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The vast majority of mail we receive (both via email and snail-mail) is amazingly supportive. I cannot even tell you how many days I've wondered if what we do *matters* when just at that moment an email will come through telling me of someone's breastfeeding baby who is now happy and healthy because of our suggestions (to eliminate cow's milk from mom's diet, for example); or little boy #3 growing up intact despite his brother's experience of circumcision because his parents chose to become fully informed before his birth; a father who is elated because now his toddler doesn't cry every night when she goes to sleep on her bed that has been snuggled up next to her parent's bed; a woman who writes with abundant joy because she just experienced a gentle waterbirth at home after 2 previous c-sections; or a mother who just says THANK YOU for providing a community of support that she would otherwise be without.
If we can even impact one person, ONE child - it is all worth it.
Rarely is hate mail received here, and when one filters in the 'delete' button is readily available. But it also breaks my heart that some people are so blinded by their own hate/ignorance/guilt/mistakes/regret/brainwashing/desire-to-please-the-herd that they cannot let others reach out to them, or fathom that there could be a gentle, natural, baby-friendly way of doing things.
We ALL make mistakes -- I've made my share of them -- but when we know better, we do better. And who doesn't want to keep learning, growing, improving and doing the very best we can for our little ones and those to come? Who wouldn't want to help their friend/sister/neighbor with genuine love and compassion and accurate information?
I do hope, however, that people are not advocating for the condemnation of others and using this site as justification in those actions. It is the babies and children born to parents who have never stumbled upon any attachment science literature; who have never known someone who wasn't cut apart at birth; who believe that the Ezzos and Pearls and Lessins are righteous examples of parenting; who see sub-par, artificial feeding of babies as the norm, and get zero support in looking elsewhere -- they are the ones that need love and encouragement and research-based information the most.
I'd enjoy to solely be surrounded by those already in 'the choir.' Friends and colleagues joke about moving to an island of peacefully parenting families only... And it does get overwhelmingly sad at times to see the destruction brought upon innocent little ones in a world that has become quite cold, baby-UNfriendly, and full of mom-and-dad substitutes. We've grown accustomed to seeing babies and children ignored and parented in an aloof, unattached, unresponsive, often unethical, manner. But it is those babies and children that need their parents to find these resources and empowerment the most. As Gerhardt stresses in her book, Why Love Matters, these babies and children will someday be repeating the same measures upon their own children, or they will be making wise and conscious choices to take different steps in their own parenting. This is where seed planting can be pivotal.
Please speak up! Do not stop. We cannot end any form of violence with silence. To sit by and do nothing when babies and children are being harmed is just as bad as partaking in the destruction ourselves. As MLK Jr. said, "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." But also be cautious, be gentle, with those who are hearing such things for the first time - those who were likely damaged themselves as infants years ago when they, too, had a brutal and unfair start in life.
An email we received yesterday. Spelling/punctuation left intact as it was received:
I am very disgusted with a couple of your fans on Facebook. I cant help that they are horrible mothers with an IQ of a stick of gum and feel the need to put down mothers that raise their children in a different way jus to feel like there worth something. Why dont you keep your fans in check? You call yourselves peaceful???? Wheres the tolerance for other ideas and opinions???? Stuck-Up-Bitches Parenting seems like a name just a little more fitting to me.
In response, the following status was posted on the FB page, and we sent a letter of apology back - if this mother was indeed 'attacked' by anyone on our page, she should not have been.
While we certainly cannot 'control' the actions or comments of almost 8,500 people, please do not send each other hateful/hurtful private messages and attempt to pair it with our site. Our purpose is education and empowerment - not condemnation.
Another email was received:
I can see that contacting you and asking you to actually discapline someone thats a fan was a complete waste of my time. Thanks for nothing - you can bet that I will never have anything to do with your organization. Peace, love, boobs and no spanking...yep, thats the way to parent! No wonder our juvenille detention centers and jails are full. Because there parents are the dumb ass hippies that your site and organization promotes!!!! You cant even CORRECT someone when they are wrong. Wow, what a bunch of waify LOSERS!
And it is for your child, sweet momma, that we will march on.
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sadly, I run into this attitude every single day of my life while advocate for breastfeeding, attachment parenting, questioning vaccinations, autism awareness, not circumcising...to name just a few. Some days it drags me down and others it actually spurs me on.ReplyDelete
Please, please keep posting and advocating! A strong reaction to what you are doing is a sign that you have touched a nerve!
Yes, it is for this woman's child(ren) that we continue to gently parent our own. For all of our children will grow up and share their life experiences. It is my wish that those babies born into the world gently, who escaped the trauma that too many infants don't, will continue to teach through example and active efforts.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the effort. It can wear you down.
I think that her last statement was totally wrong. It is for the very reason that attachment parenting is looked down at so to speak that the youth is turning out the way they are.ReplyDelete
I actually said the other day that I wished people would stop saying negative things about children and start looking at the parenting they had. It surprises me how parents just let their kids run around wild and crazy. I went to a children's museum the other day and a mother almost barreled over my son while screaming for her children to come to her so they could leave. When she realized it she just gave me a dirty look, so I said excuse us very politely in hopes that she'd say something but nothing.
How are people expecting their children to respect others when parents don't watch their kids and are inconsiderate of other's themselves.
I just discovered your site today and this was the first post of yours that I read. I would just like to say that I think I love you and I'd like to grow up to be just like you :)ReplyDelete
Excellent writing. You summed up so many things I feel and think daily, and did it in such a wonderfully gentle and eloquent manner. Kudos to you.
Wow that is pretty sad!ReplyDelete
Just wanted to drop a line sending some love. I've been reading (and thoroughly loving and enjoying) this blog for sometime and I am soooo grateful for all the time and energy you put into this blog. I have grown as a person and a parent from reading and practicing some of these ideas that you share. There is always something to be learned! Keep on keeping on! Aloha~ReplyDelete
I am sorry that has happened to you. I went to a talk at my daughters Waldorf school the other day and it was explained that often behind anger is fear. I am wondering if this person is feeling 'fear' about the way they were parented or about their parenting skills - instead of dealing with it (looking into themselves) they have lashed out at you. Uncalled for.ReplyDelete
So sad... So many are completely brainwashed by modern culture, they have no connection to their inner selves any moreReplyDelete
i'm a big fan of the island idea though. Let me know when and where
man, peace, love, boobs and no spanking sound FANTASTIC to me - and I'm pretty sure my kids would agree :)ReplyDelete
I'd like to know precisely what comment this person was so concerned with ... and also, where's *this* person's tolerance for another way of parenting??? ;)
You are my go-to when I am looking for info & external sites to send out on the spectrum that is AP. Please don't stop and THANK YOUReplyDelete
Controlling fans? Well obviously it seems we're doing a better job than spanking advocates who aren't personally controlling parents who take it WAY too far! What do they really expect you do to? Spank the offenders? Put them down with overused insults?ReplyDelete
In this world, free will rules. If you write a book/blog and people follow it so precisely without questioning or thinking about it at all then you've failed no matter what you're teaching.
And as a final note, she should do some research on Woodstock. 400,000 HIPPIES in one location for 3 days and not a single violent crime was reported. I don't believe there has been such a peaceful gathering of that magnitude since then. In that light I find being called a hippie to be a compliment.
I think you have a wonderful blog, and I love that people can be so passionate about their beliefs. I love some aspects of attachment parenting and some I don't. Everyone certainly has a right to their own beliefs and opinions about those beliefs, but you should also respect each other belief's as well. Sadly, this is rarely the case. No, I do not agree with all of the ways of attachment parenting, but I respect it. Trash talking just reflects upon oneself, and I definitely agree it can be a matter of fearing the unknown:)ReplyDelete
This is a great post. First of all, I find it so weird that people get so offended over a differing opinion. When pride reigns over truth, something is seriously wrong. Secondly, I would love to see a study done on how the majority of people in prison/juvenile detention centres were actually parented. I bet you their parents were not, in fact, peaceful. Lastly, I find the emails from the mother to be extremely hypocritical. She is upset about the conduct of some mothers in this group, and yet feels free to be rude and immature herself.ReplyDelete
To me, this woman sounds like she is looking for an argument. She could have just said "Hey I feel I've been harassed by someone could you please tell them to stop?" But she didn't. I don't know too many older women that would banter about people being "losers" either. Must be a really young woman/girl. There a lot of grammatical errors in her e-mails as well. She was just looking to complain to someone for attention. This usually happens when they run out of arguments against what you have to say when you've made a point.ReplyDelete
I always tell someone when I am writing to them that all I am doing is trying to inform and educate them so that they can make the best informed decisions. I never push the issue and I can't make anyone do anything - they have free will.
I have changed peoples' minds by having them view actual circumcisions and also promoting that it's the child's body not theirs.
thankyou so much for not being discouraged for the things you write about, it feels like some of us our going against the current so often, it's nice to know there are others out there fighting too...ReplyDelete
"Peace, love, boobs and no spanking"ReplyDelete
Amen. Amen. If humanity must have a battle cry, then let it be only this.
Thank you for the section on guilt. It's true that sometimes I immediately feel guilty after reading a post on how bad formula is for babies, as we supplemented from the beginning,and went exclusively to formula at six months old. Oh the regret is horrible, but so was my lack of knowledge on the subject. Thanks for always reminding us how this is about information, and learning from our mistakes. I have to turn my breastfeeding mistakes into something positive right??? Thank you!ReplyDelete
AP is the minority in the US. The jails aren't filled with kids from AP style parents, they are filled with kids who were products of DEtached parents. What an ignorant lady!ReplyDelete
If there is anything more true, is that truth needs little to no defense. Go Peaceful Parents!ReplyDelete
I whole heartedly agree... thank you for the work you're doing. You never know when something you say will change one mind - and then all the future generations beyond that.ReplyDelete
Hee hee. She said Peace, love boobs and no spanking like it was an insult or somehow implied it was something to be looked down on. How could anyone look down on peace and love? or boobs? or NOT hitting? HA hahahaha!!!ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry at crazy person was pulled into your sphere. You have support if you need it ((hugs))ReplyDelete
Her comments aren't about you. In fact, they have nothing to do with you or your blog. It's her "stuff" she's reacting to. When a reaction is that big and that emotional, we can count on it being a personal conflict.ReplyDelete
The kind of parenting you are advocating for is the type of beginning that will help children not grow up into adults like this poor woman. :(ReplyDelete
Actually I think I'll get a t-shirt that says Peace, Love, Boobs and no spanking that's what makes their world go round.... Really so proud of you they are only seeds give them time to take root...you are a blessing to so manyReplyDelete
Actually she sums us up pretty well. I think our new motto should be "Peace, love, boobs and no spanking...yep, that's the way to parent!"
Great job handling all of that negative energy. A person like that needs our prayersReplyDelete
I am so very sorry. :(ReplyDelete
Sending you love!! Stay strong and don't let rude people rattle your nerves.ReplyDelete
People who react strongly to the powerful love that is shared by mothers and children in natural birth and breastfeeding, are threatened on two levels:ReplyDelete
1) their own medical births were undoubtedly traumatic & their own nurturance was undoubtedly withheld... manufactured formulas or cow's milk in bottles, rather than mama's milk. few have healed that trauma.
2) they chose - usually due simply to unquestioning assumptions - to pass their birth experience on down to their children - induced labor, cutting of mother during birth, premature cutting of the umbilical cord, etc... not breastfeeding
so you see, there are two levels on which healing is needed... both the wounded child and also the wounded child as parent. much healing is needed. this medical system has wounded so many. we are so far from natural. i am heartened by the conscious parents who are here on FB. so beautiful. :)
ah sweetheart, you are doing what your nature compels you to do - reach out and make a difference. that woman is afraid of change and she can only lash out in her own pain and anger because that is all she knows... maybe you will have made her think. we can only hope so.ReplyDelete
Obviously she is dealing with her own pain and issues. It is usually the person who feels horribly guilty about her own choices. I agree entirely with Patricia! SO I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as YOU are doing great good, and you are working hard to make the world a better place. And I will keep this woman in my prayers so that the healing she needs can take place.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this. But it is nice to know that you have a wonderful support system that can stand by you!
((hugs)) I don't understand what she wanted from you. You cannot control others & if they harass ppl in your name all you can do is what you did, apologize & ask your community to stop. I don't know what kind of consequences you were supposed to dole out even if you had that power, you had only one side of the story. You acted fairly, respectfully & ethically.ReplyDelete
Thanks for all you do. :) All your articles are challenging, informative and interesting. I have been helped to make some changes for the better in my home, and strengthened in my resolve about things I already believe and practice. Keep it up, PP!ReplyDelete
♥ what you do, Danelle. The hate mail, lack of information, and misinformation are things that keep us ALL going, one child at a time.ReplyDelete
why join your site, and I feel for her child/ren :( I changed my FB status to reflect my thoughts on this ♥ReplyDelete
Oh boy..... poor kid. It's sad that people like that really do exist.ReplyDelete
A FB friend started working nights and had a babysitter in last night to watch her 2 year old. Her status today was how awful she felt for her friend (the babysitter) and how sorry she was b/c she had to deal with all the "shit" caused by her son screaming ALL night long b/c he left his pacifier in the car when she left for work. She felt bad for her friend that she had to listen to her 28 month old scream for 10 hours. She decided that her son no longer needed it and that he had to go cold turkey so her friends (who are helping out at night while she works) don't have to deal with it anymore. She told me that "he's big now, he doesn't need it anymore". I just sighed and asked her if she felt bad for her son (you know the one that this whole paci thing is happening to?).
It is really sad that she felt so powerless that she had to attack you and AP like that. Many people do not understand AP at all, they have really preconceived ideas of it and are usually dead wrong.I must say that I am thankful that there are younger generations passing on the peaceful AP info to others., it not as lonely as it once was before the internet, cell phones etc... keep on keeping on!ReplyDelete
ahhh whatever! she is just jealous! Keep up the great work!ReplyDelete
Funny how *everyone* seems to think they are a peaceful parent..."yes, I had a scheduled c-section, had my son circumcised, gave him formula from day one, let him cry it out from day 30, spanked from 6 months, but only when 'necessary'--so I am a peaceful parent!" :(ReplyDelete
I really think it's sad that someone got so worked up and sent you these nasty letters. You did nothing to deserve this and I'm so sorry you received such nasty comments. I hope whoever sent this gets their issues worked out before they hurt anyone else.ReplyDelete
I'm wondering what exactly she wanted done to the "other party" (if one actually existed) What is this Grade school..." so and so spoke meanly to me so she should get her rights to look at my page suspended." Please. The last e-mail where she actually comes out of the closet as to what kind of person (let alone parent) she is makes me wonder why the heck she was on your site to begin with, it isn't as if you hide who you are and what you stand for. But you are right it is for her child that I fight. I do this for all babies of course, but it is for babies with parents of that sort for whom it means the most. So this hippie will keep up the good fight and pray for her children tonight as I go to bed and pray for my own!ReplyDelete
Your final sentence in the PP post, "And it is for your child, sweet momma, that we will march on." is right on. ♥ Much appreciation for all your hard work.ReplyDelete
Lovely, well educated, thought out...I think a lot of us see that same attitude again and again with being 'different' parents. Thing is, I constantly hear what a wonderful son I have, so I'm pretty certain I've done something right with boobs and no spanking.ReplyDelete
I think this woman must feel enormous guilt over her parenting choices and this, as it does so often, is manifesting itself into anger directed towards the parents she wanted to be.ReplyDelete
She OBVIOUSLY wasn't breastfed or held very much! And I doubt she has much love in her life now.ReplyDelete
Just ignore her.....easier said than done! Keep up the good work! We all ♥ you and everything you stand for!
Sounds like a bad case of post-partum depression and she is taking out her anger on everyone who parents the way she wanted to. If she doesn't like your site she can bugger off.ReplyDelete
And Danelle, I have made so many new friends through you, thanks so much. I love reading your blog.
What I don't get is, if you do not support peaceful parenting and think the applications of parenting peacefully are the cause for all the world's ills, than why join a group called peaceful parenting.ReplyDelete
It's a crazy world we are living in full of interesting people.
I sincerely want to apologize for my inexcusable behavior. I read your hate mail blog again today and realize what an immature idiot I sound like. I have truly embarrassed myself and feel very ashamed. I have extreme guilt over developing a high fever after a hard c-section and then opting to stop breastfeeding my child later, when I didn't know how to prevent him from using me as a pacifier. I was frustrated and selfish. I didn't want to eat right and take care of myself - I wanted to be spared the inconvience of it all. I was looking for some validation that I wasn't a bad person or a bad mother, and I that I haven't scarred him for life. I truly feel like I have done him irreparable damage and that my life is not worth living. I just want to extend my sincerest, deepest apology to the members of your blog and to your fans on Facebook. I am a lonely stay-at-home mother that wants someone to hurt as bad as I hurt, to feel as guilty and as mad as I do at myself for being so uneducated and foolish. I should spend less time trolling the Internet looking for problems and upsetting good people that I don't even know and more time making up my past mistakes to my child. The truth of the matter is, I didn't do any research before having my baby, I did what was mainstream and accepted, (and frankly, easier,) instead of giving my all for his well-being and putting him first, making the extra effort, like your mothers have. I don't, for the life of me, understand where I got off acting like I was more educated or a better person. I certainly wasn't peaceful, and why I demanded you to be, I do not know. It is not your fault that the woman attacked me on Facebook. I started the damage and although she didn't have to keep arguing, she was only defending herself and her beliefs.
I will forever feel ashamed and sorry for what I have put you and your readers through, as well as for what I have done to my child.
Thank you for your time. I will continue to read the information on your blog, so, if some day, i can heal my guilt and God can find it in Himself to bless my husband and I with another child, I will be ready, informed, and prepared to stand against the mainstream.
Again, I am so sorry.
I am going to create a bumper sticker that reads just that:ReplyDelete
"Peace, Love, Boobs, and No Spanking"
I love it! That's how you turn lemons into lemonade!
My deepest gratitude.ReplyDelete
Well, first off you should explain to them that the reasons so many people are in jail in the US (more then any other country - such as all those countries that actually do a lot of these good parenting practices, for example) is #1, because the US has outrageous laws and will jail anybody for anything. For example, laws against using substances that are beneficial to your health such as marijuana, laws about having sex with someone you are in Love with merely because they are 17 (an age at which it is normal to have sex), laws against private and individual practices you can do within your own home (such as oral sex or wearing seatbelts), laws which charge homeless and hungry people for stealing food from multinational corporations, laws which arrest people for not doing something that is physically impossible to do (such as getting to a court that takes 4 hours on public transportation by 7 a.m. when buses don't start till 6 and they have been told this repeatedly, or such as paying bills which were not arranged by an agreement but were instead forced upon the defendant, etc., etc.), and #2 because all of the hatred that is being spread by people like the one who sent you that last message.ReplyDelete
More effectively, you might explain to them that Facebook "pages" do not even notify you when someone makes a post or comment, there is no way to enable said notifications, you are only one human being, and you are unlikely to be able to see every comment, or even half of them, because Facebook has designed it's "pages" in a way that actually makes that impossible even if you only had 3 "fans".
I call what some other mom do "toleraising." If you're not active in your kids' live, regardless of how you parent, you're not raising your children. you're tolerating their existence. Toleraising.ReplyDelete