no" meant at that age. She takes everything that we do differently than she did as an indictment of her parenting style and gets very defensive. We've had to accept that, for now at least, she just does not understand/approve of our method of discipline. Nothing we say or do changes her mind one bit.

        We try very hard to be very on top of the kids (to the point of hovering, unfortunately) whenever we're at her house so that we're right there to handle any discipline situations before she has a chance to. Things that are absolutely no big deal at our house we have to limit when there. When she still tries to step in (usually with yelling or shaming) we have to remind her that it's our job to discipline the kids and her job as a grandparent to enjoy them. It gets her to back off for a little while. Sometimes I'll just smile (or try to anyway) and say "Thanks, but I've got this."

        Good luck. I know how frustrating it can be!

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        • #5
          Thank you all for your supportive replies

          Naomi, I like your idea for meeting somewhere else. My mother is often very busy and just as Adrienne mentioned has a high need for order (and productiveness), so we could accompany her on some of her errand runs. We can also meet for dinner. I think these and others would be a good compromise while meeting everyone's needs

          Originally posted by naomifrederickmd View Post
          I can tell you I do try to avoid those situations where children are being obviously non-AP parented. IF people are yelling rudely at their kids at the park, I just leave and try to explain why that mommy or daddy was doing that.

          Give me more specifics on your situation and I will tell you what I would do!
          The harsh punishment I was referring to was another family member Besides my family (in-laws are amazing), we completely live in an AP bubble--which works well for us.

          Specifically, I speak about cry-it-out type situations (including during a time out) and yelling.

          Originally posted by AwakenedMama View Post
          My kiddo was born the same month as yours
          It was a great month

          I think as far as educating my mom, I must walk softly because her feelings are hurt easily and just using a different parenting strategy than she did is sometimes more than she can handle. She has, however, asked us to make her a signing reference sheet so she can know all of the signs our son uses. On it, I think I will put some alternatives to using the word "no". Other than that, I think we will just try to meet in places that don't involve her having to choose between maintaining order and her grandson.

          Originally posted by AwakenedMama View Post
          Hi Brandy,
          Or, when your mom is telling your toddler no, explain to your toddler that you think your mom is saying no as a way to meet her need for order. This may not actually get your toddler to stop playing with it, but it would put the need into perspective for your mom, and your child may learn to deal with the ineffective strategies many people use to get their needs met.
          I just love this and I know I will be using it! Thank you!!

          Bonnie-your problems with your MIL sound similar to those with my mom. It seems like you have a pretty good handle on it though, thanks so much for sharing your story! I love what you said about how the grandparent's job is to enjoy their grandkids--I know that will come in handy, thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by b_light View Post
            I think as far as educating my mom, I must walk softly because her feelings are hurt easily and just using a different parenting strategy than she did is sometimes more than she can handle.
            We've experienced the same thing, like by choosing not to give a certain food -- our families reply that they gave them to us, and we did fine. My MIL, in particular, has stated that she "did it that way" and DH turned out fine. I really do think when she says that, she is trying to defend her parenting strategies. Sometimes, people seem to be saying this as a means of criticizing our parenting style, also.

            I've decided that next time I hear her (or another mom) mention that they did something differently than we are, I will reply that we know that they did the best they could with what they knew then, just like we are trying to do the best we can with what we know now. It's not a criticism of anyone's parenting -- it's just what we feel is right.

            Comment


            • #7
              I can TOTALLY relate! Sometimes I wonder where other AP parents are near us as we live in a rural town. When our son was born, no one seemed to think any differently about my nursing him on demand. Some asked if I were going to give him a bottle or pacifier so my husband and I could leave him with them so we could "have some time to ourselves." UGH! I cannot tell you how many polite offers we get for that from people who are not even related to us. I appreciate their thoughtfulness, but my husband and I aren't complaining about any time we don't "get to ourselves" as we enjoy being a family together and enjoy the time we do "get to ourselves" when our son falls asleep before we do. Now that our son is almost 21 months (still nursing; still co-sleeping), I think some of our family and friends have just accepted the fact that I'm going to let him wean himself... but some think I'm so weird for doing it just because they didn't do it (or for that long) or because they have been misinformed by either their doctors, etc. I try to offer positive information about it where I can to them to help them know why we are still nursing and how much we love it being a part of our lives.

              About the going to your mother's home part with a toddler.... we are EC'ing our son, and it has kept me from visiting my own mother for almost two months now since we let our son run around diaperless for most of the day since he'll pee or poop in his Baby Bjorn potty on his own when naked (but will soil a diaper if it is on.... unless we're out in public or travelling, which he usually tells me or goes on prompting... I think he just gets distracted and engaged in play at home if he has one on). My mom just personally wasn't comfortable with him having an accident on her floors (even though I'd clean them up) and just didn't understand why I was having him go potty before he was two since most other kids don't potty train until around 3. I understand that it's her house, but it was just sad to me. It's nothing personal against her... we just miss her (and vice versa). I have just come to the conclusion that it's easier for people to come visit us while we are doing things that do not CONFORM to society along those lines. I second that it's SO hard to go to someone's home that is not toddlerproofed, and we do try to bring along some toys of his own.

              When I started wearing our son in a sling, some of my family got "offended" because EVERYONE wants to hold a baby. I cannot tell you how many people were standoffish about it. It was really a show of character and very disappointing. They've accepted it too, and they have found other ways to attach to him on their own. I'm just glad I have a strong personality to stick with what works with our family and not be persuaded by even those close to me to change to make THEM happy/comfortable.

              I'll close with the feeding a particular food or waiting to feed a particular food to our son. Since he started on solids at 6 months of age (organic mashed bananas with breast milk), we are STILL giving him one new food per week. Again, some of our family and friends thought I was now totally off the wall along with everything else I do, but after I explained to them that it literally takes 7 full days for an allergen to develop (if it's going to)... they backed off. What's the rush anyhow? A child's gut is not fully formed until the age of 3. I see no reason in rushing chocolate under the age of two, etc. We give him a new food each Saturday, and he enjoys the "newness" of it and trying to say the "new" word, see the "new" food, etc. (like this week he's trying cucumbers/pickles). My family and friends have accepted this difference too now, and they just try to go with the flow.

              All I can so is... stick with your guns even if you get a lot of criticism. For those of you who are Christians, you already know that we aren't supposed to conform to things of this world. I just pray before I make any big decisions for our son (and discuss it with my husband too... who is a MAJOR supporter of me staying home with our son and being so attached, though at times he probably thinks I'm a little out there too), and I listen to the guidance the Lord gives me. I am so blessed to have come across Attachment Parenting as it is difficult at times but SO rewarding. I am learning that it is helping me to develop patience and maturity (even though I fail sometimes as I am human).

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