I have some friends who I adore as a couple, but cannot stand as parents. I still see both of them around town at adult functions, but family hangouts almost never happen even though they live nearby and all our kids are the same age. My friends are much more controlling with their kids than I am with mine, and it makes me anxious and exhausted. Sometimes they’ll even try to keep MY kids from doing things I’m fine with, because it makes them nervous. (We’re talking about things like climbing on a log at the park.)
My mother suggested I talk to my friends about it, and my response was “Absolutely not.” I’d hate it if someone told me that I was too anxious about my kid. While I don’t worry about my kids falling off logs, I DO worry about them eating too much junk food, and I’d hate it if someone told me I needed to “just chill out” about it. I just don’t think it’s my place to force my parenting style on my friends.
I can’t be the only person to deal with this issue. How do you bridge the gap with your parent-friends who have different parenting styles/philosophies than you? Do you tell people when you think they’re doing something “wrong”? Do you just limit your relationship to non-kid-time only? — Julie B.
Editor’s note: Hey all! Plenty of people have weighed in with great advice, so we’ve closed comments on this one. Thanks!