Saturday, October 19, 2013

my parenting approach.

I'm a softie. A big one. But I would like to think that I am also a good mum (Actually I'm pretty certain I am!)
I have quite a soft parenting approach and seem to be drawn to people that are like minded.
At first when Abi was born we didn't have any real routine and just worked around what worked for us all. I am not at all a Controlled Crying fan and not at all a 'Tizzy Hall SOS' fan. Sure she has some wonderful methods that work for many, but its just not for me.

I got on my high horse a few weeks ago and it has taken till now to calm down and want to write this post. It's still likely to be a jumble of words, feelings and emotions but hopefully will make some sense.

When Abi was only just 2 weeks old I joined a MCHN Mothers Group. I had heard both good and bad about these groups and thought it can't hurt to go along right? So I did.
I had the littlest and youngest baby in the group and was quite shy! On the second week I was walking home and walked with another girl and we discovered we lived in the same street! J and I have become great friends and I think a lot of that has to do with us having a similar parenting approach. (Funnily enough our babes are 2 weeks apart and we are currently due with our second children 2 weeks apart!)

Anyway, from a group of 15 girls you aren't always going to have a connection with everyone are you. I can be quite opinionated and when I feel strongly about something I really really do!

Just recently one of the women in our MG posted something on Facebook that just got me reeling....
It started with her asking if anyone's children had been coming home from Daycare with bite marks.
And ending with her saying "xxx tell zzz to stay away from aaa"
(withholding names)
So from the get go she's basically telling people to exclude this child! Poor kid...

It goes on.

Here's a few little excripts from the discussion.

L                 I assume you've spoken to the staff re the biter?

S:                On many occasions, this is the 2nd time they are calling up the parents to put a formal plan in place...doesn't seem to make much of a difference though..
ME:              I had the biting child for a few weeks... I was horrified! But the carers were sure Abs didn't actually know what she was doing and didn't seem to mean any malice by it. Perhaps this child is just testing boundaries?
                    They are only young so don't necessarily know what they are even doing! I know Abs sure didn't! The carers were quick to let her know that what she was doing was wrong and I didn't feel it necessary for me to do anything about it as she didn't do it when I was around and wouldn't understand me reprimanding her well after the incident.
                    I felt terrible for the child she did bite, but also apparently this child was trying to hug Abs and she does like her personal space!
                    Hopefully it's also short lived at your end S And doesn't happen again.
                    I'm sure the parents of the biter feel terrible and wish it wasn't happening either.

S:                 Not quite, the parents don't acknowledge it as an issue & this kid has been biting kids every day ongoing for over a year now - he does know what he is doing. Couple of bites is a different story...and I am sure Abi didn't bite on the face.

ME:              Does a 2yo really understand though is my thoughts.
                    Not nice and crappy that the parents aren't acknowledging though.

S:                 A knows when she has hurt someone or has done something wrong... 
ME:              Each to their own then. I still don't believe that abi would understand if she were still biting. She pushes kids when she doesn't want them near her and although i let her know that it's not nice I still don't think she really gets it or understands that its 'wrong' I believe that she is 'voicing' what she doesn't like but in her own way as she doesn't yet have the vocab to do it in a way an adult would.
                    I know it's hard to understand as you have not had the 'naughty' child but it does feel pretty crap and you don't want your child labeled as the child to keep away from. I'm sure this kid is also a sweetheart deep down and just a little misunderstood.
                    All parents parent differently and we may not agree with other people's ways but if you have the daycare involved there's not much more you can do but to remove your child from the situation if you are unhappy with it. I also know this is much easier said than done! Especially in the area.
S:                 Point is Abi is not still biting is she... as I said a couple of times is different, ongoing and constantly is another thing all together. BTW. since I have had A in childcare for 5 days she has been very naughty, so I do understand. It all comes down to the discipline and how it is managed...

ME:              Abi does still bite. Not every day but she does. Pushes kids too.
                   Perhaps the discipline at daycare is the issue?
                   Disciplining a 2yo? There's only so much you can do and that they are likely to understand!
                   I prefer a soft parenting approach over discipline. I believe in allowing kids to be kids and learning as we go along. Pushing boundaries is also a form of learning.

                    Also if these parents didn't care then they aren't about to tell the day care about it! Just for a second put yourself in those parents or even that child's shoes! He probably just needs a big hug!
S                  You should read back what you write before you press send and put yourself in someone elses shoes... maybe you don't realise but you say things that offend people and I would not be the first to say this... 
That's actually the first time in a long while I have re read that. I still stand by everything I wrote.
I could have gone on, but I thought better of it and know I am a better and bigger person.

It really frustrates me to no end that people can just put someone into a certain 'basket' and that's it. I'm frustrated more for the little biting boy than anything. Doesn't this kid just need some understanding? Does a just 2 yo really really understand when they do something terribly wrong? I think that Abi is only just starting to get it now. 
Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know. Maybe I really am a softie, pushover who just offends people! 


  1. I think you should always stick to what you believe in and I definitely think you were best to take the higher ground here. X

  2. Sammie I completely understand your point. My 3yo has been pushing kids at play group and at shopping centres. He doesn't talk yet (but uses baby signs) and I know it's his way of trying to get attention from other kids as he has no other way of communicating that he wants to play with them. When I am around when he does it (often he is with grandma) I do tell him that it is not nice and to give the other child a pat and wave if he wants to say hi. It's taking a while for him to understand and I really think he just gets excited when he sees other kids and wants to play with them. I also take a soft parenting approach. Unfortunately we do come across parents who don't or will not try to understand and we get the occassional parent telling him that he is being naughty. It makes my blood boil when I am not around and I hear this has happened.

    Mrs A

  3. Ooooooohhhh, that is not nice! Reading your words, you come across as gently trying to put another point of view across whilst the other mother just seems to be angry and defensive. It is horrible when stuff like this happens. I joined a mum's group when I had miss s. It has been great and I have made some lovely friends, one in particular. However now that the kids are getting older, I'm finding we have less and less in common and I only go occasionally. Miss s has been both the basher and bashee in the playground and I'm not particularly bothered when another kid takes a swipe at miss s (fair bump, play on) but I am mortified when she does something to another child. All part of the motherhood pathway but it is disappointing when mothers are using fb to say mean things about little 2 year olds!!

  4. I think the other mother is super defensive over her child being bitten and to some degree I get that.
    The thing is you were respectful and tactful and trying to help her see a greater perspective that just the hurt shes feeling for her child. And when she couldn't convert you to saying the other child was an awful person (which is insane they are a little probably frustrated child) she resorted to high school tactics.
    I think you deserve more open minded friends than that.
    The sad thing is there could be all kinds of reasons the other child is biting, frustration, developmental phase or like Eve a reaction to food dyes and they probably aren't getting the understanding they need to grow out of it.

  5. Gag wrote a huge comment and my phone deleted it! In short - you're an amazing mum xx
    (Have my first MHCN mothers group tomorrow!)

  6. I'm with you Sammie.
    It takes empathy and imagination to see the situation from both points of view and this other Mother obviously lacks both. You did your best!
    I think most parents can understand how protective you feel when someone is inflicting harm on your kid, but we also appreciate how hard it is when your child is the culprit.. Surely it's a rare toddler that has never pushed/bitten/whacked another kid??
    Agree it's so immature to wage a Facebook war on a 2yo. Scary.

  7. Thank you everyone for your very supportive comments. It's nice to know I'm not the only one that feels I was only trying to do the right thing!

  8. Ooo reading this really gets up my nerves too. I guess the other mother is just trying to protect her child but it's not fair on the other child who doesn't know what is right or wrong yet. Lily used to bite and I would be horrified if other mothers were being so vocal behind our backs.


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