Can Differing Parenting Styles End a Friendship?

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These days moms name their parenting styles the way women only used to name their political parties. And I get that. For the sake of discussion, you never know it you're a sitting Democrat walking into a room of Republicans. And you'd hate people to assume. It's nice to get it out in the open so there are no misconceptions. It also forces you move beyond these issues and find other kinds of commonalities.

But now that we let it all hang out — from where our child sleeps and what our child eats to whether or not we vaccinate and how we discipline — can it get in the way of friendships with other moms?

What do you think?


The moms in The CafeMom Newcomers Club are talking about parenting styles and friendship in the thread Do other mom's parenting styles affect your friendships?

Some women's friendships have been affected by differing parenting styles; however, many say, with the exception of abuse or kids allowed to exhibit extreme behavior problems, that they could care less how other moms parent.

Among my girlfriends, parenting styles really run the gamut.

I have mom friends who breastfeed and formula feed, spank and don't spank, work outside the home and stay home with their kids, use disposable diapers and use cloth diapers, practice attachment parenting, cry it out, and a few even consider themselves to be "recovering" attachment parents. I have friends who don't circumcise and wear their babies, ones who find television to be fine in moderation, and some who detest all plastic toys.

Does that mean there has never been the occasional awkward moment when our parenting styles collide? Not at all. Of course, it happens. However, I also find that when it comes to my close friends and their kids, I can pretty much live and let live — and even learn from their parenting experiences, successes, and shortfalls.

What has been your experience with your mom friends who practice different parenting styles?


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