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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 /