Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's baffling to me.

Okay, so I will start by admitting I'm naive. I get that. However, is STILL get baffled by people who can't shut up about parenting practices that I feel so strongly aren't in the best interest of their children. I've come across so many parents, in real life and on message boards, who basically brag about things like getting their child to sleep on their own (usually through cry-it-out techniques), not holding their baby too much, pushing early potty training, well bascially pushing ANYTHING a child is too young for. Last spring and summer I used to babysit for a family once a week, they ended up going on vacation and we just never really got in touch with each other again. Anyways, I would go over there and they would tell me how they got their daughter to sleep by putting her in her crib and letting her cry. It worked wonders! They had a really wierd closeness/distance thing going on with their daughter and it always wierded me out. Actually, any parent who has this kind of relationship with their child wierds me out, but I digress. Recently I babysat for them again and one of the first things the mother asks me is "is Iris potty trained yet?" I was like, um, no. She said they were having the worst struggles over it. This girl is three weeks older than Iris. I sort of laughed uncomfortably and blurted out "oh, we're too lazy to even start!" which was a total lie. We're not potty training Iris because she's not ready. It's pretty simple, actually. I understand that some children can be ready at a pretty young age, but if you're struggling with a young child over potty training, hmmmm, isn't that a pretty good sign they're not ready? Recently Melissa has been sharing tales of the little girl she nannies for, who is also young and being pushed in to potty training. I don't get this at all!
Okay, so back to my original point. It seems to me that parents with the philosophy that children need to be pushed to grow up and pushed to be independent like to talk about it. I have yet to be in a situation where a parent who was co-sleeping, for example, offered up out of nowhere "oh, my child is sleeping so well because we co-sleep!" I wished that happened. I also wish that when a parent proudly announces how their child is doing X, Y or Z because they were pushed in to it, I could say with equal pride how no, my daughter isn't potty trained, we prefer to wait until she's ready.

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