15 Parenting Debates Guaranteed To Start A Fight

Becoming a mom is a massive achievement. It's something that makes you feel like you can conquer the world. It’s an indescribable feeling, a joyous occasion and when you hold your baby for the first time, it’ll be one of the most awesome things you’ll ever experience. You look into your baby’s eyes, feel your baby wrap its little hand around your finger, and your heart will simply melt away. But from the moment a woman gives birth, you become a parent – a daunting thing for many moms, and dads.

Many people try to learn the art of parenting from picking up on things from their own childhood, how they themselves were raised, whereas others read parenting books and try to find the answer – that highly sought-after perfect answer in a manual. But the truth is, whether you draw upon your own experiences as a kid, or read all the books in the world, you’re going to learn gradually, and as time passes by, you’re going to adapt and implement your own style of parenting.

That’s when the protective motherly instinct becomes apparent. You’re going to be bombarded with people giving you all sorts of advice, and with people tutting at your parenting style. Take advice on board but you need to remain headstrong and plough on through, have confidence in your own ability as a mother. But things can get heated when you encounter a mom with a totally alien parenting style to yours, a mom with different views and parenting practices. These are 15 parenting debates that are guaranteed to get people riled up and start a fight.

15 Home Birth vs. Hospital Birth

This is one of the most keenly debated topics when it comes to giving birth – how you want to welcome your baby into the world can get many people chiming in with their own opinions, which could be the spark that leads to warfare!!

There are many pros and cons when it comes to giving birth in different environments, too much to thoroughly discuss here – an essay could be written on the issue.

Those in favour of home births will argue that giving birth in a homely environment will make you feel at ease, and is something that’s completely natural. Those on the other side will bring up the point that it’s just not safe – it might be convenient, but not safe – and that being in a medical surrounding with all the appropriate equipment on hand – should it be needed – medicine and doctors, is the best bet if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of giving birth safely.

14 Breast Is Best

Breast may be best for some, but certainly not for everyone – this is one contentious issue that’s guaranteed to start a fight.

Now plenty of points can be raised under this topic. Let’s begin with the most obvious; breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. There are so many merits when it comes to natural suckling, one of the biggest pros being that antibodies get passed to your new-born, protecting him/her from illnesses and helping your little one stave off diseases. It’s also a bonding experience, but it can be a tad painful, and let’s face it, some moms just don’t like the sensation. Breastfeeding can also be a real pain at times, if you have to pump, breastfeed in public – that’s a whole other debate.

By formula feeding, you can do away with the preparation side of things, it’s convenient, quick and easy and both parents can get involved. But if your baby’s guzzling formula, it can cost a bomb. Weigh up the pros and cons, so that if it becomes a hot topic in your household, you can appreciate what’s on the other side of the coin.

13 Waiting Too Long To Have Another Baby

When trying to become parents, people often map out their ideal situation and then embark of a life journey to put everything in place. You fall pregnant, that first baby comes along and you’re overjoyed. But that baby’s going to grow up fast, grow like a weed, and pretty soon you’re going to miss that feeling of holding your little one, of your baby being entirely dependent on you.

How long is the right period of time to wait before you try for another baby – that’s one issue that many people feel strongly about. Look at this from your kids’ point of view. Have another baby that’s 1-3 years younger than your first, and the siblings are likely to be very close and have a really close bond. Wait for double that time, and it could be a different story. When your kids grow up, it’s unlikely to matter that much, but for parents, choosing whether to have babies back-to-back or having a break for a few years is very personal, and is a decision many families feel strongly and differently about.

12 Redshirting

Redshirting – holding your kids back a year before kindergarten – can’t be done everywhere, but in the U.S. it’s common practice. Redshirting is one issue that’s guaranteed to start a mama catfight.

Many kids start kindergarten at the age of 4/5 years old. Very often, it’s their preschool progress and development that determines whether or not they’re ready to make the step into kindergarten. There are a number of factors for parents and teachers to consider; basic listening skills, social skills, interest and curiosity, and your child needs to be relatively self-sufficient before making the move. If a child hasn’t shown these signs, redshirting may be in order. I’m sure you’ll agree that if there’s a solid reason for redshirting, it’s in the interest of your child’s development, then it shouldn’t be a problem. But some parents want to give their child a push, want their kids to climb up the academic ladder as quickly as possible. There are valid points for both – is age really nothing but a number!

11 Mollycoddle

Many moms feel really passionately about this, and will stoutly defend their stance on the issue. Firstly, the whole thing of overdoing it, catering to your baby’s – and then your child’s - every demand, can get many people up the wrong way. Babies should be mollycoddled, right? They should be showered with love and smothered with affection, right? Some parents feel that others may overdo it a tad. For example, when it comes to crying, there’s a strong argument that you should just let your baby cry it out, because then he/she will learn to stick to a schedule, amongst many other reasons. But this can seem really cruel and unjustified to many – to parents who rush to their baby’s bedside whenever they hear the smallest noise on the baby monitor. It’s all about the right balance, but the “cry it out” debate is always one that parents love to get into.

10 Vaccines

Ouch! This is an argument that can sting a little. For some, getting your baby vaccinated against potentially life-threatening diseases is a no-brainer, but for others, it’s not so simple. So, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate? It’s a hotly-debated topic that doesn’t look to be dying down anytime soon. But just whether or not to vaccinate isn’t the be all and end all of the situation. It’s when to vaccinate, how to vaccinate, what vaccinations to get – all of these come into it.

If you feel strongly about either side of this issue, arm yourself with as much medical knowledge as you can before you begin spouting your ideologies. Come across someone who feels differently to you, and sparks could fly. But if you want to do the sensible thing and try and avoid a fight, get a medical professional on board that you trust and listen to his/her advice and no one else’s.

9 Car Seats

It’s understandable that you’re going to want to protect your baby as much as possible. That means, when transporting your baby with you in the car you’re going to want to strap your child in thoroughly – use as many buckles and seat belts as possible to ensure your baby stays firmly strapped in and secure for the duration of the car journey. But some parents are a tad more lenient when it comes to these kind of seats. The use of boosters, straps are all things which are keenly debated amongst parents, as is the age at which car seats are needed for kids. There are always moms who want to keep their kids strapped into a car seat for as long as possible, but there’s a time every mom has to learn to live without the so-called safety harness. Have a chat with friends and family and make up your own mind on the topic.

8 Being Too Lenient When It Comes To Diet

This is a great debate that’s been raging on for many years, the outcome of which has somewhat influenced western society today.

Diet in general will get people talking. Of course, parents feel that their way of doing things is the right way, so vegans and vegetarians will swear by their way of life that’s being enforced on their kids, meat eaters will bring up the benefits of meats and fish, and those who don’t have a clue about nutrition will just rely on what they read in books. Every diet has its benefits and negatives – balance is the key. But that’s the hot topic we’re trying to raise here. Some parents feel that kids shouldn’t have a choice about what they’re eating, that they should eat what’s put in front of them. Others will cater to their kids every whim when it comes to food; they ask for chocolate, they get chocolate; they ask for chips, they get chips. This could make children grow up to be very picky eaters which could influence them health wise and the food choices they make in the future. Balance is the key here.

7 Discipline

This is a kind of an extension from the ‘whether or not to let your baby cry out’ point made previously in this article.

I think it’s safe to say that there’s no single way – there’s no magic method when it comes to disciplining children. You can read all the baby books in the world, draw upon your own experiences as a child, but there’s no right and wrong way and everyone will choose to discipline differently, using their own techniques. If it works, who are others to criticise, right? But people do; they see a parent disciplining their child in a way that’s alien to their own style of parenting, and this could cause things to get catty.

Things like the naughty step, sending your kid to his/her room, timeouts; these are methods of discipline that are commonly used in parenting. Do they work? For many people, yes; some swear by these methods, whereas others will snort in haughty derision at the thought of others disciplining in such a way. No method’s foolproof, tried and tested, but the issue’s still likely to cause conflict.

6 Flying

Now a number of different issues can fall within this topic. Let’s begin with the most contentious issue; should you be taking a baby on a plane at all?

You may have had your baby abroad and need to fly home, in which case there’s no arguments to be had. But many parents choose to take their very young babies on flights to visit family, or just to open their little eyes up to the world and flood their young brains with as many sights and sounds as possible. Some parents have a real problem with this, arguing that flying – and everything that comes with it like the ear popping – can give your young baby quite a scare.

Other parents – and people on the plane in general – also get really pissed off; imagine a baby crying in your ears for hours, how inconsiderate – is the stance some people take. But if you want to take your baby traveling across the world, there isn’t really another way of doing it, but get ready to defend yourself all the same if this mommy debate ever kicks off.

5 Snippety Snip Snip

If you have boy, something you’ll consider is whether or not to circumcise. Today, many parents get their baby boys circumcised; some do so for religious reasons, others just because it makes it simpler to wash the penis.

Circumcision is carried out by Jews, Muslims and some Christians – those who believe in Abrahamic religions, so if you’re a stout follower of one of these religions, or want to abide by certain practices, the question you need to consider is to snip or not to snip?

Many followers of these religions get their kids circumcised to show faith in God, but today many non-religious people are also snipping away that foreskin, simply to make it easier to wash the penis – for health and hygiene reasons.

However, many moms also choose to leave their kids intact. Encounter a mom with a different view to yours, and sparks could fly, so make up your mind and get ready to defend your corner.

4 Co-sleeping

This is one debate that could quite possibly lead to a full blown catfight; encounter a parent who has a different view to yours, and you can get the boxing gloves out with this one. We’re of course talking about co-sleeping – going to sleep with you baby lying next to you in the same bed.

This argument’s been raging on for decades, and despite experts voicing their opinions, the matter still hasn’t been put to rest. It’s understandable why moms want to sleep next to their babies. I’m sure any mom can appreciate that waking up next to your baby, looking at your baby fall asleep and then waking up and being the first thing he/she sees would be a magical feeling, hence many moms do just that.

On the other side of the coin, sleeping with your baby is fraught with dangers; it’s unsafe and scientists have deduced it could lead to Sudden Infant Death syndrome – SIDS.

3 Rigid Rules

A child needs some form of discipline, that much is obvious. Let you child run riot and you’re doing nothing to help prepare your child for life’s great journey. But some parents go to the other extreme. Many parents, instead of being too lenient, are far too strict – or are deemed to be by others looking in. Sure a child needs to learn to follow rules – how else is he/she going to learn if instructions fall on deaf ears?

Putting rules in place and then enforcing them is part and parcel of being a good parent. But many parents go overboard with their rule setting. There needs to be a balance; a child still needs to be a child, but has to learn some household rules, not to mention the rules of life. Those who set their kids rigid rules swear by them, saying that it’s to help prepare their kids for later life. But when does this become too much?

2 My Child Is Better 

If you’re new to motherhood, you’ll soon find out, but if you’ve had kids, it’s almost a certainty that you’ve encountered those subtle digs by other moms, hinting that “my kid is better than your kid.” Obviously no moms going to come forth and say that statement outright to your face. But things can get catty, if kids are playing together for example – there’s going to be a comparison that’s formulated in the other mom’s head – she’ll be comparing behaviour, social interactions etc. and you probably will do too at some stage. But some moms just can’t keep their thoughts to themselves and have to say something; sometimes a snide little remark can cause more damage than just being frank, coming out and saying it. This passive-aggressiveness that some moms possess could be enough to start the fight of all fights, especially if it comes from a friend – or someone you thought was a friend!

1 Work Or Stay At Home

This is another hotly-debated topic in the world of motherhood. Stay-at-home moms will argue that taking care of a new-born is a full time job, and should be done by the mother. Those first few months of a baby’s life is when you establish the closeness, that bond, that special connection that only a baby and mom can have, which is why some moms can’t even contemplate leaving and going straight back to work after giving birth.

But every mom is in a different situation, has a different family dynamic. Not everyone can afford the luxury of taking time off to care for a baby, so it’s understandable that sometimes going back to work is the only option, if you don’t have a support network for example. A lot of moms take issue with other moms who go back to work after giving birth almost immediately, simply because they love to work and are workaholics. But of course, those moms will also have their own opinions on the issue. Wherever your views lie, come face to face with a mom who has different opinions on this topic and things are bound to get heated.


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