Marti & I have chosen a fairly “atypical” upbringing for Ellie, and raising her means sticking to those decisions and enforcing them at every turn.
For example, we’ve decided that we’re going to raise her vegan: I’m
vegetarian (mostly vegan, and heading for strictly vegan) now vegan, while Marti has been strictly vegan for a few years now. There will be difficult times, where we’re forced to hunt high and low for something appropriate for Ellie to eat, or she’ll be offered ice cream, or some other food that she’s just not allowed, and we’ll have to politely turn down the offer.
Aside from just eating vegan, we’re actively seeking healthy food choices, and organic foods wherever possible. After all, cookies, cakes and chocolate can be vegan too. So her access to sweets and treats is going to be severely limited. This is going to mean there will be some awkward situations for us and the inevitable “Oh, well why not?” from those used to plying their children with rocket fuel.
There’s other choices as well, such as not vaccinating, forbidding plastic toys, electronic toys, iPads, iPhones and TVs, and homeschooling that will surely raise a few eyebrows, but we’re not about to apologise for our choices: we’ve made them for her based on what we think is best for her, so we proudly stand by them and will not be afraid to politely enforce them.
For those closest to us, we hope you would be aware of our decisions and enforce them with us, not creating uncomfortable moments when we tell you that we’ll have to return the toy, or turn off the TV that you just turned on for her.
Since becoming a parent, I’ve quickly become aware of how much judgment there is surrounding the matter. For the most part, parents are doing what they think is best for their children, and ultimately, it’s their say, and all of your nagging, suggestions and subversive actions are not only unlikely to change their mind, but they’re likely to push them further away from you.
So you should do yourself a favour and adhere to parents’ wishes and keep your relationship with them strong, by standing beside them, not over them with a high and mighty attitude.