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  1. #1
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    Default Opinions - parenting a toddler

    Hello, I guess I am just wanting opinions on how different parents would respond to this situation. I will start by saying that I'm quite a relaxed parent, I definitely enforce boundaries where required (basically - don't put yourself or others in danger, be respectful and kind, etc) but I try to let my DS have as much freedom as possible and respond to his needs. I know as an active 16 month old he needs to run around and explore.

    A few weeks ago I did a fundraising walk with a few friends and DS sat nicely in his pram for about 1km haha but then wanted to get out. At first I managed to keep him in there a bit longer with some food and toys but he started cracking it so I got him out and carried him/let him walk for the rest of the way. Obviously this took a lot longer and the other girls went and finished the walk. I met them back at the main part and I gave DS a snack and then I let him run around. I feel like one of the other mums was judging me big-time, like I should have forced him to stay in the pram, and then forced him to stay with me and not run around (I followed him and kept my eye on him of course). This friend is definitely the opposite to me in that she has LOTS of rules, she is often telling her kids no and is very firm with them. They are well behaved but anxious. She has told me in the past I should be firmer with DS (even when he was 3 months old!) so now I'm questioning myself thinking I'm too soft on him!!

    I also try to respond quickly if he cries (except in regards to sleep, we give him a few minutes there but now he's a toddler I let him whinge a bit to give him a chance to sort himself out.

    What would you have done? Would you have forced your toddler to stay in the pram even if they were screaming? Do you make them sit with you rather than letting them roam around and explore public places (without getting in the way of others of course or going anywhere dangerous)???

    Thanks ladies! This is my first child so I'm learning as I go.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fi Poledancer View Post
    Hello, I guess I am just wanting opinions on how different parents would respond to this situation. I will start by saying that I'm quite a relaxed parent, I definitely enforce boundaries where required (basically - don't put yourself or others in danger, be respectful and kind, etc) but I try to let my DS have as much freedom as possible and respond to his needs. I know as an active 16 month old he needs to run around and explore.

    A few weeks ago I did a fundraising walk with a few friends and DS sat nicely in his pram for about 1km haha but then wanted to get out. At first I managed to keep him in there a bit longer with some food and toys but he started cracking it so I got him out and carried him/let him walk for the rest of the way. Obviously this took a lot longer and the other girls went and finished the walk. I met them back at the main part and I gave DS a snack and then I let him run around. I feel like one of the other mums was judging me big-time, like I should have forced him to stay in the pram, and then forced him to stay with me and not run around (I followed him and kept my eye on him of course). This friend is definitely the opposite to me in that she has LOTS of rules, she is often telling her kids no and is very firm with them. They are well behaved but anxious. She has told me in the past I should be firmer with DS (even when he was 3 months old!) so now I'm questioning myself thinking I'm too soft on him!!

    I also try to respond quickly if he cries (except in regards to sleep, we give him a few minutes there but now he's a toddler I let him whinge a bit to give him a chance to sort himself out.

    What would you have done? Would you have forced your toddler to stay in the pram even if they were screaming? Do you make them sit with you rather than letting them roam around and explore public places (without getting in the way of others of course or going anywhere dangerous)???

    Thanks ladies! This is my first child so I'm learning as I go.
    I'm too lazy to try and make them be perfect. I would have done what you did.

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    Fi Poledancer  (02-12-2016)

  4. #3
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    I would have done the same as you.

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    Fi Poledancer  (02-12-2016)

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    I'd have done the same as you.

    ETA:
    My son hates the pram. If I'd forced him to stay in it he would have been miserable. It is much easier for everyone if he's walking/carried. He's been like this since about 15 months. Nothing will work to keep him calm. I'd have taken him out without even giving it a second thought.
    Also, would have let my child run around at the end. He doesn't do still well. He needs to move. And I don't have a problem with him learning limits and boundaries that are beyond my arm's reach. Yes, I've had to run after him a few times, but generally, he's pretty good at listening and coming back if I give him that freedom.

    Other mothers do different things, and their kids are different. If I had a kid who'd sit quietly in the pram, absolutely I would use it when I needed to. But I don't, so why try and do something that won't work for us?
    Last edited by Tiny Dancer; 02-12-2016 at 19:55.

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  8. #5
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    I think that every parent and every child is different and you should do what works for you. Try not to let other people's judgement make you second guess yourself or stress out. There will always be people who do things differently to you, it doesn't mean that one is right and one is wrong, we all have different personalities that influence our behaviour.

    I'm probably more like your friend. I'm quite firm with my kids. When we're out I prefer them to stay in the pram and not run off too far whenever possible. That's just what works for me, I function better when there are firm rules and boundaries. I have friends who are the total opposite of me and I totally respect their right to parent differently to me and I even also admire them sometimes and if I'm struggling ask them for advice that would be different to what I would do.

    It's so important to surround yourself with people who are supportive and who build you up. If your friend was really judging you then that's not a friend I would want to be around. If she's giving you advice that isn't helpful just find a polite way to tell her that you're not interested or let it go in one ear and out the other. Above all if the way you're parenting is working for you and your son then don't overthink it. As long as he's safe and you're both happy it's no one else's business.

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    Fi Poledancer  (02-12-2016)

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    Default Opinions - parenting a toddler

    With me if either dd1 (or now dd2) started cracking it at the toddler stage I would shamelessly and proudly get out a bag of *god forbid* CHOCOLATES or LOLLIES and continue to ply them to get through it. Maybe even a poppa or lemonade! Then maccas drive thru on the way home....

    Seriously I do that weekly with grocery shop.

    My dd1 is almost 4, had only one public tantrum, and is well behaved and beautiful (well 90% of the time, 100% in public lol)

    They are toddlers, do whatever you can to survive the moment.
    Last edited by Little Miss Sunshine; 02-12-2016 at 18:13.

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  12. #7
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    I would have done the same. With my 4yo step son I deal with him in pretty much that way. I let him explore, but I'm close by. My partner is an anxious parent and likes him to be as close as possible, doesn't like it when he wanders and if he could would probably use a pram until he's 18 lol.

    Every kid and parent is different. I used to get so worried about being judged in the park etc, especially because he's not my kid, but over time I've stopped worrying (and stopped silently judging others too!! Except for the very obese women who refused to get up of her seat to push her kid on the swing, then smacked the kid and yelled when the kid cried because all they wanted was to be pushed on the swing...)

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    Fi Poledancer  (02-12-2016)

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    I would have done the same if my child could be trusted to walk with me and lot try and run off leaving me struggling with a pram and bag and belongings. But given my DS is a runner, it would have been a disaster to let him walk at that age (even now at 26 months). So in all honesty I probably wouldn't have gone to something that requires him to be in a pram that long in the first place as he's never liked the pram.

    It's much easier said than done but just parent how you think is best and ignore everyone else, and stick to your guns. But I get the guilt thing, I always feel I'm doing things wrong, but I parent in the best way I know how.

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    Fi Poledancer  (02-12-2016)

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    We did exactly what you did at a fundraising walk last year. DD had a sleep in the pram at first but then walked along side on the way back to the ferry.
    It's a long time for a toddler to sit still in the pram! After a while she got tired & happily got back in.
    I'd much rather walk at a snails pace than have to listen to my toddler whinge, cry & scream to get out.

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    Fi Poledancer  (02-12-2016)

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    I always put myself in their shoes. Would I want to be in the pram for 5km? Oh well actually yes . But most kids don't want to.

    They are little people, not mini robots. I encourage my kids to negotiate and compromise. These are life skills. When they're a grown up do you want them to be a door mat or working out how to get what they want?

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