According to some women, I'm talking 'a load of old tripe'. Also my views are 'sanctimonious old bollocks' and 'nonsense'.
Why? Because Flea doesn't watch television.
I should point out these comments aren't directed RIGHT at me – they're about Davina McCall. Who's probably too busy shouting on late night live TV to care much about what we think of her parenting techniques.
Still, I don't get it. When did it become okay to completely slate someone because they happen to parent in a different way to you? Imagine replacing 'doesn't watch TV' with 'doesn't eat wheat' or 'doesn't ride in the car'. Would you still get women saying things like, "Oh, well done for sticking the boot in!" or "I used to think she deserved respect – not any more!"
Way to go, sisters.
When I was pregnant, I read up some research about kids' TV. I looked at children I saw watching television. I saw what went out on kids' TV. I talked about it with Flea's Dad. I discussed it with the woman who was going to be Flea's nanny. And I made a personal choice that I didn't want my child to watch television before the age of three. After that, she had the option of watching one of half a dozen DVDs which are available whenever she chooses, but she has rarely, rarely asked for them.
It works for us. And I would make the same choice again, in a
heartbeat. But I have never, ever implied that a parent making a
different choice is somehow wrong, or less of a parent. If Flea asks why
someone is watching TV when she wants to play, I just tell her: "All
families do things differently, and some people like to watch
television. That's okay, but it's not what we do in our house."
I could explain all the reasons I don't let Flea watch TV, and all the ways in which it's benefitted her, and why it works so brilliantly. But here's the thing – I don't have to justify my choices, and neither do you. I'd never dream of saying: "How COULD you let little junior watch television, you dreadful, dreadful woman?"
I firmly believe that discussion and listening to different views is a good thing. Attacking other opinions just because they're not your own? Not so much. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was a case of protesting too much – perhaps some women aren't as confident of their choices as they claim?