I was reading one of my favorite websites today and I stumbled upon a couple threads that made my head explode. After spending a few hours reflecting on what I had read, I came to a couple of conclusions.
1. The Internet is serious business.
2. Some people have so little going on in their lives that they are compelled to get up in everyone's business.
One thread had a huge fight over how parents choose to corral their children. There were very few participants in the middle. Some people stringently argued against using those child harness/leashes. They went so far as to say that parents who rely upon such devices are lazy and negligent parents. Some even indicated that it was wrong to use slings, strollers, and playpens. The other camp was people who basically said to STFU and mind your own business.
The other thread had a huge fight over breastfeeding. A few very vocal people were totally disgusted by nursing and, it kinda sounded like, children in general. These are the type of people who refer to your offspring by revolting terms like crotchfruit or crotch dropping. A few very vocal people were who I tend to refer to as the "militant breastfeeders." These are the women who will whip out their entire breast and take their sweet time before latching on baby. Oddly enough, they tend to get pissed when men stare at their exposed tits. Everyone else was somewhere in the middle because, let's face it, there is nothing wrong with breastfeeding and most women don't act like total attention whores while feeding their children.
I never weighed in with my opinions because both of these threads devolved into personal attacks from all sides. Ah, Internet denizens, you can be so childish and predictable.
So here are my thoughts on both issues:
I. Don't. Care.
Seriously, I don't care how you choose to raise your own children. I have enough to worry about while raising my own child and I just don't have the time or inclination to sweat what someone else does with their own child. I do voice a lot of opinions here, but I don't use this blog as a passive-aggressive way to slam parenting choices that differ from my opinions on childrearing. There is one notable exception, but I think I was very forthright in stating my thoughts on the matter.
When I give my opinion, I'm basically saying that this is the way I think is best. This is what works for my family. That doesn't mean that it will work for your family and it doesn't mean that I think you're doing a poor job as a parent.
All that said, I'm happy to give my opinion if asked. Otherwise, I try my best to hold my tongue because, at best, I'll sound like a know-it-all. At worst, I'll sound like I'm criticizing.
I didn't always feel this way. I was very much a believer in it being my way or the highway. But as I've grown, I've come to appreciate the advice given by Thumper's mother.