A friend thinks Im a bad Mum!

Debbie - posted on 10/31/2010 ( 108 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 3 and getting a little bit cheeky lately for which she repeatedly ends up in time out. But I was gob smacked yesterday when a friend pulled me up on my parenting after looking after my daughter for the day. I was a bit worried asking her too look after her because she isnt very easy going and I thought she might get stressed out with two children in tow, which she obviously did. I think my friends parenting is too strict but she thinks I talk to my daughter as though she were an adult and that I need to enforce more rules with her. I suppose what really got me is that someone thinks its OK to pull someone else up on their parenting? I did laugh it off and she did apologise saying she wasnt meaning to criticise me but Im still a bit gobsmacked at her attitude in thinking she knows better - I think what she believes to be true is just 'different' and wouldnt dream of taking issue with any of my friends parenting - unless of course they were harming their child. Its up to that parent as to how they parent I think. What are your opinions on the subject?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Alison - posted on 11/01/2010

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Here's my perspective. I feel like as the parent, I am not the best judge of my parenting and someone who is looking on from the outside, may have a better perspective. That is why I seek input from my friends and appreciate their comments. I also feel like as a good friend, I should speak up about things I notice in their parenting.

Of course, this is very risky business. In my circle of friends we tend to be quite open to this sort of interaction, but otherwise, parenting is such a touchy subject. For some reason we can take it as such a personal attack, whereas, the person is really trying to help you out.

I try to open my mind to helpful input, and politely discard any unhelpful or unsuitable advice.

Courtney - posted on 11/03/2010

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Take criticism, just as that. If your parenting is working for you then fine, but if her style works for her then it wouldnt hurt to try it yourself. My friends and i all have an agreament that we are ok with disciplining eachothers kids. And know that if your child is at her house then its her rules, which is important for children to learn because you will not always be the one they have to answer to, like in school and later in jobs.

Kelly - posted on 11/03/2010

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Well it is important to pick your battles with your kids. Obviously you cannot deal with every issue but do need to deal inappropriate behaviors you see and then blend in plenty of positive feedback when you child behaves well. We are responsibble as paretns to teach them boundries and to respect others. That being said I think you need to use the criticism and take a closer look at yourself. Most kids will behave much better for others than their own parents. If your child was rude and behaved poorly than it does reflect on you. Her standards of misbehavior may be much tougher or she may be a critical person but there may be some lower level of truth to what she says?! or maybe not. I realize her words hurt but instead of getting defensive just make sure there is no truth to them. She may just be being critical or she may actually be helping you. I just went on a trip and wanted to pull a kid out of the restaurant and smack hi behind for the behavior I saw from him. He actually in a fit of rage after being talked to by his parents for stealing something from his sister threw food at his dads face and got no reponse from either parent! If that was my child he would have missed his lunch that day. Thankfully he will not be my teenager someday because that kids behavior will only worsen. Sometimes I think these days the kids are calling the shots and the paretns who are too stressed and overworked allow it. Not that that is going on at your house but just do a quick self check.

Sandra - posted on 11/03/2010

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The best advise I ever got when I had my first child, was to listen careful to all advise that people give you. Thank them for it as they obviously (hopefully) are trying to help. Take what information they give you that you think might be helpful and disgard the rest with a smile.
It helps with your peace of mind not to worry about other people's opinion because from day 1 there will always be someone who knows "how to do it" better than you (at least they think so). And Hey - if you can one good tip, you can count it as a positive experience.

Tracy - posted on 11/03/2010

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Maybe not a good idea to be blatently nasty about another's parenting, but if a friend has suggestions that may work better for you (and other's who may need to watch your child at some point), then at least listen with an open ear. There may be some good advice somewhere in there. Remember that you are not the only parent out there, and other suggestions may do you good! More mommie alone time for instance, because you will have a willing participant in babysitting.

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Rhianna - posted on 11/09/2010

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In all honesty yes it is up to the individual parent. My son is 3 coming up for 4 next month, and he's been very cheeky quite alot, but he only goes on time out if i say catch him jumping on the beds, messing with stuff he shouldnt. I never put him on time out for being cheeky. I just merely tell its wrong, and if he continues I ignore him, until he can talk to me in a nice manner. Ignorance solves more than time out. They do things and say things to get your attention whether it be good attention or getting told off they still have that attention either way. If you don't give them that attention they'll get bored of trying that way and do eventually learn that doing good, gets them the attention they require. Hope this helps.

LUCY - posted on 11/09/2010

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Oh the joys of motherhood! my children are now 20,17 and 12. I alway made sure my children were polite said please and thankyou and were well behaved for other people, this is considered strict by some people, I consider it normal...what you have to remember is these little children are one day teenagers, and if they do what they want when they are three, what are they going to do when they are fourteen! children need to be treated as children not little adults, everything in nature has rules, be the pack leader and take control I would ask other people and close family- and see if they agree with your friend. Nobody likes to be told they are doing it wrong-

[deleted account]

Here's the thing... we often say that every child is different and that parents know their children best and that in general it is of course VERY true and there are going to be some nuances even among our parenting styles among our different children BUT in reality the thing that rarely gets stated is this: we are ALL different PARENTS and ultimately we have to do what is most natural and most sustainable for us. If I try to parent the way someone else tells me to and it goes against my nature then my kids are going to be really thrown off and it could be harmful to their development. I think there are FAR too MANY rules in this world already and the last place that needs MORE rules in the way is the parent-child relationship and life at home. As parents we should continually be aware of how our needs and personalities interact with the needs and personalities of our children.... we need to avoid collisions because THAT is where problems can occur. If I have a child that needs rules and more structure than I naturally create and operate within THEN I AM THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO RECOGNIZE my weakness and seek accountability on how to do that for my child. does this all make sense? anyways, keep on parenting how it works best for you.... but do some self-awareness and child-awareness exercises. Is it you that doesn't work well with strictness, rules, and more defined boundaries? or is it your child? is it both? or would your child actually benefit from it? bottom line is i think it is rarely helpful for one parent to judge or criticize another parent on the basis that they "disagree" with a parenting style. but reality is that sometimes we do get wrapped up in the pride of it all and forget that the ONLY THING that actually matters is that we are cultivating the healthiest and most appropriate developmental environment for our kiddos!

Sara - posted on 11/08/2010

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Personally I am pretty "strict" with my children - or my friends and family say that I am because I insist that they listen to me when I tell them to do something and treat me - and everyone else - with politeness and respect. Apparently that is being strict. :) Having said that, I do sometimes watch my friends children for them and I usually have to mentally prepare myself because generally their kids are not as well-behaved. I am far more relaxed with other peoples kids and let a lot of things go, but when I'm in charge, I expect them to follow my rules. I haven't actually gone up to one of my friends and said anything, but I limit my amount of babysitting for them because I know how difficult and draining it is going to be.

I can see why you are upset, but I also think it sounds like this person was trying to help. She probably felt awful about saying anything, and had to weigh up what she was saying carefully. I would take it to heart and take a look at yourself. Are you letting things go when you shouldn't? I'll give you an example... my sister is not the best at disciplining her kids, and we were all watching a movie one night and her six year old boy kept going up to her and hitting her to get his way. She was so used to it that she did not even notice it, and *I* had to tell him off for hitting his mother. She was startled and basically stated to me that she hadn't even noticed it happening. This is obviously an extreme example, but it goes to show that once you let one thing go, it can get worse pretty quickly.

I hope you get it figured out. :)

Candace - posted on 11/08/2010

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I've had it both ways. I've been criticized as a parent, and I've been critical. I have been criticized because I tend to parent in rather unique ways. I dyed my hair and my daughters hair purple one summer. I let her play in the mud. She chooses what clothes she wears and if she chooses poorly and she's uncomfortable, she learns from that. My punishments tend to be unique as well, but memorable. I don't feel the need to beat my daughter in order to get her to behave. My daughter is very smart, well spoken, polite, socially concious, and very capable. I have had perfect strangers come up and compliment me on her behavior in restaurants.

The friend who I criticized had a child that was my daughters age, and she terrorized my daughter. Every time we got together, her daughter would do something to physically injure my child. And the mother did nothing about it. She continued to let her child abuse mine, with no repercussions. The straw that broke the camels back was when my daughter got her hand slammed in a heavy wooden toybox lid, because the other child didn't want to share her toys. My daughter came away severely bruised and bloodied. I didn't tell her that I thought she was being a bad parent. I told her that I would no longer allow my child to be abused further by hers, and that it hurt me because I didn't feel like she cared enough about me or my daughter to discipline her own child.

So it's great if your kid has an opinion, and is able to speak her mind. However, take this into consideration. Do you avoid going places because you are afraid of how your child will behave? Do you cringe at the thought of going to a restaurant, or the grocery store or the post office with your child because you know that they will destroy everything within reach, whine for every item on the shelf that catches their eye, and/or pitch a fit if you don't give it to them? Do other mothers avoid doing stuff with you because of the way your child behaves, or treats their children? Then you probably have a parenting problem, and your friend is trying to let you know in the gentlest way possible. Not everybody has the same level of tolerance in regards to certain behaviors. I know that I am not a particularly tolerant person, and I have refused requests to watch other peoples children because I know that I wouldn't handle it well. It's up to you to examine your life and your childs role in it and decide whether your friends comments have merit.

Judi - posted on 11/08/2010

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How you parent your child is your choice. I would politely thank your 'friend' for her input, but also tell her if you want her input in the future, or help raising your child, you will certainly ask her. In the mean time, just make sure your child follows your rules on important things, like no running into the street, and no touching hot pans and things like that. Smaller, less important things, such as what clothes she wears, and do her socks match, well, kids want to make their own choices on things, so let her make the choices when it won't affect her safety. If your friend gives you more grief about it, it might be time to find some new friends!

Lynn - posted on 11/08/2010

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I know that everyone has their own method of parenting, but sometimes it isn't a bad idea to give other ideas a go. I think that it is incorrect to assume that children are small adults and should be spoken to and treated as such. Young children do not have the ability to totally understand what may result from their actions. It is up to you, as a parent, to make them understand that society has rules that must be followed, albeit, with a loving hand. As long as you are consistent, following through with consequences, your children should turn out fine.
Some people are lucky enough to have easy-going children, others may have high-energy, challenging children that make it initially appear that they are parented poorly. If at the end of the day you feel that your children listen to and respect you, you are doing fine.
Toddlers can be trying- they are always testing you.
Your friend was likely rattled by your challenging toddler- give her some slack, thank her for her advice, and try to learn from each other. The one thing that I have learned over the years is that every child is different, and sometimes need slightly different approaches in child-rearing.

Julie - posted on 11/08/2010

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My closest friends are free to offer advice,corrective criticism,and even consequence my children within reason. For me,it depends on how close I am to the person giving the advice etc as to how well I'm going to react to it. That said,I do think those choices are that of the parents. We can take the advice or not,it's up to us in the end.

Amberlee - posted on 11/08/2010

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I honesty wouldn't have friends that thought they had the right to tell me how to parent. I love my girl friends because we all know that we parent different and we respect each other for it. As women we need to support each other. If I am asked my opinion on something by a friend then we understand that we have opened a door to a conversation, and we may have a difference of opinion. But if I haven't asked or I haven't been asked, it is not up to any of us to give our opinions. There is no room in my life for people who don't respect me. I don't want friends who I am afraid are talking negative about me and not with love and respect. Being a Mom is hard enough without having to worry about judgment!

Sherri - posted on 11/08/2010

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I don't think I am parent of the year. However, when I have issues with the children I watch I definitely call the parents out on it. It is one thing for you to love your child but you also want others to also. I have also defriended a few people since we have had children due to there parenting and not being able to stand there children due to there parenting style. I didn't want there children's behavior rubbing off on my children.

Pamela - posted on 11/08/2010

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This advice is from my mother and father. We have no one to blame for our childrens bad behavior but ourselves. If we let our children behave badly they will. If we let them be "cheeky" they will. They also like to mimic our behavior.

Danielle - posted on 11/07/2010

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My opinion is that we all find our own ways of parenting and how I look after my children is no one else's business but my own. If a friend of mine criticized my parenting I'd turn around and do the same thing to them to show them how it feels.

Stifler's - posted on 11/07/2010

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I think there is bad parenting and it shows on a lot of toddlers. People give their little angels whatever they want and can't be bothered to get up them or think it's funny when they backchat and stuff.

Bonnie - posted on 11/07/2010

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Amen Sister-As I said before I am a school bus driver and elementary cafeteria worker. ALL PARENTS SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL AND OBSERVE THEIR CHILDREN--AND I MEAN WITHOUT THEM KNOWING--YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED-ON THE BUS THEY ARE VERY "CHEEKY" AND IN THE CAFETERIA - THE $$ FOOD THEY ARE THROWING AWAY WOULD ASTOUND YOU-PLUS POOR BEHAVIOR-knowingly taking more food than they can eat-being sloppy, dropping food and stuff on the floor and just walking away-I am shocked by kid's behavior--parents are working and don't catch it all--it is too bad because these are kids that will take care of our nation?????

Marielle - posted on 11/06/2010

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i think you should just look past the feeling of being attacked.. because i'm sure she probably didn't mean it that way, and instead try to find a way to take some constructive criticism out of it, if possible.
sometimes i think we need an outside view on things we are doing, even if in our eyes it is right, it might be giving off the wrong impression to people. i agree i don't think that we should say anything about someone else's parenting unless it is harming the child... but there are other ways that things could harm children, such as giving them bad life skills, leading bad examples like fighting/swearing/eating unhealthy foods in front of the kids, not necessarily just things that would physically harm a child. i don't think that someone should just come out and say "you are doing this wrong" but should somehow find a gentle way to let them know that what they are doing might not be the best way... but then again who are we to say what the best way is? different strokes for different folks right?
but when my mother calls me on my parenting, although it does offend me, i try not to react badly and take it too personal. although i do try to justify some things i do, i also take some of it to heart.

Janet - posted on 11/06/2010

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Sounds like you're little girl is developing a mind of her own. How can that be a bad thing? Guidance and loving direction are the keys to a happy healthy child. Just keep on doing what you are doing. Just feel sorry for the friend with the bad attitude!!!

Lynne - posted on 11/06/2010

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As for your friend, it was good of her to apologize, but she said what she said because it is how she feels. Are you too lenient? I don’t know. I was rare with physical punishment. The two times (one for each of my two children) I had to swat a bottom (bum) was enough to make me cry. I even told my children that I didn’t want to do that. And the amazing thing was that they forgave me and understood at a core level that I only did it because they refused to listen to me. Being honest with each other was the key and I never had to do that again. I did time-outs when they were small.
Talking to your child like an adult isn’t going to cause problems as long as you keep it at their level of understanding. If your child is not, then will be the time to change tactics. But if it is working, no need to fix it. I talk with my kids all the time. When I use a big word they don’t understand, they would ask what it meant. Not a problem. Of course, it would be a problem if you are not keeping into perspective that your daughter is not ready for adult-type conversations. But I don’t think you are doing that.
Children are constantly learning by watching what you do more than what you say. So you have to be consistent with your rules and never be miserly with your love and attention. As parents, we have to prepare our children for the world and give them the social tools to get through life. Sometimes, it’s as basic as them learning that a friend is not someone who treats you badly. Oh, the look of that light bulb clicking on every time I told a child that. They would smile and go run off to play with a better choice.
My kids are the greatest and I love having them around. They are both gifted with talents that I am amazed at. I get a lot of compliments about my kids’ behavior. I didn’t raise my children in order to get compliments from strangers but I did raise them to know what my expectations were for them. Children are gifts as far as I am concerned. Your parenting style is probably not mine, but that is okay. As long as you are teaching your child the skills to be a good person, to think independently, and she knows she can trust you and that you love her and that you will stand by her – well, you are on the right path.

Sheri - posted on 11/06/2010

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Every person is different in the way we consequence our children. I am the mom of two children a 12 year old girl and a 10 year old boy. Having had a few parenting courses I can tell you, in my opinion, is that you are doing what is right for you and your child. Every one is different in the way they decide to choose to discipline their children, keep up the good work! A time out is just fine for your three year old.

Bonnie - posted on 11/06/2010

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Parents think that their kids are cute talking smack when they are little-but when it continues in school it is rude, crude and obnoxious. Also hard to stop that behavior once they get positive reactions (laughing) from adults.
Parents get out there and put up boundaries and discipline--kids crave that!

Bonnie - posted on 11/06/2010

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I have to agree with your friend. I work in a cafeteria (K-5) and drive school bus (K-12). Kids nowdays are way to smart mouthed for their own good. They are snotty and way to entitled.

Tracy - posted on 11/06/2010

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Well if she continually is getting cheeky with you then obviously your discipline is not working which is fine if you are the only one that has to deal with them but if they have to go to daycare or you have to hire a babysitter you may be hard pressed to find one when your children have no respect for you because they don't listen and learn let alone for a stranger.

Margaret - posted on 11/06/2010

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WOW - We are ALL experts BEFORE we have kids ("My child will never have a runny nose in public" for example.I have actually HEARD people SAY that!).lol..and yes, I OFTEN disagree with other people but heck I would NEVER tell them that they are WRONG (and I am quite outspoken!) Kids are all different and so are WE, just trust in your own judgement and if SEVERAL people all say they'd do it HER way, maybe look at what you're doing to see if it's REALLY that bad - what I DO know is that:-
*Start as you mean to go on
*Have CONSISTENT discipline with your hubby/partner
*Children LIKE boundaries (and they HATE it when you change tactics mid-stream like yes one day no the next) they get too confused!
*there is NO such thing as too much love
*there IS such a thing as too much leeway (don't try to be just LIKED all the time, you'll get no brownie points for being a pushover!) Stick to your guns...
Good luck now that I've confused you totally! because ONE DAY one of your kids (if not ALL) will throw it all in your face and say you were "a terrible mother" and then one day may or may not REGRET saying it (I have one that's STILL in that phase at 27 but her brother and sister tell her she's imagining the "wrongs" that were done to her "because WE lived the same childhood" Well Debbie, it seems that we can't win, can we? there is NO training for parenthood unlike an apprenticeship for being a plumber, a carpenter or a mechanic, YET IT IS THE MOST IMPORTAMNT JOB IN THE WORLD! No pay, lots of overtime, very little thanks and lots of abuse - but you KNOW something? Most of us wouldn't change a THING! Good luck and all our love and prayers go out to you - Margaret in Brisbane AUSTRALIA

Sherelle - posted on 11/06/2010

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Keri - I'm with you on spanking. It is usually after a couple of warnings in my disappointed mum voice. I do use time out in a bedroom but it is really to give me time to calm and time for our little one to settle down. Never for him to think about his actions. They are bringing this type of consequence into 2 schools that I've worked at and is fine for a reasonably good primary aged kid who is not often in trouble but the consistently naughty kids just keep breaking rules.

Sherelle - posted on 11/06/2010

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Everyone is different and we're all trying our best. What works for her, her kids and in her home may or may not work for you. Kids do need boundaries but they also need consistency. Stick to what you can manage and hold to those rules. I guess if her kids are in your house they go by your rules and vice versa - that's the double edged sword of having someone look after your child.

Keri - posted on 11/06/2010

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Everyone's different - including kids AND their parents. Unless your daughter doesn't listen to anyone at all and your daughter continued to disobey, even after discipline, your friend really should have kept her mouth shut. I try not to offer "parenting advice" unless I'm asked. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who don't agree with my spanking my son. It works though - not in a scaring him in to being good way, but he realizes that if he disobeys he's not going to just be put in a corner so he can "think about it." Time out, in my experience, never really works with young children - because unless it's enforced DIRECTLY AFTER the misbehavior, kids less than about 10 or 12 don't really understand why they're being punished. All "advice" should be taken with a grain of salt - if it's something you've tried and know hasn't worked for you and your child, say thanks and let the situation pass - don't say "we tried and that didn't work" because then you just invite the "you probably didn't do it right" fight.

Michelle - posted on 11/05/2010

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only give advice if you are asked, my best mate and I always discuss our issues we may be having with our kiddies and then we comment, but if nothing is said then we don't comment.

Shweta - posted on 11/05/2010

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i feel every mom do the best for her kids....and every one has his/her own opinion....yes sometimes you need to be strict with kids but not all the time and if kids do something wrong, initially they need to be told patiently with love but if they continue the same behaviour for which they have been told not to do, parents need to be firm...at least they should realize that they have made the mistake.

[deleted account]

First, I would have to know if the woman actually called you a bad mother or is that your evaluation, simply because she confronted you on your disciplinary action or inaction. I will assume the lady never said it, but you have interpreted her confrontation into thinking you are a "bad mother".

If someone called me out on my parenting, I would be listening very hard. I am a 68 yr. old mother of three, grandmother of 5, and I serve as a teacher of Exceptional Children at at middle school in Nashville, TN.

I deal with behavior all the time. Try to be objective and evaluate what your friend said. Take it to heart, and try to make some improvements. Evaluate the behavior of the other lady's children. You can figure it out.



I work in the public school environment where disrespect, name calling (including cursing out teachers), and chaos hound many children. Most of the behavior problems come from zero to little guidance, and even less discipline. My three adult children are the most wonderful, well-balanced, self-governing adults I know, and I am proud of them. They were raised by me and their father—and we are woman of "faith". My faith has made me into the woman I always wanted to be.

What it took was for me to take a good look at myself, and I had to decide what kind of a mother I wanted my children to have. Mistakes—oh yes. Asking my children for forgiveness—oh yes. But teaching them all God's pattern for living made them who they are today, and I give Him all the glory.



And it is also high time people in our nation

stop the "politically correct" rhetoric. I would

much rather have a friend who cared enough about me and my kids to tell me the truth, than

to have a "so called friend" who complained about my disciplinary actions behind my back to everyone. There is no substitute for telling someone the truth in a spirit of kindness and gentleness. And we can only do that when we "know" each other well.



Last but not least. If your daughter is "cheeky" at three, who is modeling this

behavior to her? Someone is "teaching" her

this. Can you fast forward her present behavior

as a thirteen year old? Is that what you want?

I doubt it. You are the parent, and she is the

child. You can give her just the right direction, but it takes courage and deep love

to get the job done. Blessings.

Melissa - posted on 11/05/2010

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Opinions are like a**holes..everybody has one! I like someone else posted up top....Take what you like and leave the rest....If you liked any at all that is..lol

Vanessa - posted on 11/05/2010

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What a tricky situation. I would not appreciate a friend saying some thing like that. I do the best I can with what knowledge I have and if I need help I'll ask.

Terri - posted on 11/05/2010

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Not every child is the same and not every parent disciplines the same. You did the right thing on laughing it off and yes, she did need to apologize. You're doing fine. My daughter is 3 and the same way as yours - slightly difficult! Just be patient and use bribes if you have to. I'm stern but not overly. Just doing repeat discipline helps and talking calmly rather than yelling. If time outs don't work take something from her for a short amount of time, like a privilege. They learn quickly when they realize they're being treated like a baby because at three they're trying to act like a "big girl". That's why they test the boundaries.

Jacqueline - posted on 11/05/2010

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Parenting is hard. Is not personal. Just human differences in perception. Hear it all and ultimately do what works for you!

Kelly - posted on 11/05/2010

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Wow...........even if I secretly thought my friend was a bad parent, I don't think I'll tell her (unless she was harming her child). Three year olds tend to get an attitude because they now realize that they are an individual and they see that their actions can cause a reaction from their parents and other adults. I used time out for my boys. They are now 22 and 20 and they are quite "good people". As long as you know you are doing a good job, feel good about it. Doesn't sound like you are letting her off the hook. You put her in time out and you mentioned that she spends a good amount of time there. Some parents feel that time out is inappropriate discipline. I'm one who thinks it's perfect. You don't want to disrespect your child by smacking them or showing them that hitting solves problems. I wanted my boys to respect me, not fear me. Sounds like you are doing a fine job to me!!!

Jessica - posted on 11/05/2010

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I think people need to keep comments to themselves unless asked. My MIL will constantly criticize my parenting skills, even though my children are both well behaved, not to mention that her kids (she is my husbands step mother) are nothing to brag about when it comes to behavior. As your friend, she probably really didn't mean to have it come out the way it did, but people need to realize when they make comments like that it is bound to come out that way.

I myself only say things when asked for my opinion.

Gloria - posted on 11/05/2010

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A 3 yr old is discovering her world and testing her limits. At this age I would say she needs to be taught and redirected. Giving her a time out when YOU feel is appropriate is good. Your friend was out of line in call you out. You know your daughter better than anyone else and therefore know what would work best for her and for your household. Being a mother of 2 boys (now teens), picking your battles will keep you sane. Enjoy your daughter - she will grow too quickly before your eyes.

Donna - posted on 11/05/2010

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God Bless anyone who's going through the 3-year old stage. I don't miss that! They can be awfully cute, but it's so much nicer when they get older and can understand reason! My advice is to surround yourself with friends who are supportive of you and whose parenting style is similar to yours. I wouldn't leave my kids with anyone who had a much different style than my own. It's good to observe other styles and listen to advice, but I would stick with what you believe. I'm sure you are doing the best you know how to do...we all do!

Olivia - posted on 11/05/2010

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On one hand I agree that you know what is best for your own kids. However, on the other hand a mother can be very blinded to her own children. We love them so much that we want to cottle there inperfections.. It is very easy to parent someone elses' kid and sometimes see that the child needs a little tough love because you dont have the emotional connection that the mother does. So i personally think your friend was being a "true" friend when she talked to you about your parenting. im pretty sure she dosnt think you are a bad mother but everyone can use some pointers. I have to say i agree with her about not talking to your 3 year old like they are an adult. I have done some studies on children and their little minds are not mature enough to understand the whys or hows just yet but just that they need to do it because you are mommy and you know what is best for them. once they get a little older it is more appropriate to explain things and ask them for their opinion. A great book i am reading right now, that you might be interested in, is "teaching children to mind, with losing yours." by Dr. Kevi Leman. it is easy to read and humorous.

Nicole - posted on 11/05/2010

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Talking to your children in the manner you would an adult is the way you should talk to them. By this I mean using the same voice you do in normal conversation with an adult and not dumbing down your language. However talking to the about adult themes is not appropriate, for eg about a personal relationship between two adults. If you mean what I think you do there is nothing wrong with talking to your daughter this way. It is actually detrimental to a childs development to talk in child speak to them because they don't learn from this. On the point of your childs behaviour what did she do that was so bad? You said she's in time out alot? How long are you keeping her there? Anything more than three minutes at the age of three is too long and she will forget the reason she is there and the punishment won't work. A minute for each year is a good guide. the best thing to do however is to work on a praise system, only praise good behaviour and model it yourself. When bad behaviour is happening tell your daughter that this type of behaviour is inappropriate and discuss with her what she thinks is the right behaviour but don't say she is wrong. This is all from studying child psych so it's from a fairly good sourse. This is how I do things with my children and my youngest is ADHD, she is on meds but that still only deals with her attention span and not the rest. her friends parents all think she's a lovely child and don't see what she can do. This is because we also work on the rule that when at someone elses house you go by their rules. Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

Perhaps I am a bit confused but when my children were small and I had asked a friend to watch them I certainly wanted to know when I picked them up if they had behaved well or not. If one of my children was disrespectful towards an adult I would want to know so I could deal with it. I never allowed my children to be disrespectful towards any adult including me or their dad. Speaking to a child as if they were an adult is a good thing if you mean that you don't talk baby talk to them, however if you mean that you allow them to talk back to any adult in a disrespectful manner then that is not good. No one likes a smart mouthed little kid around them and if your daughter is sassing adults now this would be a good time to put a stop to it before she becomes a teen and no one can stand to be around her. You will be doing her a big favor, believe me.

Amy - posted on 11/05/2010

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I am not judging you parenting for I know that all parents parent differently. I know for a fact the most kids act better when they are way from mom at lest my little one does and if your child is going to a house where expectations are going to be higher then that of at home then that child is confused as to how to act. I think that if she was giving advise then lission, evaluated it and decide if your going to implement it or not. A true friend does not just ignore an issue just not to hurt feelings they should beable to say I see and issue and here it is. I don't minde getting advise it helps keep me sane at home when I feel like all esles is failing with my One year old.

Ida - posted on 11/05/2010

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we all have different parenting skills and we all raise are kids different.. my kids know that there are different rules in others houses than ours.. I tell my kids to respect the house hold rules depending on what house they are at and if y child does something in there home that is uncalled for then I do discipline my child for not minding rules..I do not disrespect my friends nor sisters on how they raise there kids nor do they do that to me.. we all have are differences and raise our kids in ways others may not but to say something other than I really would like your child to respect our rules in our home is wrong! and to tell a parent how to raise there child is wrong.. our friends kids and my neices and nephews all know rules in our house and respect them my nephew is 2 and my sister doesn't have a problem with me putting him in his place in my home and nor do I have problem with her doing that to mine if need to be ( and I am not talking about spanking) but the use of respectful words to let the child know that is not allowed in our home!

Joanna - posted on 11/05/2010

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as a mum you are going to be affended by what ever she says if it isnt what you want to hear, its only natural because we all want to do our best for our children and its heart breaking to think we are doing anything less.. i think your friend is not very tactful, we all need advise no parent is perfect, we cant see whats under our noses, but however your friend sounds like the sort of parent i cant stand, when her daughter is older and does something wrong (and she will) she will be one of them parents who dosnt believe for one second her child can do wrong, after all she has bought her up strict and perfectly so she would never be bad.. just shrug it off and let it go over your head, do what you think is right and give her that advise in a few years time when she ends up argueing with another parent because her child is perfect ;) trust me i have seen it so many times!!!

Kim - posted on 11/05/2010

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You are right! It is nobody's business how you choose to raise your kids or how you choose to correct them. One thing I hate is people that think they know it all when it comes to parenting! Children to not come with instruction manuals and in this day and age it is soooo hard to know the right thing to do. Just keep doing what your doing...only YOU know best what your child responds too. I, personally, wouldn't ask that person to babysit my child again!!! She needs to keep her comments to herself! Good Luck!!!!

[deleted account]

Criticism and critical advice always "smacks" a little, especially when you don't ask for it or don't have that sort of relationship with your friend. When faced with criticism, I always ask my self a couple of questions:

1. Is there any truth to it? (always important to be honest with yourself).

2. Where is this coming from? I this person frustrated and speaking out of that (and if so did I or my child cause that and what can I do about that?) or Is it possibly coming from an insecurity? Or Is my friend genuinely concerned and speaking out of love for me.



Next, I would let it go. Forgive your friend for overstepping her bounds and hope it never happens again.

If you think it might happen again, you could come up with a ready reply fro next time--something you can say without reacting emotionally and damaging the friendship.

For instance, "I appreciate your concern for me and my daughter. I can tell you really care. However, I think every home and every parent is different. I have to parent in a way that I can live with because I'm the one who has to answer for my child."

If she persists, you can calmly tell her that her comments come across as critical and hurtful and you'd prefer she reserve her advice for time that you ask for it (there's no real nice way to say this so I'd avoid it if you really want to preserve the friendship).



Once you have your reply ready, though, refuse to let your thoughts dwell on the subject! You'll only get more upset the longer you think about it. If you like your friend...let it go. We all put our foot in our mouths at some point. You know when it's your turn you'll hope she is just as forgiving.

Anne - posted on 11/05/2010

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No one is a perfect Mom we all have things that work for our parenting style that doesn't work for others............... I have 3 adopted children with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). With them I have to parent in away I never thought I would have too. My birth son was raised totally differently then I find myself parenting my adopted children.

A real friend will bring things up to you that they see, as long as they listen to why you do what you do and try to understand all is good. I am unsure what your friend said to you so I don't know if she was just frustrated or really trying to help. So take what she said, think about it and do what you want with it. Keep in mind she may not have meant you were a bad mother in any way............. She really might have been trying to help.......... Just my thoughts.

Remember being a parent is one of the hardest things we ever have to do in our lives and do your best and hope for the best! Because in the end, it will not be up to us but our children what will happen when they grow up.

Kathy - posted on 11/05/2010

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I agree with you. Everyone has different ideas on child rearing and no one should be criticized for how they are raising their children. Other peoples opinions should be kept to themselves.

Tracy - posted on 11/05/2010

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My children are 16, 14 and 12,]. You will get LOTS of advice. People are usually only trying to be helpful, and mean well. Take it with a grain of salt and try to listen without being defensive. Some advice may be worth listening to. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is best.

[deleted account]

Depending on how close you are - I'm always interested in my friends' opinions on parenting, generally, and I think I'm a better parent because I learn from the lovely and brilliant moms around me. Even when we have different styles, I'm curious about their thinking, why they do this, or that, and how it works for them. I may not change mine, but a very specific handful of women have "permission" to speak into my life on this subject, and they have extended the same to me. We talk about what we do with our own kids, and ask each other how we want others to handle a situation with our own kids.

I'm a fan of "it takes a village" and it helps me to understand, when I'm watching their kids, how they might want something managed, or not, too.

Maybe there's some little gem of wisdom in her feedback you can keep, and toss the rest. Maybe it's all bunk and she was out of line. Only you know, but I love that I have this community of women who do things different than me, and that we can talk openly about it.

No judgment, though. If any of us starting judging any of the others, it would be a different story.

Hope this helps a little. Sheila

Rachel - posted on 11/05/2010

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I'd say "thanks for your opinion. I'll take it under advisement" and forget all about it.
I'm a little surprised that another parent would criticize you. Usually vocal critics of parenting are adults who don't have children. But perhaps she just had a really bad day or something.

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