Available Now
MetroKids

The Mommy Wars

(page 1 of 2)

The Mommy Wars: The battle between mothers with different parenting styles, who think any other parenting choices are invalid. It originated between stay-at-home and working mothers and expanded into the issues well past those of employment.

Tracy used to enjoy spending time with a college friend who had children around the same ages as her 9-year-old daughter and 6-year-old son. “As my friend’s daughter was getting older, around 8, she continued to sleep in her parents’ bed, well past the age most people would consider appropriate,” recalls the Wilmington, DE mom. “Over time, it began to affect my friend’s relationship with her husband. She’d tell me that he moved into the basement to sleep on the couch. It got to the point where I didn’t know if I should support her or judge her for what I thought was a problem that was causing a bigger issue in her marriage. It was difficult for me to understand.”

Though Tracy and her friend agreed to disagree about this topic, the difference of opinion ultimately strained their relationship. They’re not alone. 

Among families and friends, the tendency to judge instead of accept different parenting styles about everything from children’s eating habits to punishments and TV-watching limits can drive a wedge in even the strongest of personal alliances. The common occurrence contributes to the ongoing push-pull of the so-called “Mommy Wars.” But there’s no need to get up in arms. Knowing when it is appropriate to share your opinion and the proper way to convey your message can spell the difference between helping someone you care about and ruining a relationship.

Stop judging other moms' parenting styles

Even when a friend shares a kid-incident anecdote you feel you’d have handled in a different way, experts insist it is almost never OK to offer unsolicited parenting advice. If you feel compelled to say something, “Empathize first, no judgments, and open a door for conversation,” says psychologist Richard Selznick, PhD, director of the Cooper Learning Center in Voorhees, NJ. 

Coming from a position of curiosity can be a conversation-starter. “For example, if your friend is still breast-feeding her 4-year-old, you might say, ‘I’m just wondering what your plan is and how much longer you’re planning on breast-feeding Ed,’” suggests Jacqueline Hudak, MEd, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Couples and Adult Families at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Feedback will be different when you ask a sincere question rather than make a statement that could be interpreted as criticism.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More on this topic »Mom Matters

Mommy Blogs

Mommy Blogs

MK's mommy bloggers share why they find the act of online journaling so rewarding.

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
From the Mouths of Babes

From the Mouths of Babes

A sweet comment by her 4-year-old daughter helped one busy mom take stock of what's important.

Comments

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Hidden Philly: The Fairmount Water Works

Hidden Philly: The Fairmount Water Works

A visit to the Fairmount Water Works teaches a Philly family about their water supply.

Comments

MomSpeak

The voices of local moms
Rainbowtown: A Play That Teaches

Rainbowtown: A Play That Teaches

How parents can use Two Ducks Theatre Company's play Rainbowtown as a teaching tool

Comments

MK Memo

MK Memo: Moms Know
Study Skills: An Integral Part of Learning

Study Skills: An Integral Part of Learning

Expert tips on how to diagnose whether your child has a study skills problem

Comments

What Is Constitution Day?

What Is Constitution Day?

All about Constitution Day, Sept. 17

Comments

September 2014 Preview

September 2014 Preview

Back to school articles and reasons why parents need to volunteer in their kids' school

Comments

How to Apply for and Win College Scholarships

How to Apply for and Win College Scholarships

8 steps to securing scholarships for college

Comments

Promoting Self-Confidence in Kids

Promoting Self-Confidence in Kids

Promote self-confidence in kids in three easy steps.

Comments