I’m Right, and You’re a Poor, Ignorant Fool

Isn’t that the way hot-button parenting debates go?  On a lot of parenting topics, especially the more contentious (like co-sleeping, home birth, vaccinating or not, etc), this seems to be how the conversation plays out.  Both sides call for looking at the evidence, but the way they do so seems to carry with it the unsaid implication that the other side clearly hasn’t looked at the evidence.  If they had, then of course they’d agree with me, right? 

Well, wrong. I advocate looking at all the evidence, but I am under no illusions that that means everyone will come to the same conclusions as I once they do look at the evidence.  I wish everyone looked at the primary sources and knew how to evaluate sources for biases (we all have them), methodology, etc, but I don’t think doing so means someone else will make the exact decisions I have.  

After all, everyone must also look at their personal situation and take that into account along with the data. I can look at data on homeschooling, for example, but I must also take into account the family dynamic, the needs of my children, my time and patience, etc. In parenting, rarely is there one answer that is correct for everyone in every situation, and a person who doesn’t conform to my choices is not ignorant, irresponsible, or anything else.  Yes, I ask that everyone look at the data, because I want everyone to make an informed decision that is best for that person in that situation. I really don’t care if you make the same decision I do, but please don’t assume or imply that I’m ignorant for not making the same decision as you, and I will extend the same courtesy.. 

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