I've been watching a comment feed unfold on a blog I follow and I'm really shocked with the way that I've seen these women talk to each other. I've been typing replies for days but never quite getting up the nerve to reply - the inner 15 year old in me can't handle the way I'm certain these women would rip me to shreds. I think I'm the most sad because these women promote their parenting choices as intuitive and gentle... yet they're seemingly so judgemental and rude when an opinion doesn't match their beliefs.
In regards to the internet I've always believed that if you wouldn't say it to someone sitting next to you then perhaps it's not the best idea to post it on the internet.
Blogs are a public forum and by posting in a public forum there's always the possibility that someone won't agree with you, and by having a public forum the right of reply is open.
Since becoming a parent I've realised that every parent is really just parenting the best way they know how. The best way THEY believe. Does having done 'research' about sleep methods and schooling methods and eating methods and make you a better parent and give you the license to be rude to another human being? Because that's who is always at the other end of a keyboard, a human.
I think that every statement about parenting needs to be prefaced with 'I believe', 'I think' or 'I've found'.
I think Mia Freedman put the best disclaimer at the beginning of her blog comment feed:
'Comment Guidelines : Imagine this is a dinner party. Differences of opinion are welcome but keep it respectful or the host will show you the door. If you're rude or abusive, your comment will be deleted (so will comments responding to other rude comments because they won’t make sense - so save your breath). And if you’re offensive, you’ll be banned. Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That's how we're going to be - cool. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation...'
So on that note, would you turn to your dinner party companion and ask if she was neglected as a child after you've compared her to an animal? Would you suggest that the way they parent their kids is stunting their emotional growth? Would you suggest they do research and then come back and talk to you at someone else's dinner party? Would you say that their conversation was ridiculous?
I try to approach parenting with the idea that all parents need support and even though we mightn't agree with their decisions, we're all in this together. I think that's why it's called 'Parenthood'.
Do you think it's too rainbows and kittens for me to just want us to be kind to each other? What do you think about this?
edited to add It's been brought to my attention from a commenter that my referring to my noisy neighbours as Bogan Neighbours and my stories about them could be construed as hurtful if they were to read it. I am not infallible (much as I'd love to be) and once a week I have a First World Whinge with friends. If my neighbours were to knock on my door or I was to meet them in our driveways, I'd have no qualms with telling them precisely what I've written. And as I refer to myself as a Bogan Mummy I don't think this term is particularly hurtful.