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September 21, 2004



What a great post. There are a lot of new moms in my neighborhood and I'm considered a "veteran" (HA!) with my 7 month-old. Whenever someone asks how I handled something, I always say "This is just what worked for us" before I share. There are no absolutes. Every baby and situation is different; I learn from other moms' strategies - even if it's just to learn that I don't want to try them!

Robin P

I always think that each parent has to make his/her own decision based on what he/she is comfortable with and what works for that particular child. For example, a time-out has always worked for us. Sometimes the threat of one will keep Lillianna from doing something I don't approve of. I only make the threat once before I actually follow through. I can't even tell you the last time I had to use that. there's no guarantee it'll work for your child though.


ha ha!

I get more than my share of parenting advice. I'm almost afraid to give any back out.

Thanks for the giggle...


I'm paranoid and I always look at it that I am the one that is wrong. I always feel that other mothers are better than me.


VERY nicely put! Wish more people though like you! :)


Nicely stated, Jenn. I forwarded it to all my mom friends -- those practicing attachment parenting, what I call non-attachment parenting, and everything in between. The common thread with all those differing parenting styles? Our kids are all happy with the life they've been given. So who are we to judge?

Again, nicely stated.

Melissa S

The more you do this job you the more you realize how there are a million right ways to do it.

It's funny how the details don't matter in the end.


I've found this trait more common in parents with younger children - and I do think some of stems from wanting to reassure themselves about the validity of their own choices and decisions.

Parents of older children generally have figured out that a) many different parenting strategies have merit, and b) the children and/or parents who employ said strategies seem healthy, well-adjusted, etc.

Or, to put it another way. I'd have never ever thought to use M&Ms as a potty-training tool for child #1 - I'dve sooner died, and I looked down my snooty nose at anyone who dared suggest it.

With child #2, it was a primary motivation technique.

And guess which child waltzed through the process painlessly for all concerned?


Nicole - Um, I think the two-car scenario was hypothetical.


great post! i find that women do this to one another in MANY aspects of our lives, too, not just parenting... but of course, i live in boston, where we thrive on being hostile to one another. or something ;)


What's wrong with Barney? I use to have lots of Barney CD's that I loved before my big brother burned them in a garbage can with all my Barney and Elmo video tapes!

I know things are tough for my mom, even if she doesn't say so, and I love her so much! Every mom does things different, and I'm sure your a great mom too Jenn!


A long time ago, I realized that I can never write a parenting book because it would only say one thing: "Do whatever you have to do to love your babies with your whole heart." Make the choices you need to make, whether about breastfeeding, nighttime parenting, discipline, food, whatever, that bring you closer to your children. Don't make decisions that drive a wedge between you, just because you think you "should."

Essentially, if you can listen to Barney and not resent your kids when it's running through your head at midnight, more power to you. But if your mental sanity requires a bag of M&M's and a loud dose of Bruce Springsteen, even in the car, that's fine, too.


Maybe she wasn't thinking about your parenting style. Maybe she didn't like your car- or your haircut. Maybe she had an upset stomach and was dying to get home to use the toilet. The point being that she didn't say anything about how you parented so maybe you were just projecting because a small part of you felt bad about not having an apple for your daughter and educational toys to occupy her. I think the real issue isn't so much about other people accepting your mode of parenting as you developing the confidence in yourself to assume the choices you make regarding your child.

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