Defensive parenting might be more “defensive reactions to people commenting on your parenting.” Which is something that, mentally, I do a lot, particularly around people that I know have a different parenting style than I do. I feel like I have to justify why I parent my son the way that I do or make excuses for certain things.
And I shouldn’t have to.
I’m not talking about apologizing because my son has hurt someone else; that is common courtesy, at least in my mind. You apologize when your child cannot.
What I am talking about are the moments when someone makes a crack about what I am doing, or some baby item that I am using. I received a lot of comments about the Baltic Amber teething necklace, because some of my family is behind the natural, homeopathic ideas and some are not. And I felt like I always had to have a reason or an excuse for everything that I did.
And I don’t; I don’t have to make excuses for the way that I am raising my son. I am the parent that he needs me to be.
I think that some of these comments stem from the so-called “Mommy Wars.” We have these ideas about how to raise our children and when they work, we feel as if we know how to raise other people’s children. And we don’t.
And raising our own children, doesn’t give us the right to dismiss other people’s methods. For me, it’s more the tone that people use than what they are saying. Because I know that is something that bothers me, when I talk to other parents, I try very hard to listen to what people are saying rather than just offering up my opinions.
We should be building each other up as parents, instead of tearing each other down.