It’s time to start thinking

I often post links to articles about parenting information on my personal Facebook page.  Links about things like car seat safety, the case against circumcision, gentle discipline, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and co-sleeping.  Nobody ever comments on or “likes” these links.  Nothing. Ever. Day after day, I post and nobody responds.  I am not saying that everybody should agree with my personal parenting choices or “like” everything I post on Facebook but c’mon, people, you can’t even read the articles?  If they would at least read the articles and form some type of opinion on these subjects I would be happy.  If they would just comment and defend their decision to circumcise (or to not breastfeed, or to not extended rear-face or whatever the case may be) and provide me with the resources that they used to come to this decision then I would know that they are actively thinking about their parenting choices and I could sleep a little better at night. Sadly, however, this doesn’t happen.  Nobody ever defends their choices or links me to the articles and research that they have read to make these choices.  It’s disheartening, really.  To know that parenthood is the most important job these people will ever have and they can’t even read a couple articles or do a few hours of research on it.  When somebody decides to become a teacher, a nurse, or any other career, there are countless hours of research and learning.  Books to read, classes to attend, research to do, and essays to write. When somebody decides to become a parent there is no thinking required.  As long as you can master the act required to create life (and let’s face it, any dumbass can figure that out) then you are qualified to become a parent.  After that act it is up to each individual to decide how much time and effort they invest in this new endeavour and, sadly, the status quo is to invest little to none.  All the people around me just seem to be going along with what everybody else is doing.  They never stop to question “Why?” or if it’s for the best.  They cut off parts of their babies because their mother-in-law decided to do it to her son decades ago (“Well, a boy should look like his father”) and they never question if this is the best decision for their baby.  They turn their babies forward-facing at one year old because the law allows them to and everybody else they know did it.  They never even attempt to breastfeed because they were formula-fed and they “turned out fine” so they see no need to try and do better for their own child.  It’s sad that our society puts so little emphasis on what is best for our children- our future.  The parent’s convenience seems to trump the baby’s best interests and it seems that the parent’s convenience does not include doing any critical thinking or research into parenting choices.  Thinking is what has moved our species forward.  Questioning, thinking, changing and growing is what we should thrive on.  We should always be trying to know more, learn more, do more, and do better.  When I look around at the parents around me, I don’t see this.  I see people following blindly and doing what they are told and what those before them have done.  It’s time to stop following and start thinking.  Even if you do your research and decide to do what you would have done before, without the research, at least now it’s an educated choice.  You thought about it.  That’s a step forward.

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8 thoughts on “It’s time to start thinking

  1. I have often thought that parents should have to pass some sort of fitness test given by their care provider (whether OB or Midwife) when a pregnancy is confirmed. If they can pass tests of basic skills and common sense, then no class would be necessary, but if they don’t then classes throughout pregnancy and into maybe even the first year to verify good parenting skills were being used would be necessary. This would save so many children from so much ignorance and lack of interest, but I know it will never happen. Like you said, teachers have to work hard to get the right to teach our children, but all we have to do is get knocked up to get the right to their formative years and upbringing.

    • Parenting classes would be amazing! I honestly think that most of the things that parents do, such as using car seats incorrectly or quitting breastfeeding because of a supposed problem, are just caused due to a lack of knowledge. If they knew better, they really might do better.

    • bellesbelles86, I agree to a certain extent. Unfortunately I soooooo would have failed the OB/GYN evaluation! LOL! I was scared to death – high risk pregnancy and kinda’ clueless (despite being 34, happily married, and planning a pregnancy). Do they currently teach children in middle school and high school how to take care of basic baby (and self) needs/hygiene/diet, check book balancing, environmentally responsible home care/self care? Let’s face it, that stupid Home Ec and Sex Ed I had in 1990 was positively worthless. Although, I did learn how to make a wicked orange julius with a circa 1973 blender!

  2. I have some thoughts, reading yours:

    First, I totally get you. It is mindblowing how people will do so much research to buy a car or choose the perfect pair of boots, but they will give their birth experience over without a thought and parent without thinking about what they are doing and why.

    I did think, though, that you just don’t know who is reading (or do you? is there some FB feature that tells you that?) and how it is affecting them. Sometimes people don’t comment because they aren’t ready to own a thought or opinion, or they are afraid to be judged (and often are sitting in a very defensive space). This doesn’t mean that someone isn’t reading and thinking about what you say. You are probably reaching more people than you would imagine.

    Related to that, I find that most people just can’t have a discussion, particularly if there is disagreement involved. All of a sudden, disagreement means we have to hate each other or think badly of the other person. This makes it hard for people who you may like and who may like you to have an actual conversation about an issue that means something (to you). It makes it dangerous for the friendship. I think this is true because people, I find, feel judged by the simple fact that I *do* do things differently and I *have* thought about it.

    I wonder if people have a hard time hearing because they don’t want to feel guilty and face the fact that they are doing something (or have done something) that they now think/see differently. Listening and engaging with you makes them admit that there are choices and maybe they didn’t really think things through. This leads to the thought that maybe they should rethink other things. Where will it end? Can start feeling overwhelming pretty quickly.

    Finally, they might think they *have* thought about it and they *do* know because everywhere they look and everyone they see is doing the same thing. They can’t all be wrong……right?

    I feel your frustration, mama. It’s why a started A Living Family — both locally and online. Community is the way to go and grow!

    sheila

    • Thank you for your comment. It’s true that I don’t really know whether or not anybody has read the articles I post on Facebook but there is a very good chance they haven’t. But, you are right, maybe I am getting through to them more than I think and they are starting to think and question. That’s all I can hope for, I suppose. Also, I completely understand where you are coming from when you say that some people cannot have a discussion where they do not agree with the other person. It doesn’t bother me when people disagree with me or want to debate about what I personally believe but it’s completely true that most people don’t want to have a discussion where they disagree with somebody they are friends with. That is something I have to realize and accept. I can’t change everybody and their dislike for confrontation. Thanks again for your comment and I hope you follow along and enjoy my future posts. 🙂

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