Children listen to what we say and it all sinks in.
I’ve just finished reading this post at Code Name: Mama about gossiping about our children. I wholeheartedly agree that we should be mindful what we say in front of our children. But what do you do around other people with different parenting views?
A close friend’s son (K.) is one month younger than Little Monkey and the two kids are completely unlike each other. My daughter runs, jumps, climbs and talks. K. doesn’t do any of these things. He can take a few steps very reluctantly and is usually content to stay in one spot.
The two children are different and that is ok as far as I am concerned. What makes me extremely uncomfortable is that K.’s parents comment on how lazy K. is at every opportunity and often in front of him. Imagine what it is like to be that little boy who always hears that he is not as good as his friend.
On one hand, he is not my child and it is not my place to interfere with how he is being brought up. On the other hand, I’ve known K. since he was born and I care about him. I also want to be able to share freely my own daughter’s achievements with my friend without having the two kids constantly compared. I am finding myself avoiding their family more and more often because of this issue.
I am at a loss. I remember allt oo well how aggressively I used to react to unwanted parenting advice when I was a first-time mum, so I know that if I approach them about this directly, I am likely to achieve the opposite result to what I would like. I’ve been trying to defend K. every time anyone says something unflattering about him, but so far the message is not getting through to his closest people.
Maybe, I shouldn’t aim to change my friend’s parenting style, but just to make our relationship more comfortable. I’d hate to lose a friend over parenting differences. Do you have any tips on what I could do?