Just say No?



In a recent parent-teacher meeting at my girls’ school, the teachers brought up some interesting points. They were not worried about the lack of support coming from parents, but interestingly were more concerned that, in the last few years, it appears parents want to be friends with their children rather than an authority figure. In short: parents just want to be liked by their children! While it makes sense to want your child to like you, the teachers were noticing that discipline was becoming less important to parents than being the child’s buddy. One example they gave was a parent dropping her child off inappropriately dressed for the weather. When the teacher mentioned this to the parent, the answer was: “But she really didn’t want to wear a coat, so….”. Another example was a kid throwing sand into another kid’s face. When the teacher mentioned this to the parent, the comment was: “But he really likes to throw sand”.

Courtney and I were talking about this a few days ago and we starting wondering: are parents of our generation getting a bit too soft on our children and is it getting harder and harder for us to use the dreaded word “no”? If so, what is the affect this is having on our children and the way they interact with others and respond to their teachers?

This is just a personal observation, but I am interested to hear if you have experienced this too, especially in other countries? I am not feeling in any way nostalgic towards the good old days when discipline was enforced with a ruler and a dunce cap, but I do believe there is a happy medium, where children don’t consider parents their equal but know which line not to cross.

- Emilie
PS Above are a couple of very old photos of Violette’s reaction when I once told her “No”. She did not take it too well!

54 COMMENTS - Add your own

1. asiabound | April 23, 2014 | Reply

Yes, we need to remember it’s not our job to be friends with our child. The child doesn’t have to like us.

2. Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper | April 23, 2014 | Reply

What I great post, I totally agree with this. I see so many people on my FB feed stating that they are ‘best friends’ with their 2 year old, and i’m sorry, but I think to be a good parent, you can’t be ‘friends’ with them whilst they are little. My kids are only 3 years and 23 months, and we have a ton of fun, but I am their Mum first and foremost, and the setter of boundaries, bedtimes and ice cream limitation. If they reach 18 without hating me, are on the way to following their dreams, are kind and polite people, and i’m not mainlining gin, then it will be a job well done! I will consider it a privilege to become their friend then if we get this far and not before.

3. Esther in Amsterdam | April 23, 2014 | Reply

Such an interesting question!
I think here in the Netherlands, in general people are not too strict with their children. Which does make certain parts of parenthood difficult — for instance, it is not easy to bring children to a restaurant when they have never learned to stay at the table during dinner. (I know the French make a big point of this and French children display perfect behaviour in restaurants!) Actually, I thought the French were quite strict with their kids, so it surprises me to hear to contrary!
Personally, I’m an advocate of the more old-fashioned approach, like you mention at the end of your post. xxx

4. Lou | April 23, 2014

This is a great relief to hear from a Dutch. I am a foreigner living in Rotterdam. Its been 6 years since we lived here and I am completely shocked by how ‘easy going’ some Dutch parents. My best Dutch friend feeds his 4 year old son with youtube videos (in front of his face) on an iPad over dinner. The reason being otherwise his son would not eat his dinner. So its better off this way. I love my friend who is well educated and with a good job but I still cannot believe this is acceptable in his mind!

5. Becky Brown | April 23, 2014 | Reply

I think it’s so important that kids hear the word no and it’s something that I’m guilty of not saying enough. I remember when my 4 year old was little and instead of insisting that he sit in the pram (when he clearly didn’t want to) I would bribe him with something to get him in. If I didn’t I would end up leaving the house with a screaming child. I think too many parents Iincluding myself) are scared of kids having public tantrums because they feel that they would be judged by other people. But as a parent who knows how hard it can be I personally would never think anyone was a bad parent for simply saying no to a child.

6. Noetje | April 23, 2014 | Reply

Yes yes.. absolutely. I unfortunately don’t have any children myself (and some people seem to feel I need to keep my mouth shut because of it) but that doesn’t mean I don’t see what goes on around me. I think it’s in part because both parents often work and don’t want to face a battle at home. They want to spend the time with their children having fun. My niece (who is nearly 10) doesn’t know how to properly use a knife and fork and when you criticize her for it she says she’s not having dinner with the queen. I hate it when I see children running around shops like it’s a playground. Children who are not polite and have no respect for people. Children who’s toy collections look like a toyshop. Maybe I’m being too nitpicky.. I don’t know. I just feel that sometimes parents take the easy way out.

7. Lou | April 23, 2014 | Reply

I am a very strict parent who strongly believes until our children realises one day (probably at their teens years) they actually have the choice not to listen to their parents, we have to keep rules and lead them the correct manner of how to behave. I do get very frustrated when other children get away with bad behaviour. I feel that parents often are just too lazy to react hence they simply give in thinking that nothing a child do (wrong) can be harmful to anyone.

8. Hanna (mapart.me) | April 23, 2014 | Reply

That’s very interesting topic! Let me ask one question – if you would like to make a friendship with an adult person do you think throwing sand together in someone else’s face is a good foundation for this friendship? I think every adult person would look for more human way of making friendship, basing on her values and what’s important for her. With our children we should also look for better foundations of our friendship.
By the way – I love that you did a photo of your daugther during tantrum – many parents wouldn’t have enough distance to do it ;)

9. Emilie | April 23, 2014

Ha! I could not resist, she was too funny!

10. Eolia Disler | April 23, 2014 | Reply

I’m french, living in Germany for 7 months now. I have two children (son: 5, and daughter: 2) who are very actives. It’s hard for them to learn the rules and aplly them. BUT they are learning. Some people say that I’m too soft with my kids, that I’m not strict enough. And others look at me like I’m a bad mom because I said (well, perhaps shouted) NO to my son in public. I gave him an explanation in the middle of a street, while holding him in my arms and trying to calm his tantrum. But not in the “oh poor dear, cry on my shoulder way”. More like a “I told you not to do so, now stop crying because you made a mistake and got hurt in the process. It’s painful, but it will pass and disobeying me won’t do you good in the long run… Mom’s here. I’m not going away without you, even if I have to drag you home”.
Here in Germany, I have witnessed children being quite cheeky (and some insolent) with their parents five meters away… and the parents didn’t say a thing. Many kids in the kindergarten does not look at adults with “respect” and don’t care if we say stop doing this or that – like annoying my daughter for example – (I don’t want for children to be as obedient as an informatic programm, but a bit of obedience would be nice).
Finding a balance between Love/Fun and Rules/Authority is hard. If you have a child as wild as mine, it’s very hard. But as parents, we can’t just leave it be and drop our parenthood responsabilities. They are the adults of tomorrow, and do we really want to have the world full of egocentric and unrespectful people? Well, not me.

11. Estelle | April 23, 2014 | Reply

I’m in Scotland and I’ve certainly noticed a decline in the general behaviour of children. We are just custodians of our children and it’s our duty to provide them with the boundaries within which they can live good lives. Giving in all the time doesn’t help them in any way. That said, I believe you have to pick your battles and the example of the coat is very different from the the sand throwing incident. Allowing a child not to wear their coat and therefore experiencing the consequence (getting cold) has no impact on another child. Throwing sand in someone’s face should of course be stopped and in my opinion punishable by removal from the play area. I would be extremely angry if another child deliberately threw sand in my child’s face and their parent’s attitude was that it was ok because they enjoyed it!

12. Leticia | April 24, 2014

Totally agree with you! Picking your battles is important. I’m a Brazilian expat living in Italy. My 5-year-old was born here but we spend at least two months in Brazil every year. I REALLY dislike the way they raise kids here in the Italian countryside: they’re not allowed to be kids, they can’t get dirty, they can’t run, they can’t sweat, they’re sent to the playground in APPALLING Sunday best clothes that of course they’re not allowed to ruin and so can’t play properly, it’s amazing how kids can’t do anything by themselves because Italian parents are so scared of everything. A lot of sexism, too: boys aren’t allowed to play with “girl” things and vice versa, and are made fun of if it happens. The result is a country in which most men couldn’t run a household to save their lives and women work like crazy outside the home and in the home, are exhausted, bad-tempered and intollerant with their kids. Italian kids are SO DAMN LOUD because their parents will barely look at them, so they have to yell in order to be heard (after which they are, of course, told off very harshly, usually in public). That said, although Brazilians are waaaay more laidback and kids are most definitely allowed to get dirty when playing, we have possibly the worst middle-class in the world: snub people who spoil their kids with toys and expensive clothes and trips to Disneyworld while they’re still newborns, all the while leaving them with babysitters most of the time. You don’t see moms watching their kids at playgrounds in Rio; all you see is an army of white-clad babysitters taking care of the kids and pushing strollers while the moms sit and chat. Parents take babysitters to parties and the movies and trips with them because they’re not willing to take care of their own kids. It’s very sad. I myself try to set boundaries when it’s necessary, but I do pick my battles. If she wants to go out dressed in eight different colours, or without a coat, or something like that, who cares? I’m NOT going to make a fuss about that. It’s her problem, and hopefully she’ll learn from the consequences. She’s NEVER thrown tantrums, never stomped her feet, her only meltdowns are when she’s tired (and even then she just starts crying for crazy things, such as “my friend Anna doesn’t speak Portuguese and that makes me saaaaaad!”), she’s a very gentle kid who sings and dances all day long and wherever she is (unlike Italian kids, who are always being told to “behave”, whatever that is), has an awesome sense of humor and generally listens to her parents. When she doesn’t, and something goes wrong as a consequence, we talk about it and it usually doesn’t happen again. I think we complicate things too much, really. Say no when you really have to, let kids be kids and have fun, and it’ll never cross their minds to throw sand at anyone’s face.

13. Carrie | April 29, 2014

Leticia, as another expat mother in Italy, your response made me want to stand up and scream, “yes, she gets it!”. Add to that the nonni often doing a majority of the child raising, and you have a generation of parents who frequently have no idea how to take care of their own children and go into parenthood never having been around a baby/child for any amount of time, resulting in rampant “cluelessness” (of course there are many exceptions, but these situations stand out from the parents who “have it together”) about most aspect of parenting/kids including discipline. Che palle!

14. Katrina | April 23, 2014 | Reply

I don’t have kids yet but two of my closest cousins do. One will not say ‘no’ to her daughter; the other enforces discipline consistently (but not harshly(. Guess which one has the spoiled brat kid and which one has an obedient joy to be around? Discipline doesn’t have to be corporal, but it does have to be consistently enforced. I think parents are doing their children a huge disservice by not saying ‘no’ to their children. The real world doesn’t say ‘yes’ to everything!

15. Courtney | April 23, 2014 | Reply

YES! I tell people this all the time. Parents are getting too soft on their children disciplinary wise and children are becoming bossier, whinier and downright minipulative because of it.
1. One time a 3 year old, very smart little boy that I nannied for was playing outside in the sprinklers with me and soon we were being eaten by Mosquitos so I told him it was time to go in. He literally instantly threw himself onto the ground SCREAMING. So I picked him up and carried him inside. The whole while he was violently kicking me. His mom had just walked in the front door as we came in the back door and instead of looking at his behavior and putting an end to it, she shook her head a little and said in a sympathetic baby voice “are you being cranky?” It was all I could do not to scold HER for letting her child kick and scream.

2. My aunt has a 6 year old and they don’t scold him. They EXPLAIN to him. Every time they should just tell him “no. Because I said so.”, they give him a two minute explanation of why he can’t do whatever it is. As soon as she starts these explanations he just tunes her out. This is the same kid that lies to his parents on a regular basis at the age of 6.

No I’m not a parent. But I’m a nanny. And the difference between children that are disciplined well and the ones that are not is HUGE.

16. Emilie | April 23, 2014

Super interesting to get the nanny perspective! xx

17. Leticia | April 24, 2014

I disagree with the “No because I said so” part. “Because I said so” is a no-answer. There always has to be an explanation, but a brief one; kids have the attention span of fruit flies and wordiness is, like you said, understandably tuned off. No, you can’t stay outside because the mosquitoes are eating us alive. No, you can’t thrown sand at anyone’s eyes because it hurts and you wouldn’t like it if it happened to you. No, you can’t eat a pint of ice cream because it will make you sick. No, you can’t watch TV during dinner because you need to focus on your food. No, you can’t throw that because it hurts. Keep it simple, but ALWAYS give an explanation. “Because I said do” is a surefire way to be ignored forever. As an adult, I totally ignore anyone who answers anything with “Because I said so” or “Because that’s how it’s always been done”.

18. Carolina | April 23, 2014 | Reply

I see this with one of my friends, who is not strict when it comes to eating. Her son only eats couscous, melon, and chicken. We need to set boundaries, as our small kids cannot know what is best for them, in terms of clothing, eating, or behavior. Without boundaries you end up with spoiled children–this is not at all good!

Carolina

19. Leticia | April 24, 2014

What’s the problem with eating chicken, couscous and melon?

20. Gina | April 23, 2014 | Reply

Nowadays, the lack of discipline in Spain is huge amongst most of the kids…

21. Esther | April 23, 2014 | Reply

Ladies, I’m from Hungary, living in the states with my 5-year old twin boys. You know what gets me the most in the States? That little toddlers tell their parents what they will
And will not wear! Wow, I saw a mom the other day negotiating with her 20-months old daughter as to why she needed to wear a coat. 20 months old.

Or, my biggest pet-peeve, is when parents do not tell their children that they are wearing their shoes the wrong way (left shoe on right foot). I posted this pet-peeve on Facebook and everyone was like “oh, I don’t tell my kids to switch! I don’t want to hurt their feelings!”

I have to say that I see more American parents being too “friendly” and soft with their children than info in continental Europe. Can’t speak for all countries, of course, but in general.

22. Christy | April 23, 2014 | Reply

First, I love that you took photos of your daughter’s tantrum. Sometimes it can be difficult to not get caught up in their emotions and frustrations. But looking at scenes like the one you captured put a smile on my face (because we have all been there!) and helps remind me that i need to be the parent (ie: the sane one) in the situation.
I think children are constantly testing their limits to learn what they can and cannot do and I think we do them a disservice by making it confusing for them. I really do feel that simple, firm and consistent limits/expectations are reassuring to them (even if they aren’t listening or obeying at that particular moment). That said, we all pick our battles and I think it is important to allow for as much self expression as possible.
In the case of the coat, my message is: we are always prepared for the weather. You can choose whether or not to wear your coat/raincoat, etc and experience the consequences, but we always bring the things we might need. And then it is up to them to decide what to do.
I have a friend who is raising one child with her husband and they have decided that they will make family decisions and include their daughter’s opinion in everything. Her daughter is young now (under 2), so it will be interesting to watch this play out: right now, they never tell her ‘no’.

23. Kensley | April 23, 2014 | Reply

I’m from the States and this is going to sound odd, but I think it really started to trend about 10-15 years ago (at least in Texas) when the education system started catering more and more to the parents/students (i.e., “no child left behind”), and thus encouraging a sense of entitlement and lack of accountability.

I say this because my mother was a high school English teacher and the stories she would tell changed my entire future perspective on parenting. Her students’ parents would constantly win the argument that their child should not be penalized for turning in assignments late or that it wasn’t their child’s fault that they were disrespectful to a teacher, etc. No accountability whatsoever.

Now that I’m a parent to a 16-month old girl, I have noticed so many of my friends encouraging this same sense of entitlement in their kids (i.e., not disciplining when their child throws a tantrum or even running to the crib the second they hear a whimper), but it’s setting the child’s future up to be pretty miserable. The big bad world is gonna let you CRY IT OUT, honey, even if your mama didn’t!

Thank you for bringing this topic up! More parents need to hear that it’s okay to discipline your child, even if it’s uncomfortable. It’s okay to say no, even in public. No parent is perfect and you do the best you can, but overall kids thrive with structure, they excel with boundaries, and they’ll respect you more for it! Besides, you can be besties with them when they’re 25 and successful…

24. Emilie | April 24, 2014

Interesting to hear that the education system could have such an impact on the way parent bring up their kids. I think you are right, the education system represents the society (to a certain extent) so is logical that it can have this impact!

25. miriam | April 23, 2014 | Reply

Good point Emilie! What really strikes me is that most parents in my surrounding (Amsterdam) know that a child should not be brutal, that a child cannot hit somebody (or worse a parent) and that a child should listen. But for own children they are sometimes blind and condone them the situation. They can easily reprove other children, but with their own child, they do not. They can’t say NO to their own child.
However, I want my children to listen to me, do not be rude, sit at the table during the whole dinner and be kind to one another and others. One time my no is just no. Other times I explain why i say no. My children must give the good example in our house to their guests, otherwise they hear it from me (my children first and then – softer – to the guests).
Of course our borders blur sometimes, but then, as soon as we find out, we set the limits again…

26. Marieke | April 24, 2014 | Reply

Last week I walked my daughters classmates (30 x 7 years old) to church for an Easter meeting. A 15 minute walk . The children were supposed to walk in a row, two by two. But they just didn’t! They were all over the place and it was hard to see whether everyone was still with us (or left behind). The teacher stopped almost 20 times to tell them to stay in line, but they just didn’t listen! Afterwards I told the teacher I was shocked and she said she had to spend a lot of time (and energy) to get the children to sit and listen, also in class. I instantly decided to be more strict with my own daughter at home. I felt a bit ashamed…

27. melini GREECE | April 24, 2014 | Reply

Funny enough to read that you have the same problems in your countries :)

We do have same issues here in Greece. Parents (including myself) straggle a lot between the boundaries of being pleasant and a good educative parent.

Every summer we admire people from your countries that comes here for vacations. It seems to us that your children are well behaved, with rules that are capable of following quietly their parents in such a journey and being able to sit in a restaurant without making a mess. We always thought that this was a matter of discipline that we as a nation have the rumor of not having it. We always say when in the middle of a mess … did you ever see the french or dutch or german etc etc children behave like that ??? ”
So we all have same issues world-wide :)

I think the new parenting model that replaced the old one which obviously wasn’t effective (“discipline with the ruler”) is difficult to apply because it requires critical thinking. It is not a guide mentioning explicitly what you can or you can’t do. Its easier to place a boundary that never moves than to adjust a boundary according to the situation. e.g. Its easier to banish candies than to have them and learn the kid to manage the need for them when having at home. But when you do have the candies in your home its easier to loose the balance give more or ending up changing attitude.

I don’t think that parents want to be friends nowadays, this was the fashion 15 years ago. They want to be liked by their children but mostly they are confused by all those articles saying contradictory thinks. e.g. you should sleep with your child somebody elsewhere says you do not. Someone says you should care about how a child adjust to any situation this will make it more confident and another article says that this will make the child soft and many other examples that you all have crossed.

Another issue is that we always notice more the pitfalls and the softness that the other parents show for their children and we turn the blind eye to ours. Recently a co-worker of mine complaint about my homemade lollipops which had a bit of artificial color, you can see it here http://www.myfavourites.gr/index.php/news/view/46 .
He is a man that gives all the time junk food to his kid and smokes beside him as well.

Finally there are many parents expect school to learn the basic good behavior staff to their children . On the other hand the school sometimes can’t place discipline because the parents complaint.

So parents of the world we do have more or less same issues and concerns :) I hope we find the right balance and raise children with strong wings and deep roots.

28. Lucie Chipounette | April 24, 2014 | Reply

Selon moi : L’enfant a besoin de limites et doit savoir gérer la frustration. Ce n’est pas à l’enfant de décider s’il doit mettre un manteau ou pas. Apprendre à gérer ses émotions fait partie de son développement et c’est à nous parents de lui apprendre et de lui expliquer les émotions. Un livre en français explique très bien les émotions de l’enfant: Isabelle Filliozat “Au coeur des émotions de l’enfant”. Le retour à l’éducation dure et autoritaire n’est pas non plus la solution. C’est une question très intéressante en tous cas …

29. Emilie | April 24, 2014

Ha, je pense que la phrase:”c’est pas toi qui décide” n’existe que en France! Ca ne se traduit pas en anglais!

30. Harriet | April 24, 2014 | Reply

Emilie I love this post!

It is, and has always been, my opinion that parents are not their child’s friend, but in fact a parent. I have always cringed when people have said, ‘My son/daughter is my best friend’ or vice versa. In some circumstances that is a phrase used to describe a close relationship, but in others it is genuinely how the relationship is seen. Children do not need friends, they need parents – authority figures would give them deep seated roots that will help them develop into adulthood. Whether you are a ‘soft’ parent, or ‘strict’ you are still helping to mould a young mind and they don’t need you to be best bud who will never say no or encourage your bad behaviour under the branch of ‘self expression’. My husband is super ‘soft’ with our sons, but every so often he will step back and say no, and they understand he means it. I think it is vital that we help our children and give them ‘friend-like’ qualities such as support, love, caring, playtime, but that they understand that these are also ‘parent-like’ qualities. If that makes sense!

Thank you for a great post, and for sharing your daughters meltdown pictures – it’s great to know that other kids are testing the boundaries too, and that other Mamas enforce them!

Harriet x

31. Emilie | April 24, 2014

My father is exactly like this, very easy going, but when he says no, everyone knows he means it!

32. Nina | April 24, 2014 | Reply

I LOVE the photos. It is hard to say no, but I think it gets easier the more you do it. – Sorry, does that sound mean?

I remember reading an article before I had my oldest child (now 8) that said you should not say no to your child, but should find other ways to refuse them, reprimand or warn them of danger. As I was not yet a parent it seemed to make a lot of sense. However, I quickly learned that this just didn’t seem feasible. I’d spend ages trying to reason with my daughter, whilst juggling 3 other jobs that needed my immediate attention, and once I had my second child, well…

I do explain when I tell my children something they don’t want to hear, but, I’ve also been known to say; “because I said so”. I really don’t think this is doing them any harm.

We laugh that mummy has the “voice”, not a shout but I do admit I sound a little mean, and once I say “no” in that voice “no is no”.

My children are by no means perfect, but they have good manners and they know their boundaries. Those boundaries will change as they get older and “the no voice” I’m sure will not work on them once they are teenagers. But isn’t that part of the joy of being a parent? Why would you want to be your child’s friend, when being a parent is this amazing unique ever changing relationship that you’ll never experience with anyone else.

33. Neus Wikimums (Spain) | April 24, 2014 | Reply

Really nice photos :))

I thought this was a problem only in Spain, but I see is quite worldwide…

I think it is necessary to fix limits: children need to know what it is right and what’s wrong. What they can or can’t do. It gives them security. And it shows them that you care.

And once the rules are explained, it is important to make them accomplish. No need to shout, no need to be rude. Just saying no, remembering the rule, and acting accordingly (no night tale, no pizza on Friday, no playing at their favorite game…. depending on what they’ve done wrong. But always something you can carry out).

I do it that way and it works fine with my two boys, aged 3 and 6. I spend a lot of time playing with them and I know they adore being with me. And the truth is I don’t thing that kids with no limits are happier than mine. In fact, I think is the other way round.

34. Emilie | April 24, 2014

Ha, yes funny photos. It is really interesting to read peoples comments as, yes, it does seems to be a worldwide phenomenon!

35. Maria | April 24, 2014 | Reply

I’ve only read a few of the comments and am already depressed. It looks like I’m in a minority about not enjoying this post – and no, it’s not that I don’t say no to my children. My dismay rather is seeing this blog becoming yet another arena for judgement of other people’s parenting (I felt that way about the recent technology post, but not nearly enough to complain). There are enough of those sorts of blogs/sites around, and I avoid them as much as possible. I’ve been reading babyccino for years for shared interests in pretty things and lovely photos… I really hope it returns to that.

36. Christy | April 24, 2014

Maria, I am also a long time reader and feel compelled to respond. One of the things that I truly love about this blog versus others is that it doesn’t limit focus only to “pretty things” and “lovely photos”. I don’t think life is always full of pretty things and lovely photos and I think it can be harmful to perpetuate the notion that it is.
I don’t think Emilie was attempting to pass judgement, but rather pose questions because she was genuinely interested in other’s opinions. And again, one of the things I enjoy about babyccino is that I get to read about everyone’s opinions whether they differ from mine or not.

37. Melody | April 24, 2014

It’s true that these are important topics, but there is a less petty way to talk about them. I don’t claim to know what the real intentions of the authors are, but this post and Courtney’s recent technology post do seem out of place here. This kind of stuff has been the fodder for parents since I was a kid and I suspect long before that. It’s easy to raise questions about where other people’s poor parenting choices could lead the world and a lot harder to submit your own parenting to the same degree of scrutiny… Maybe the next post can discuss such glaring inconsistencies as Courtney declaring the sky is falling when kids use iPhones on field trips, without questioning the potential dangers of sharing intimate details of her children’s daily lives on a public Instagram account for the world to see.
My advice is stick to what you know (baby clothes and products) and leave this for your personal conversations.

38. Emilie | April 24, 2014

Hi Maria, it is good to have your feedback. I think the thing about the Babyccino blog that Courtney, Esther and I have always tried to do is talk about all the things we love, be it pretty things (we do love those), crafts, recipes or thoughts that we want to share with you guys. I really don’t want to pass judgement on people (who am I to do this?); it is really just a personal observation. I do hope you continue reading Babyccino and enjoying our posts!

39. miriam | April 24, 2014

I totally agree with you Christy. I love this kind of posts! It makes me think about my and other opinions.

40. Jean | April 25, 2014

I too agree with Miriam and Christy. While I enjoy all the lovely material things babyccino posts about, these few and far between posts add substance. I hope you do continue to post about your thoughts and experiences.

41. Emilie in Paris | April 25, 2014

Hi Melody, thanks for your feedback and it is great to hear what you think. I do think baby clothes and products are not the only thing we know about. Babyccino Kids has always been more than just a review site and we really like that about it. I think the comparison between Courtney’s Instagram and her technology post does not hold up. Courtney’s documentation of her family life via Instagram has very little impact on her kids. A bunch of children missing out on a exhibition because they are distracted by gadgets is quite another mater(I am of course vastly paraphrasing Courtney’s post). Finally there is something I do want to stress: in no way do we believe we are expects. It is just interesting to hear what other people think, especially as we are so lucky to have readers from all around the world.

42. Courtney in London | April 30, 2014

Maria,
I’m sorry you’re disappointed in seeing this type of post up on our blog, and I’m sorry you think we’re being judgemental. That has never been our intention at all. We are not trying to be judgemental or to tell other parents how best to parent their children, it was simply a topic we thought we could raise to encourage a healthy discussion. None of us are experts, so we are always learning and trying to be the best parents we can be. I think it’s good to discuss parenting topics like this because it can open our eyes to other ways of parenting, and it’s always interesting to hear from parents from all over the world to see how they do it differently.
I hope you do continue to read our blog, despite the occasional post like this. xx Courtney

43. Courtney in London | April 30, 2014

Melody,
Thanks for your comment.
My choice to share photos on Instagram has nothing to do with my parenting, and certainly doesn’t show any inconsistencies in my views. I never said anything about what parents should or should not do with regards to their own electronics.
I do think, however, that it’s an interesting topic and something I am becoming increasingly aware of. I try not to use my phone in front of my children, apart from the occasional iPhone photo, and even that I am trying to do less of, in the hopes of trying to enjoy the moment rather than stop the natural pace to take a photo.
These sorts of topics are good for us to consider and debate, and I think it encourages us to be more open minded versus the alternative.

44. Lolob | April 24, 2014 | Reply

This is a very interesting issue. I am French and raising my kids in the UK. To be fair I feel neither French or British as I have now lost a sense of nationality identity! I have brought up my two boys neither in a French or a British way. I just want them to be nice to each other and to other people. I want them to be respectful and to be tolerant of others but also towards themselves. I have to say that I have said NO a lot when they were small. I still say NO if I feel that their behaviour is inappropriate. They are now both delightful teenagers ( according to their teachers and our friends – me, I am very biased!) In some ways I have become their friend, we talk a lot, we laugh a lot and sometimes we even share a drink! We tell each other I love you on a daily basis and leave each other when we are feeling blue. I think that happy parenthood is like all relationships… Give and take and a lot of love.

45. Mel | April 24, 2014 | Reply

More posts like this Babyccino team. My children are growing up and this is a way to keep me coming back to your website.
Interesting that your school felt compelled to bring this subject up. I often feel their isn’t enough accountability from schools here in the UK. I think parents here and I feel this is mostly a middle class issue see the child as a mini adult and ‘discuss’ everything as though the child can make an informed decision. When I was a child (the good old days :) strangers would chastise you if you misbehaved in public. On the rare occasion this has happened to my children they take notice and stop their bad behaviour. There is a general air of letting children do as they please which does them no good as they become young adults and they enter the real world.

46. Mel | April 24, 2014 | Reply

I meant ‘there’ not their. Great pic too !

47. Jen | April 25, 2014 | Reply

I don’t know the Babyccino ladies personally but feel that attacking them for discussing a real life subject a bit ridiculous. This post did not actually pass judgement on anyone and was written from her own viewpoint. I couldn’t see anything petty about it ? Talking of petty, attacking someone personally for instagramming her kids is unfair. She may well be happy to discuss the merits\pitfalls of this. An interesting topic I think. Blogs by their very definition invite people to leave comments. A discussion and opinion can arise from anything. Debate is healthy. It is easy to avoid the comments button. Indeed avoid the blog section and just read their website section. I love frippery but need substance too. Keep up the good work ladies.

48. Emilie in Paris | April 25, 2014

I love your comment: Debate is healthy. I 100% agree with this, everyone is entitled to an opinion and it is interesting how many other subjects which would be interesting to write about spring from one post!

49. Tabea | April 25, 2014 | Reply

You are so right! Its the same thing here in Germany – good to hear that in the rest of the world parents do the same “mistakes” :-)

50. Marie | April 25, 2014 | Reply

I very much enjoy this blog and all the pretty things to look out on here as much as I enjoy opinions post, the picture here is also SO cute and funny.
However, I am amongst the minority here and I have to say this post and the recent one on technology does make me a feel rather depressed.
As much as the topics are interesting, the way they are discussed do feel rather negative as well as judgmental.
I think I would just rather be optimistic about this future generation. I hope they will embrace technology as much as they will try to understand the world surrounding them. I hope they will grow up to be confident human beings, tolerant, and that they will try to be much better than us at taking care of our amazing planet.
You all seem to have really cute and well-rounded kids, and I’d rather have some posts about ideas on what to do for a long trip with kids in a car, and how to bring them up to be independent and creative thinkers!
Let’s also hear about kids doing amazing things or about all the great resources to embrace technology in a good way. Have you hear of code http://code.org/ or about Khan’s academy site for teaching kids about coding!
Just my 2 cents! :)

51. Paula | April 25, 2014 | Reply

Living in an apartment I have often found myself saying yes just not to bother the neighbours with the noisy tantrum that would ensue my “no”. I have a very difficult neighbour but I think a lot of us do this nowadays, we avoid any form of conflict even if healthy just because society expects us to keep the kids ” under control, at all times” which is really a terrible thing.

52. gilly porter | April 25, 2014 | Reply

I too am a regular babyccino reader – but probably not a typical one! I have a slightly different viewpoint. I am mother to 2 “grown up” boys (aged 25 and 23) and 1 young boy of 8! (another story for another time!) We were relatively young parents to our first children (I was 24) and our default parenting style was fairly strict.- manners and behaviour were important to us and we used the word “no” quite a lot. Our “grown up” boys are VERY lovely young men and adored by everyone who meets them – but can struggle at times with a lack of confidence. I genuinely believe this has been a contributing factor. With our youngest boy, partly because we are older, partly due to our analysis and partly because our 8 year old is a very different character we have “lightened up” – and we seem to be raising a much more confident 8 year old compared to his older brothers at the same age. At the same time his behaviour isn’t always so good! Time will tell (I’ll come back to you when he is 23/25!) and of course there will always be the nature/nurture debate to throw in! I think, as in most things, moderation is the answer. There should be some boundaries – respect for other people being amongst the most important I believe – but equally it is reasonable to pick your battles/priorities and not always be saying no. Neither too strict or too relaxed is good! There is so much more I could say to try and explain myself but it would make for a very long post!

53. Lisa | April 26, 2014 | Reply

My hubby and I have 8 children and we wouldn’t survive without a “No” here and there. However, I consider my husband and children to BE some of my best friends. We know how we want to be treated. We know how we need to treat each other and when we treat each other kindly, fairly, with compromise, etc…we remain friendly. I think that’s pretty congruent with life. As adults, my children will need to learn that they remain, as has always been expected, one part of a relationship that has 2 or more parts.

54. Mouli | April 27, 2014 | Reply

Such an interesting topic…..how interesting to read the viewpoints of the other readers..

Both my husband and myself are very no-nonsense when it comes to manners, being nice to people and setting the boundaries straight.

I just cannot tolerate it when some parents are not able to say no to their children because they feel it might make the children less confident or are even afraid to do so….

Although, I must say I do not find it contradictory to be a friend to my 6 year old and be able to say no and set the boundaries…

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