parenting decisions

Parenting Styles Vary. Get Over It.

March 10, 2013

I wrote on making judgments without being judgmental a few weeks back {Judgers Judge} and the topic has come up again in my life: how do I deal with friends and family whose parenting styles are different than my own? The bottom line is for me has become: unless it’s a moral issue, parenting styles vary. Get over it. Thus the questions become, what’s a moral issue in parenting and what’s not? When is the variance great enough such that it’s hard for me to view their choices charitably? And what’s the difference between admittedly poor parenting and someone just doing the best they can with what they have? 1) Moral issues. If another parent is allowing or pushing inappropriate sexual activities, yeah, we’re probably not going to be friends. If another parent doesn’t believe in filtering violence in the media/games, yeah, we’re probably not going to have playdates. If another parent is modeling dangerous or harmful behavior, no brainer. These issues can be sticky at times because where you draw the line for what’s age appropriate for your child might not be where someone else does. Having a 2.5 year old who’s home with me all day means I don’t encounter many of these kinds of issues. His is a pretty closed universe, especially with no TV and very limited screen time in general. 2) Most differences aren’t worth getting all worked up about. Medicated labor versus pain med (and hence pain-filled) labor? Bottle feeding in lieu of breastfeeding? Cry-it-out or…

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