I Could Never…

Welcome to May edition of the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, hosted by Authentic Parenting and Mudpiemama. This month’s topic is “Parenting Practices and Criticism”. Please scroll down to the end of this post to find a list of links to the entries of the other participants. Enjoy!

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Photo by Time Magazine

When faced with another’s parenting style, I’ve heard many individuals say the phrase “I could never…” “I could never homeschool.” “I could never nurse a preschooler.” “I could never stay at home.” “I could never work away from my kids.”

“I could never” doesn’t really mean “I could never.” It’s really a code phrase for “I would never want to…” It’s treated as a way to soften the lines between parents. Parenting differences are okay because one of the parents is capable of doing something and the other isn’t. In reality, it’s a passive aggressive way of sharing judgement or disbelief. It passes off the ownership of one’s actions and serves to further divide parents by comparing the two.

When we are secure in our own parenting, we have no need to compare ourselves with others. We recognize that the decisions and actions of others belong to them and not to us. By separating ourselves from others, we can give ourselves permission to parent the way we believe is right for our family. By being honest in our words, we give ourselves permission to be authentic. When we communicate with each other from a place of confidence  and ownership, we open ourselves to understanding and empathy.

It’s something to think about the next time we feel like saying “I could never.” Change those words to what you really mean. “I would never want to….., but I’m glad it is working for you.” or “I would never want to….., because I believe…..” Through open communication, we open ourselves to supporting alternative choices, to sharing information, and to owning our words, actions, and thoughts.

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Visit The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in the next Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Stepping out of the box and dealing with criticism   — Stoneageparent shares how she deals with criticism over her parenting choices 
  • BEWARE of Sanctimommy — Amanda at Blinded by the Light talks about how recognizing your own inner-sanctimommy and how it will facilitate ways to deal with other criticism in your life.
  • We’re on the same team — Brittany from The Pistachio Project shares about how we should support and respect each other because we already get enough criticism from the outside world.
  • 30 Responses To Parenting Criticisms — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares 30 ways in which you can respond to parenting criticisms. 
  • A Case for the Dramatic — A smart-alec response to a stranger’s view by Jennifer from True Confessions of a Real Mommy.
  • I Could Never… — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how the phrase “I could never” really means “I would never want to” and how owning our words and actions can lead to understanding and empathy.
  • Admiration For A Parent’s Strength— Jennifer at Our Muddy Boots shares her admiration for parents who continue  to make parenting choices in the best interest of their child even when those closest to them disagree.
  • Assumption Free Zone — Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries challenges us to cultivate kindness for everyone; even if you disagree with them.
  • Perfection, Criticism, Parenting and The Sock Police — Ariadne @ The Positive Parenting Connection is sharing how parenting has been an excercise in overcoming perfectionism and handling criticism.
  • Silencing the Voices In My Head — At Authentic Parenting, Laura writes about fighting her inner critic. 
  • Tackled from the Sidelines — Marisa from Deliberate Parenting reveals what parenting choices she makes that are most often questioned and how she is coming peacefully to the defense of her decisions.
  • Different Strokes — Justine from The Lone Home Ranger shares the method she uses to explain her family’s “crunchy” differences to her preschooler.

6 thoughts on “I Could Never…

  1. Plus I find when you say “I would never” sometimes you eat your words later. I said a LOT of “I would nevers” before I had twins. I would NEVER use disposable diapers – oops laundry for 3 while working full time? I would NEVER use a hands-free feeding system – um, they should be handed out at the ultrasound when you find out you have twins! When Alicia Silverstone fed her baby bird-style I didn’t say I would never. I said “I don’t know why I would need to but good for her!” because you never really know.

  2. Pingback: Tackled from the Sidelines | Deliberate Parenting dot Net

  3. Nice reminder to not compare ourselves to others.

    I’ve uttered, ‘I could never…’ from lack of experience or education. At the time, I really thought I never would, yet as circumstances change and my proverbial horizons broaden, my decisions change. These days, I find myself replacing ‘I could never,’ with ‘Hmmm, something to think about.’ Always a journey!

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  5. Pingback: Assumption Free Zone | Baby Dust Diaries