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A Generation of Changes in Raising Children

My mom raised four kids so she has a helpful hint for most things that have to do with bringing up children. She keeps some to herself and weaves others subtly and not so subtly into conversation. Whether she's nudging me to ask my pediatrition about supplementing my daughter's diet with vitamins or handing me a bag of children's socks (she can't stand that my kids prefer slipping their bare feet into most shoes), I know she is well intentioned.

But, times have changed since my siblings and I grew up. Lots of things are different — from carseat laws becoming more stringent to more women maintaining careers during motherhood — a generation of changes have taken place and it's hard for our mothers to help themselves from thinking that their way is and was the best way.

So I had to laugh when I read Mary Ladd's Granny Manual on The Poop which explores this issue giving examples of how her mom laid her grandson face down in the bassinet, sweetened his food and insists that he is gassy.

Is there any dated advice that your mother dishes?

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macgirl macgirl 9 years
I'm actually a little surprised that my MIL wasn't more pushing of the solids. My husband was adopted and she recently gave me some baby pictures from his first day with them at 3 weeks of age. They were feeding him rice cereal on a spoon!
abqmama abqmama 9 years
Oh, and she insists that my husband was fully potty trained at 18 months. I just smile and nod and agree that my husband was a gifted little baby.
abqmama abqmama 9 years
My mom is actually really good about not giving unwanted advice. She usually asks me what the right thing is to do with my kids and always listens to what I tell her. My MIL on the other hand always has something to say, although she does say it in a really nice way. And I agree, mostly it is about starting solids. She was always telling me to put rice cereal in my sons bottle. We didn't start solids with our two youngest until 6 months and she thought that was the strangest thing ever.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
The grandparents are all about the starting solids early. AAP currently recommends no solids until 6 months--a recent change from their former rec of solids at 4-6 months. It's good to have that in your back pocket.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
I think that when I have kids that my mother and MIL will not push stuff on me. My MIL will be so happy about grandkids that she probably won't even think about telling me how to raise them. Besides she's way too nice to try to try to do that. When I was a child we slept on our stomachs so I think that is one of the major differences between guidelines now and guidelines my mom would have had. I mentioned something one time about that and she said 'You were all raised that way and nothing happened to you' and then went about her business... it wasn't a big deal to her that it changed. My mom is pretty open to change etc so I don't think that will even be any issue. My grandmother however will be the one who pushes things probably. My cousin just recently had a baby and she was talking about how he needed to start solids soon and he was only like 6 weeks!!
anniekim anniekim 9 years
Just to add a word on the playdate situation. I thnk they are a product of busy schedules and distance. There is only one child that we know that lives in easy walking distance of our house (and none on our street). So we set up play dates with kids from school or classes or with mom friends. This involves driving and budgeting out a block of time. I would not send my child down a few blocks on the off chance that her friend and the friend's parents had nothing better to do--if they are even home. Working parents and childrens' activities don;t really lend themselves to spontaneous visits very well. And kids get very sad and disappointed if things don't work out. Greggie--man, some people are too morbid.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
the starting solids early was even in effect when I had my kids 19 and 17 yrs ago. When mine were about 2 or 3 is when they changed the guidelines. So we did start soupy rice cereal when my daughter was 6 weeks and my son was about 5 weeks. Honestly, it didn't do any damage, they slept better and have ZERO food allergies. But I guess maybe I am lucky? I don't know. I was started on solids at a month and I have no food allergies and never have had any digestive problems. I honestly think it depends on the kid, the parent, the living situation, and the types of foods we are talking about. And I think most food allergies come from introducing too many foods at too fast of a pace. And some are inherited so no matter what you do the child will be sensitive or allergic anyway.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I have people my own age with kids the same ages as mine still insisting I need to start solids long before I do. I'm also always told they need to have formula "just in case" something happens to me.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
Quite honestly, lickety, I'm not sure I totally understand the structured playdate thing yet either. My son is young, but already I've joined a group where playdates are scheduled (we haven't been yet to one because what is a 4-month old going to do?). It's so different from when I was young and I still don't fully understand why a kid can't ring Susie's doorbell and ask if she can come out to play like we did. It seems a shame.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
well my mother died last fall, but she had lots to say while she was here. she didn't like that children were given a diagnosis for things like adhd, autism, anything really, "things were better before everyone had a label". and thought it was better when kids just rode their bikes to the park and each others houses rather having "playdates" set up for them. she saw nothing wrong with kids watching tv ALL the time and thought any structured after school activities were a waste of money and time (piano, swimming, etc). she always worked full time, but never thought i should "why have children to put them in day care". and thought my husband should be at every activity, read bed time stories, help with breakfast, etc. i tried explaining that since i was home fulltime someone had to earn an income. didn't matter, she thought it was still possible to have one stay at home parent and the other work 9:00 to 5:00.
luckyme luckyme 9 years
I was trying to come up with something, but I really don't have any examples. Both my mom and my MIL are supportive, but not pushy. If I have a question, they don't hesitate to answer or give their opinion, but it's really only if I ask. And they are both interested in the way things have changed. They ask mom for example, is very curious about the car seat changes (i.e. rear facing for a year). Anyway, I think I'm very fortunate.
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
Faery, my mom was also freaked out when I left the house with baby in January about a week after the birth. She apparently didn't leave with me for about 3 months or something. And she keeps reminding me that she fed me cereal at 6 weeks, per the pediatrician. But really, I think she understands that recommendations have changed--she just keeps telling me like she is still trying to convince herself. macgirl, my mom is also a gassy freak. Granted he was a bit gassy, but she felt the need to remind me over and over and over.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
My MIL kept trying to shove Mylcon down my newborn's throat telling me how gassy he was all the time. It would drive me nuts. Then he ended up being gassy and I wondered if I somehow missed something. I don't think I did.
anniekim anniekim 9 years
My mother-in-law tries not to push her agenda too much, but she always thinks I should introduce solid foods at a month or so. She has even pulled out my husband's (and his siblings') infant doctor's records to see that they recommended solids early back them. Pretty funny actually. They were all given a first food called "canabanana". Some sort of rice and banana baby cereal. She also just can't help but put a blanket on a sleeping baby. My mother is no longer alive, but I feel that she would be more modern/up to date in her approach.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 9 years
the putting baby to sleep on the tummy thing is probably the most common thing my mom and grandma say. I have tried to explain it to them. It doesn't sink in. And, my grandma thinks adding a small bit of baby apples to baby rice cereal for "taste" is a must as well as adding a tiny dab of butter to baby food veggies and a pinch of salt! My mother recently was surprised I intend to actually leave my house within 2 weeks of giving birth (if our IVF works). I guess she expected me to stay home for a month!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
Not really. Or if she does, she's really open to hearing the new info on it. Like when she said something out babies on their tummy, which was recommended when she had us, she wasn't offended at all when my sister and I said they recommend the back now. She thinks it's as funny as I do when people stop me at the park for having the baby out on a windy day and making her gassy, or things like that.
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