Jumperoos are Speed and Formula is Cyanide: Why I wish Parent to Parent Bullying Would stop.

It’s madness out there in the parenting forums and pages! I was browsing through a discussion forum the other morning and noticed a question about Jumperoos and saucers. A parent was asking for a recommendation and if in general these things were ok to use. As I glimpsed at the replies there were brand recommendations, some parents stated they had opted for something else and others said they had used them and their children were just fine. Then I read something that almost knocked me off my chair – it was a bit like this:

…Jumperoos are not fine. And the”just fine” argument bothers me to no end. My grandmother was given speed and encouraged to smoke cigarettes during her pregnancies, and my mom is “just fine”. …

A parent was somehow equating advice about the use of a jumperoo to speed and cigarettes? At least twenty other parents had agreed with the statement too. It reminded me of another comment I saw last week when a mother was pretty desperate for help understanding infant formula as she was ill and felt she had no other choices:

“…you are so stupid to choose to switch to formula, ask yourself this, would you feed your child cyanide, no right? So stick to breastfeeding.”

I am a breatfeeding advocate and breast milk is naturally made to meet our infants needs but equating a moms need to use formula with being stupid and poisonous seems so beyond any kind of common courtesy. This mother was asking for help, how can it be alright to shame her with such a comment?

Then there are the general insults I see in forums or facebook pages along the lines of “Your crazy way of parenting is exactly what is wrong with our children”

There is so much buzz about bullying out in the parenting forums and pages, yet it seems like the online bullying from parent to parent is totally common place these days. Going around bashing other parenting styles, shaming people for asking questions, telling them they are stupid is happening every day.

May I venture a guess that any of those behaviors would be seen as unacceptable if coming from the children of the very parents exhibiting them? Parents who are supposedly trying to model to the next generation what life is all about? What about being on an Internet forum as opposed to being face to face gives someone the green light to make another person feel so bad?

Parenting is such a hard job, self inflicted parental guilt is already so rampant. The choices are endless, starting even before birth, the online resources, the amount of methods, books, seminars, the advice columns, it’s a lot to take in, sort out and choose. These forums could be such a nice way to pare down information. Wouldn’t it be nice if parents could rely on each other’s experiences, bounce off ideas and have civilized exchanges?

Having this global way to reach out to other parents has the potential to be such an incredible way to share knowledge, celebrate our diversity and help raise a new generation that is tolerant, respectful, educated and well rounded.

What do you think?

Would parents overall be more secure in their parenting and live happier lives with their families if together parents took on a more community oriented and supportive approach to this whole child rearing in the modern world thing?

Have you had a negative or positive experience in an online forum/parenting page? What is your take on this whole thing? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Peace & Be Well,

Image: Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, and one cuddly dog.

7 Responses to Jumperoos are Speed and Formula is Cyanide: Why I wish Parent to Parent Bullying Would stop.

  1. I had to stop going to some online forums because I was sick of people being mean. I don’t agree with some of the stuff people put up in forums so I just don’t respond to certain threads. And if I do have something to say, I’d like to think I do it with tact. The things is, people are asking for help. Spewing your rhetoric isn’t helping. Those people need to start a blog and just put all their craziness there 🙂 That’s what I do!

    That said, I started a mom’s group on Facebook and I have to say we have all be very nice to each other and it warms my heart to meet new moms and already feel like we’ve met because we’ve been “talking” online. It can be positive. And I think why it’s so positive is that people are doing what you said–telling about their experiences. Not saying they were right or wrong, just saying this is what worked for us. That goes such a long way! You can take it or leave it and not feel like you were being preached at.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience Amber! You make a great point about spewing rhetoric not being effective. Sharing knowledge and letting parents make informed choices I find is a much kindathens effective way to go.

  3. I agree with you- we need to walk our talk better and try not to bully each other. However, there is such a huge change happening in our culture – there is such a wide gap between peoples’ paradigms, that it is hard not to be shocked or upset by how people are parenting their children. And how children are parented affects everyone, because then they become the adults – with whatever behaviors or beliefs their parenting led them to.

    I really do feel that using the old Victorian paradigm of “dominate your children and push them to be independent at 1 yr old” is damaging to children – and it upsets me that people are still so steeped in it. Yet they are probably equally horrified at how we attachment parents are “spoiling” our children.

    What I really find useless are the blunt “you’re stupid” comments that get tossed back and forth. If we could at least articulate our positions it would be more interesting and lead to greater understanding, if not agreement. But people seem more interested in attacking other people than in listening or learning.

  4. I agree with you 100%. Parenting is hard work and I believe in the proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.” Maybe if as parents we actually did model the behaviors we expect from our kids this world would be a better place.
    The debate between working moms and stay at home moms also drives me crazy. I have been in both roles and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. I believe that moms should support each other no matter what their individual beliefs on this topic may be.

  5. Terri, it would indeed be wonderful if mothers would just support each other! Thank you for your comment.

  6. Thanks for this 🙂 I’ve been considering a jumperoo–we’d been opposed to them prior to having a child, but I think my daughter would *love* it. And no, I wouldn’t give her everything that she wants or might enjoy, but I think this could be fine.

    I too get sick of the drama on web boards. I do have one group that I love because we all share what we are doing with our own children and don’t pass judgements. And its really helpful.

    The breastfeeding arguments just gut me. I had every intention of breastfeeding my daughter. Had the natural childbirth I was told would set us best for EBF. Then I hemorrhaged after she was born. And I shattered a tooth during labor (so was on percocet for 6 days till I had a root canal). And she had a cleft lip. and went to special care for pneumonia. And my milk didn’t really come in. We hired lactation consultants. It was drama. It was miserable. So I nursed her when she wanted and we began formula supplementing. And you know what…once she was getting enough to eat she became a happy delightful baby instead of an underweight, exhausted, starving baby.

    So I’m just one of those moms who “gave up” on breast feeding…so my baby could you know, live.

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