Monday, March 30, 2009

My tribe is better than yours...

I read an article this morning that definitely spoke volumes to me:

Why We Divide Ourselves into Parenting Tribes

Unfortunately, this is so true. Although I try to maintain the "What's good for me might not be good for you" outlook on most parenting decisions, some parents I know don't agree with this approach, and find it necessary to point out other families' errors of choice.

There are some "hot topics" among friends of mine that, when brought up by a new parent in the group, receive plenty of eye rolls and "OH, here we go"'s and whispered warnings of "Oh, you really shouldn't bring that up."

As mentioned in the article, bottle vs. breast and CIO (crying it out)are 2 of the top offenders, but I'd also include: circumcision , the occassional hot dog/kraft dinner, disposable vs. cloth diapers, bumper pads, pacifiers, ear-piercing as babies, vaccinations... And then there are the "when to's": when to stop swaddling, when to start your child on solids... the list goes on and on.

And when it comes to pregnancy, the debates are CONSTANT and UNYEILDING: Dyeing your hair, how much alcohol is okay?, HOT DOGS, artificial sweetners, how many ultrasounds are too many?

It's my own belief that parents need to do what is best for their family. When faced with one of these hot topics, and the decision buried within, I try to take into account both sides and make my decisions based on my research. I try not to tell friends and family what to do based on my own decisions, I try to give them all the information I was given and let them draw their own conclusions.

Instead of berating each other and sitting, firmly affixed, in our own "camps", we really need to help other parents out, share our knowledge, lend a helping hand and then take a step back. It really does take a village to raise a child, but it helps no-one when the village is at war.

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