8 Ways I'm 'Ruining' My Child's Life

Rant 105

I consider myself an okay mom. What I lack in attention to detail, I make up for with lots of patience. My two-and-a-half-year-old isn't potty trained yet, but she speaks in complete sentences. We read lots of books together, take walks to the park, chat over dinner, and I'd say overall my daughter appears to be happy enough with my mommy performance thus far. 

But there's at least one person in this world who is convinced I've got this motherhood thing all wrong: my dear, amazing but judgmental, 92-year-old grandmother. Here are the top 8 ways I'm "ruining" my child -- and possibly my unborn child as well -- according to granny. 

I don't force her to eat everything on her plate. I'm not one of those moms who makes three dinners. You either eat what I've made or you don't eat. You bet gran digs that militant attitude. But here's where we part ways: while she would force us to sit at the table until every morsel of food was consumed, I firmly believe my child knows when enough is enough. I don't push it. 
I don't yell at her for being a "bad girl" when she does something naughty. In my grandmother's eyes, this is considered "spoiling" your child. They have to know that they are bad sometimes, she argues. I argue that their behavior can suck and they should know that, but it makes me uneasy to call her "bad." 
I don't force her to sit on the potty against her will. Look, I might change my tune if she is five and still screaming bloody murder when I suggest she poop in the potty, but for now I don't drag her onto it. If she expresses any interest at all, I jump. If not, I let it be.
I am thinking of hiring a lactation counselor when I have my second baby this spring. I didn't have an easy time breastfeeding my daughter and I gave up after a few months. I'd like to give it a fair go next time around, but I feel like I need help. Gran, who could breastfeed a hundred children with her eyes closed, firmly believes breastfeeding is not a "business," it's "natural" and "easy" to do. Sigh.
I take my toddler out in the cold. Bundled up, of course. If your grandparents are German, they'll pat me on the back for this. If they're Italian like my gran, however, they'll think pneumonia and Black Death. 
I buy my child clothing that isn't always 100% cotton, made in France, or handmade. It isn't that I don't want to drape her in the finest, it's that she grows two inches every four days and I'd also like to put her through college at some point. 
A lot of her toys are "educational." She'll be in school soon enough, according to my grandmother. Pass the poor child a damn Barbie, will you? 
My husband and I talk to our daughter at dinner instead of ignoring her. I should add that my daughter has no trouble speaking up and contributing at larger family functions because she feels at ease doing this around our dinner table at home. But my gran thinks this just gives children a sense of entitlement that they haven't yet earned. 
I try to respect that my grandmother has her own reasons for thinking and feeling the way she does, and sometimes I wonder if she has a point. Maybe not about the exported knit sweaters -- but it would be nice if my daughter could ditch her diapers sooner rather than later.
Does your grandmother or mother ever make you feel like you're making big mom mistakes? What do they think you do wrong? 
Image Via Lisa Fogarty

child care, confessions, discipline, fun & games, girls, kid clothes, language, learning, nutrition, picky eaters, play, potty training, tantrums, toddler development, toddler meal, toddler toys


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nonmember avatar janey

This is one of those posts I detest... humble bragging.

"I'm such a bad mom for letting my child listen to her hunger cues."

mompam mompam

I agree with janey.

Krystian Kaufold

First off, most children aren't potty trained until they are 3. And a doctor will tell you not to push the issue. 

My grandmother, who is my daughters great grandmother, allowed my daughter to walk out of my house this evening, while it was a merely 50 degrees WITH OUT her winter coat. 

I do agree that all of her toys shouldn't be educational....give her a Barbie doll/baby doll.

And your daughter should know when she is being bad....If she goes around getting away with things that are wrong. 

Lane-... Lane-Moja

Generational and cultural child rearing practicses widely vary. I think she is highlighting the former.

Obviously she mothers her child one way, because she feels that way is best. And oobviously her Gran thought her way was best.

No harm in pointing out the diferences.

wamom223 wamom223

I hate lazy parent's that don't potty train their toddler's.  It is my biggest pet peeve.  You trained her to shit and piss herself, the least you can do is train her to put it in the potty.  It disgusts me when parents take the easy way out and then try to act like they are enlightened or something.  Every day your child is getting close to the point that no one will want to change her.  When my friend had the nerve to drop her four year old off to be babysat and he wasn't potty trained it changed our relationship.  And I view her differently as a mother, not to mention I was very uncomfortable changing him.   Her son lied and told me he had pooped and then sat and rubbed it everywhere so when I had to change him I had to lay him down like a baby and clean him like a baby.  

Not being willing to tell your daughter when she is bad or naughty will give her a false sense of self that will get her into trouble.  Or you could think of it this way, if you don't tell her someone else will and they wont be gentle with her feelings.  And FYI your kid is at the age to decide what goes on her plate, especially with you bragging about how vocal she is.  Life training at this age is great, ask her what and how much she wants and then yes you should expect her to eat it.  Lady you need to get off your lazy butt and parent your child and I suggest you do it before you bring a second one into the world. 


wamom223 wamom223

Krystian-That is BS about the potty training. Before the invention of disposable diapers the majority of children were potty trained by the age of one. This is about laziness of parents not about the capability of children.  You can potty train your child in under seven days in a positive way that will only suck for you and benefit them!!!   The longer you wait the harder it is, you know because of how used to sitting in their own feces and urine  they get.

Katha... Katharine205

Wow, we should all drop our children off to wamon, obviously she has mastered motherhood and the rest of us should all bow before her.  I agree on not pushing the potty training, I pushed it hard with my daughter and it was a massive struggle and took much longer than it should of.  Although I'm not nearly as enlightened as wamom - do you have a manual the rest of us lazy parents could read?

Lokis... LokisMama


Breastfeeding is "natural" and "easy to do". 
I never would have made it past the first week without the help of a lactation consultant, with my first born. I had insane amounts of milk, but I didn't know how to get him to latch.  

wamom223 wamom223

Katherine I have helped multiple woman potty train their children in a wonderful experience that took days.  But like I said it isn't for lazy parents.  You are the one that admitted what you did wrong, you pushed her.   I have read over 20 books on the subject, been to too many websites to count reading stories like yours and read and watched everything the diaper companies put out.  Most parents potty train their children with no plan and end up sending mixed messages to their children which makes it harder on the child and makes it take longer.  As a parent it is your job to teach your child life skills and that is a big one!!!!   And yes smart ass, I can tell you where to buy the manuel that will teach you to potty train your child in three days.  

Hello07 Hello07


It must be nice living in your own little world were everything you do is right and perfect!! I'm suprised to anyone would want I be your friend and eve their child with you. What an awful friend you are to judge like that. It's also pretty sick that you would find something about changing a child "uncomfortable" your mind must go to places that mine can't.

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