If you ever find yourself saying things like "each to their own" or "it's the parents decision" or "who are you to tell me how to raise my child" or "you raise your kids and i'll raise mine", this article is for you.
I am hopeful that this article will make you rethink these comments:
Imagine if we responded to the following situations, with an "to each to their own" mentality.
* smoking in pregnancy - "it's the parent's decision to make
* going out partying all weekend every weekend whilst you leave your baby with a sitter - "each to their own"
* driving without your kids in a car seat - "who are you to tell me how to raise my children"
* doing drugs whilst pregnant - "each to their own"
* beating your baby with a switch - "you raise your kids and i'll raise mine"
ask yourself, would you say this? would you defend these practices?
Would you call anyone who questioned these practices a "sanctimommy" or claim that someone sharing information about the harms of these practices was "shaming" parents?
I seriously doubt it.
And yet, some of those practices were perfectly socially acceptable only 50 years ago.
Some of them were even endorsed by doctors!
So why is it that we say these things when it comes to the contentious topics of modern parenting?
Controlled crying (CC) and Cry it out/extinction methods (CIO)
Someone somewhere had to start re-educating people about smoking in pregancy
If everyone had insisted on shutting down the sharing of information, saying "each to their own" and of defending something because they didn't want to believe that they were/had been/or were potentially harming their child, where would we be now?
So next time you find yourself going to say something along the lines of "each to their own", please ask yourself one question first.
Is this really a matter of parental choice - like, whether to do traditional or baby led weaning, or to bath your baby in the laundry tub vs some fancy baby bath.
Is this topic contraversial for a reason - because it is potentailly damaging to children's health and wellbeing.
If the answer to that question is the later, then why are you defending the parent's "right" to choose to do something that potentially damages a child?
Maybe the evidence is complelty irrefutable
Maybe it is only just building
Maybe it is murky because of vested interests funding thier own studies (like the anti-smoking data was for decades)
or maybe it is irrefutable in the majority of the world, but cultural and religious norms stop us from believing the data (like circumcision or the "need" to "teach" babies to be "independent")
But why defend it?
why say "each to their own" or "you raise your kids and i'll raise mine" ?
why claim that those who raise concerns are sanctimommies?
why claim those who are sharing scientific information are "shaming" and "guilting" mothers?
why refuse to consider the reasons you excuse these practices. Or why you are unable to even consider a different perspective, no matter how strong the evidence?
Hi I'm Nicole