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Old 10-14-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
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Unhappy Unsupportive Extended Family

Just wondering...

It seems like more often than not, when I potty my 14-week-old son when a family member is at my house or an extended family member hears through the grape vine that I'm doing infant-potty-training or EC, I get looks and comments indicating that they think I'm abusing my child. Does anyone ever ASK what it's all about and how or why I'm doing it? Of course not.

It's frustrating. I don't need their permission or a pat on my back, but PLEASE, if the worst thing that I'm doing is giving my kid the option of eliminating in a place where he won't have to SIT in it afterward, I think I must be doing pretty good. Why must I endure uneducated and downright mean comments without even a discussion or explanation?

Does anyone else get this reaction before you even open your mouth? How do you try to communicate to family members about what you're exactly doing when, before you even say anything, you're told "DON'T talk to me about that. I COMPLETELY disagree with what you're doing and think it's very wrong. I don't want to hear anything about it. You shouldn't be doing it anyway."

Do you just hide it? Not that you can really hide EC if you want to really do it...but what DO you do about this?

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Old 10-14-2010, 11:31 PM   #2
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

I don't EC but was talking to some coworkers about cloth diapering and they brought up "those crazy people" who don't use diapers.

I battled them with logic. "You know why babies cry when they have wet/dirty diapers? Because they don't like being that way - if given the option and with help from Mom and Dad they would rather stay dry/clean. Most people spend years DIAPER training their kids just to un-diaper train them after that. Why do the diaper step unless you absolutely have to?"

When battling people who won't listen to you (written) words are your best weapon. Find some info about the benefits - the obvious naturalness of what you're doing.

It's like the hundreds of other things that we "train" our kids to do and then try to untrain them later.

First print - then learn cursive
First eat pureed goo - then learn to love the texture of real food
First go in this diaper - now go in the potty

If you skip the first one the second comes much easier
If they won't listen to sound logic and reason they won't listen to anything.

And if you have to hide it (and I hope that you don't) know that you're doing what's best.
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Last edited by cacasey1981; 10-14-2010 at 11:31 PM. Reason: fixed a couple typos
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:44 PM   #3
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

SS mama I'm a horrible arguer so I typically try to avoid these situations. I'd do something passive Like say "oh Ayla, looks like you need to poop! Let's get to the potty so you don't have to sit in nasty poop!". To me I think maybe it'll get the point across that I'm doing it so my baby doesn't sit in her own feces.

Personally I speak very openly about ec. I think it's awesome and if more people knew about it (and understood it) more people would do it. My main point is the one previously mentioned and that usually gets the point across. I also mention that it's the only thing guaranteed to keep Ayla rash free and she is very prone.
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:48 AM   #4
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

Wow. I'm always reluctant to bring it up because I'm afraid people will think that way, either that or will feel jealous or something because my son is out of diapers and their much older child is still in diapers... but I end up bringing it anyway because I think it is great and it is impossible to hide and thankfully have never yet had that kind of reaction... the worst I've had is people saying they think it's weird and once my dad said he thought it was too young (before I explained) and often people are really curious about it. If they've thought anything worse they have kept to themselves. I'm so sorry your family is acting that way! I would definitely challenge someone who acted like that though - if someone tells me it's weird, I'll say explain how it works, and often it does end up making sense to them.

cacasey, I don't get the thing about learning print, then cursive? (I do get the BLW and EC stuff though )

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Old 10-15-2010, 11:00 AM   #5
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel j View Post
cacasey, I don't get the thing about learning print, then cursive? (I do get the BLW and EC stuff though )
In Montessori type schools rather than teach kids to print stand alone letters they teach them cursive first.

http://www.montessori.org.au/questions/cursive.htm

It's a really cool concept that I wish public schools would adopt.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:36 AM   #6
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

it really sucks when family feels the need to criticize your parenting decisions. my son is older, and we only just decided to start ec'ing/pt'ing with him, so i haven't shared that fact with my extended family yet. and frankly, i probably won't until he's totally pt'ed and i can amaze them with his awesome skills otherwise, every "miss" would be emphasized as a failure by them and used to further their opinion that it's useless (they would never "get" the communication part of it).

so, while i haven't been there with the ec, i have been there with just about everything else. i've been criticized for cloth diapers, bf'ing as long as i did (i only recently quit due to medical issues) and not "just giving him a bottle already", down to what i started feeding him when he first started solids. i guess i'm pretty "crunchy" and my family is fairly conventional, especially my mom, and anything i did that deviated from what she did, she took as a personal insult and she "had" to try and convince me that i was being stupid for wanting to do it different. i love my mom, and surprisingly we are actually very close, so her criticism really hurts, but parenting can be an emotional/personal thing. and i never meant to imply that what she did with us was wrong, because we obviously turned out ok, but it was wrong for me and my baby. i was much more comfortable doing things "my way" and always felt miserable when i 2nd guessed myself and tried to do things her way. oh, and any reference to "research" i'd done that proved i was doing a good thing to my baby, got met with the response of "so you think cause you google something that it makes you an expert?" so that never worked. they weren't interested in hearing the research or my reasoning.

i finally just had to make it to a place where i was confident in my own parenting choices and i didn't let it bother me. i also have stopped sharing all the little details of how i care for my little guy, and just share the cute stuff he does. this makes me sad, because like i said, i'm really close with my mom, and all of my family, but it just makes our relationship better. there's no point debating parenting decisions with them, because there is no one right answer, and what works for me may not work for them, but it is my decision. they've sort of started respecting that as time has gone on and i'm not such a "new" mom anymore, but i still get a lot of eye rolls. and it took a long time for me to get to the point where i didn't constantly obsess about what they thought. anyways, i hths. i'm sorry i don't have any specific info on how to educate people on ec, just my experience that educating on anything rarely works in my family, and i just need to find a way to gain confidence in my decisions and ignore their rudeness.
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

thanks ladies! It sounds like a lot of us are in the same boat. It warmed my heart to hear what you've said!
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

I'm right there with you! We are choosing to not talk about EC until we have some consistent success with a few certain people, just like we didn't share that our baby was born at home until after the fact.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

Thanks so much for posting and sharing. I just joined this community and it's great to find all this support and knowledge about EC. It makes me feel much less alone!

My husband is pretty dubious about the whole EC thing. He lets me EC our 11-month old DS when I'm taking care of him and I think he's seeing some progress, but he is very embarrassed when I tell others this is what we're doing and he loudly expresses his skepticism. It's annoying, but I know EC works. I've lived in China and saw it in action all the time. (In fact, most non-Western countries practice EC. Diapers are a product of Western consumer convenience!)
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:36 AM   #10
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Re: Unsupportive Extended Family

Our son is 2 months old and we've been part-time ecing for several weeks. I've told some family and friends & usually start by saying "Do you want to hear something crazy?! RJ peed in the bathroom today!!!" They,surprised, ask how & I quickly explain that it's not at all potty training, but we know when he's going to go, so we bring him to the bathroom so that he doesn't soil himself. And I really make sure to stress that it's not potty training... it's just responding to what he is telling us.

As for hiding, there are certain family members who we've decided are better off not knowing right now. Maybe when everything is more regular with the ecing, we'll tell them.
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