Breaking up with friends over differing parenting styles

Aleks - posted on 04/22/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )




Following from the article below:

What do you think? Has this happened to you? Have you broken off a friendship over parenting differences? Or has some one done this to you?

Have you, may be, heard of someone you know who went through this?

Are we becoming more and more kid obsessed and hence this then leads us to become less open? I mean, why is it that we can for years on end accept a friends' differing political views, taste in music, movies, literature without blinking an eye, but come differing views over how to raise a child and we can break up good friendships?


Vicki - posted on 04/23/2012




That would depend if the parenting style impacted our friendship. If a friend constantly gave me dirty looks and made snide comments about me breastfeeding my toddler, constantly talked about the virtues of CIO even if she knew I wasn't interested and told me to smack my naughty brat, then yeah I'd have trouble staying friends. Luckily I don't know anyone like this :)

Attitudes to many things can make people grow apart. Parenting is so close to our hearts though so I can see how it can happen.

Nikki - posted on 04/22/2012




I wouldn't break up with a friend over parenting differences unless they were abusing their children, then I would probably spy on them until I had enough info to report them! None of my friends parent like me and it's something that I just don't let get to me. Everyone is different, my friends are important therefore I would not let something as silly as attachment parenting v's helicopter parenting break us up.


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Stifler's - posted on 04/25/2012




Espoecially if it's a friend then you just end up avoiding them so you don't have to deal with it

Stifler's - posted on 04/25/2012




I really hate when kids are mean adn you go somewhere and ca'nt enjoy it because you have to break up a fight every 5 minutes

April - posted on 04/25/2012




i probably wouldn't break up an already well-established friendship unless abuse was involved. i also probably also wouldn't become friends with someone whose philosophies are so different from mine.i wouldn't go out of my way to avoid being friends, but i think we'd just be too different for BOTH of us to make the effort. for instance, if someone is always ranting about how they hate breastfeeding, it's not likely that we'd be friends. as a mom who nursed for 3 years and through half my first trimester of pregnancy, i don't think the i hate breastfeeding mom would want to be my friend. i'd probably disgust her!

[deleted account]

I was playing a game with my son that we've always played once when I was around my friend's daughter. I tap (pretend slap) him on the head (no, not hard by any means and he thinks's it' hilarious) and he tries to catch my hand before I get away. Just a goofy thing. This 4 year old got in my face, stuck her pointer finger at my nose and said, "YOU STOP THAT! YOU DON'T DO THAT TO HIM!"

My fingers itched to give her a smack but restrained myself in order to glare at her mother who said, "Well she just knows right from wrong."

Clearly not as I wasn't doing anything remotely wrong nor was my son in any distress. He was more disturbed at this child being so disrespectful to his mother.

[deleted account]

I"ve had friends who totally indulge their kids and don't bring them into line when they misbehave - that makes friendship really hard if we are all hanging out together and their kids are being mean to mine.

[deleted account]

I just stopped discussing parenting anything with certain friends because I so completely disagree with their parenting decisions. They don't listen and its' too upsetting.

Stifler's - posted on 04/23/2012




If they are abusing their child then I probably would avoid them or break off the friendship and call DoCS.

Stifler's - posted on 04/23/2012




Honestly I couldn't give a shit if people breastfeed until 5 or anything else. But don't lecture me about how I should be breastfeeding or using cloth nappies or whatever. Healthy discussion/debate is fine too but don't get crazy and lose friendships over it.

Sylvia - posted on 04/23/2012




Not broken up, no, but there are a couple of friends I've definitely grown apart from, partly (not totally) as a result of differences over parenting. If you repeatedly ask me "So when are you going to wean?", lecture me about how it's my own fault my kid is a picky eater, constantly act shocked by this that or the other thing my kid does, and keep inviting me and DH out for baby-free evenings when you know we don't have babysitting ... it makes it harder to feel close to you, y'know?

I don't think I would be able to hang out with someone who spanks or otherwise hits their kids, because (a) I wouldn't want DD to be exposed to that and (b) I would find it EXTREMELY hard not to intervene. Fortunately I don't know anyone like that IRL. Otherwise, though, it's hard to think of a real deal-breaker. Different things work for different people.

Kelina - posted on 04/23/2012




Yes although it wasn't particularly over parenting methods although that was definitely a factor. We'd met when our sons were both younger, but her son was a wild child. His mom has no control over him because she won't discipline him. He's a totally different child for his dad, listens no problem etc. Because dad follows through. Moms idea of a time out is putting him in his room-which coincidentally is where all his toys are kept. But what really busted up the friendship was the know-it-all attitude this woman had and the fact that on a day I was tired, pregnant and overwhelmed-from helping her the day before! she told me she wouldn't help me with my house(which wasn't as bad as I'd thought, I was just exhausted and overwhelmed that day) because I wouldn't keep it clean.

Isobel - posted on 04/23/2012




I could see it if they were extreme in their views in any particular direction and made me feel like less of a person for not following her lead.

Krista - posted on 04/23/2012




I think the only way I could see this happening would be if she was endangering her kid, and I just couldn't watch anymore, or if she was always being Judgy McJudgersons towards my methods.

Elfrieda - posted on 04/23/2012




No, I haven't. Sometimes I don't agree that what they're doing is the right thing, like giving pop to a 1-year-old, yelling, or constantly carrying the poor child around so they won't touch the dirty ground and wiping everything with Lysol, but it's all none of my business and not likely to do any real damage, so I just hold my tongue and do things my way with my son. Not everybody has to see the world like I do.

I can see not inviting certain friends over, due to their wild children who will rampage around, pulling things out of closets and ruining my house, but we can still meet at the park or at a restaurant.

Lisa - posted on 04/23/2012




I just bite my tongue if i don't agree with it is all. I can't see losing friends over disagreeing on how they raise their kids.

Kimberly - posted on 04/23/2012




My group of friends all have different parenting styles which I think is great because we are all different people. I have my style and it works for me thats doesnt mean it works for you so I dont force it on anyone. I have broken a friendship early on for the simple fact that she was a mother that dominated, her child could do no wrong, she was always right and no one else opptions counted for anything. We just slowly backed away til we stopped inviting her to things. My two best friends never wanted to breastfeed where as I did for 18 months, it was a differnce but not enough to divide us.

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