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Elisabeth Röhm’s Blog: Setting the Record Straight

10/13/2011 at 06:00 PM ET
Sean Smith

Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her role as Serena Southerlyn on Law & Order, is in the middle of a very busy year.

The actress can currently be seen on the big screen in Abduction, as well as upcoming films Chlorine, Transit and Officer Down, and is found online on Facebook and @ElisabethRohm on Twitter.

In her latest blog, Röhm — mom to 3½-year-old Easton August with fiancé Ron Anthony — wants to clear the air regarding her last few blogs and the comments she’s received (yes, she reads them!).

PEOPLE.com readers, I just want to make one thing perfectly clear: I read every single one of your comments.

I write this blog for each of you — even the ones who seem to enjoy ripping me a new one on a weekly basis. Sometimes I even get a good laugh at how truly creative you can be. FYI: I know I’m flawed and thank you for pointing it out. ;)

Why, you may ask — and some of you have — so I think it’s worth addressing this week. Because I love the community we have created, I embrace the conflict and I sincerely appreciate the encouragement to be a better parent.

Sometimes I’ll read a comment that goes right to my heart — either positively or negatively — and it leaves me with something to ponder throughout the week, before another issue arises in our lives that I want to share with you.

I want to share with all of you because I enjoy you sharing with each other. That’s a huge key to this blogging thing. It’s less about me and what I bring up every week and more about you being open and wanting to grow with me as I try to become a better parent and person.

Shocking, right? I actually don’t write it to hear my own voice. I write it to hear from you! And I do look forward to reading every single thing you write. I contemplate it and grow from it (unless you are telling me to disappear, which I’m not planning on doing).

I feel proud of each of us ladies, that we have created a strong bond through our writing to each other and discussing very personal issues. It takes a lot of confidence to be open and revealing, which each of you have been. Every week you share with me with such intelligence and courage to be real and it opens my heart and mind.

The only thing that would make this blogging experience more fun would be if some of you were not trying to be mean on purpose. That is not the intent of this blog. Yes, the debates are welcome and feel free to criticize me; I enjoy constructive criticism. But when you are putting each other down, it sucks.

I love what we have created here this year and I’m not going to stop reaching out to all of you in this place that we have made together. We did this so that we would have a community to grow in and that we belong to. Thankfully those of you whom enjoy the blog continue to share, despite the mud-slingers.

Even if you think I’m a moron or I really piss you off one week or every week, hang in there — I promise I’ll write something eventually that you’ll be able to think positively about. One of these days I’m sure it will happen. Or maybe not!

But for all of us that are enjoying the process of being positive together and learning from each other, just know that we love you too, even if you find my new and sometimes naïve parenting unbearable. Please don’t go away, as we all so enjoy the spice you add on a weekly basis.

So that being said, I want to respond to the blog reactions from two weeks ago, which were wildly passionate (to say the least)!

First of all, PEOPLE.com did not take the piece down — instead I asked them to remove it because I felt the responses were so negative that it could hurt Easton in her community. The things said by me and the reactions it provoked created a fire here in my little world, and the more negative the comments got, it was like adding kerosene to a flame.

Whether or not it was an inappropriate blog subject, it was what was happening at the time. I think my first mistake was having the word “bully” in the title, but by the time I thought to change that the comments were already way out of control. Just for the record, I don’t think this child is a bully. I think she is a beautiful and sweet child that has a strong personality that doesn’t bring out the best in my kid.

I thought that would be an interesting subject for all of us to discuss and one that might get some conversations going. Clearly it did!

Bully is a powerful word and it was misused by me. In Easton’s case with this particular friend, it’s merely about one kid dominating another. She’s not a bad kid. She’s a powerful kid. And she dominates my kid. It’s something that we are working on. Don’t worry, I’m not bullying that child. I adore her. I just would like the school to separate them from time to time when they get wildly out of control.

I was looking forward to us discussing the need for appropriate adult intervention on the playground. It was not my intent to do anything other than discuss those “playground politics” — from the smallest of incidents to the bullying. Why not? We have a wealth of life experience that we can guide them with. Why would we sit back and let them hurt each other with certain behaviors?

Enough said — I clearly offended most of you and certainly my community here at home. That was not my intention. My only purpose was to create a conversation between us on how to handle peer pressure. This is a very emotional subject and I do hope that we can return to it again. I promise to find a gentler approach.

I took the blog down because I simply didn’t want Easton to be alienated in her school due to the tone that my blog may have had and then continued to project because of your feelings. I thank you for bringing it to my attention. I look forward to discussing both the subjects of peer pressure and bullying at a later date, because they are worthy and urgent issues.

I’d also like to clear up the paranoia blog. Yes, I did sign Easton out of camp. Yes, I believe she is old enough to go to camp without a parent. Yes, I confronted them on her discomfort. Yes, yes, yes … this was a blog subject meant to elicit conversation about the paranoid head space that we have to live in as parents due to our protective instincts, but again, that unfortunately didn’t seem to come across as intended.

It’s not always so literal, guys! I don’t tell you every single detail of each event — otherwise, I’d be writing a book and not a blog. I try to keep it simple so that we can get into the discussion rather than have you read more and more and more about my life.

I want to hear about your lives. I’m interested in what you think. Every week I’m dying to know how you are feeling. I look forward to you telling me about what’s happening in your homes. So thank you for sharing all the details that you do and for having this relationship in the blogosphere with me.

That said, since you all have such strong opinions: What do you want to talk about next? Not only do I want to hear what you think about yourselves, I want to hear about what you are longing to discuss. I’ll blog for certain but I’ll get right into whatever subject you are interested in, so that we can have more debate and sharing in that way that we have for these last months. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Okay, enough said about the past but I felt these last few weeks needed a response from me, rather than just another blog.

Moving on, my friends! This week, sleepovers and telling the truth seem to be the big subjects in our house. As usual, just wondering where you all stand, PEOPLE.com readers. When were your kids old enough to do sleepovers?

I don’t remember sleeping at my friends houses until I was at least 10 years old. Even then, I really preferred being at my mom’s house as opposed to a friend’s home. Unless I wanted to sneak out, of course! In that case, it was always easier pulling it off with someone else’s mother, because my single mom had a “no lying” policy that I actually embraced. But at a friend’s house … hmm. What she didn’t know wouldn’t kill her!

Needless to say, the desire for sleepovers wasn’t a big one in my life, which may have a lot to do with why Easton hasn’t successfully pulled one off with any of our relatives. As of late, she asks me almost daily for her friends to sleep over. And they, too, seem gung-ho for the experience. Three-and-a-half seems a bit young, right?

I’m excited about the idea really because I love having Easton’s playdates at my house. It gives me an excuse to play hooky, which I always embrace. I’m much happier baking and reading books to Easton and her pals than answering emails. I’m sure you relate! Also, since I’m leaning towards having another babe, it gives me a taste of the future.

So I’m figuring if their parents are okay with it — and tell me all there is to know about their kids’ very specific night-time rituals — I’m totally open to it. Any great, entertaining stories from some past sleepovers? I’d love to hear!

I’m running out of space this week, but I’ll just throw out there that Ron, Easton and I are getting deep into the importance of telling the truth.

My mom, as I mentioned before, had a great way of accomplishing it with me. She said, “I’m a single mom, Lis. It’s hard enough taking care of everything without adding into the mix whether or not you’re telling me the truth. So here is the deal: Always tell me the truth and you won’t get punished. Lie to me and I catch you … it’s all over!”

Okay, I have a 3-year-old, so that approach doesn’t work quite yet! Not to mention these little ones have such huge imaginations that I’ve noticed it’s hard to get a straight story out of them.

Even last night — I came home from an audition and asked Easton what she’d done while I was out. “Nothing. Stayed home,” she replied. Ron just looked at me, raised his eyebrows and shook his head. “We went to the park for two hours — we just got back five minutes before you,” he said. Oh well, we’re working on it!

Until next time, ladies.

– Elisabeth Röhm

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Showing 133 comments

I like reading your entries =) on

lol, the last paragraph made my day. Thanks for seriously blogging like you do. I don’t really have much to comment on but i do enjoy reading each entry you post! Best of luck in all your future endeavors =)

momto3 on

Some people have nothing better to do then turn words around and make them be worse then what they are!! I didn’t read the Blog you are referring to so I don’t know what was said, but it sounds like alot of overreacting was done on the readers parts???

As for sleepovers, I think it is time whenever Mom is ready to let a child leave the nest for the night and when the child is ready to sleep in a new environment!! Some kids are very young when they start others are much older, My oldest is 8 and has never slept over at a friends…none of my kids have!! I think they are just more comfortable for now sleeping in their own beds?

Indy79 on

This is my first time commenting, but I’m an avid reader of the baby blogs. I don’t have children myself, and sometimes reading this blog makes me frightened to have them. So many of the moms here aren’t supportive, and I think it would be hard to be a part of such a judgmental community.

I hope this blog really lets people know how hurtful words really are–I’m sure you’re an incredible mother and I wish you the best.

New Mommy who appreciates you on

Elisabeth, (I almost feel like if we knew each other we’d be good friends so I’ll call you by your first name). Don’t apologize for your blogs! People are cruel and mean and they will say anything to get a rise out of you! There are all kinds out there.

I want to tell you that of all of the blogs on here, I look forward to and read yours the most! You have made me laugh and put my mind at ease about a lot of things! I think the same way you do about a lot of things, and when my little one gets a bit older and starts going through some of the things your daughter is going through, I will definitely refer back to you and your blog for comfort, knowing that someone out there has gone through what you are.

Keep up your honesty and just being you in your blogs. I appreciate it!!!

Hen on

I was wondering where the Bully Post went. Thank you for addressing that.

I agree that there are just some kids that mix like oil and water. When my daughter was 3 (now 6) she had a certain friend that was too intense or “pushy” “strong personality” however you want to say it (or so I thought as a first time mom). Now that she is six, she has changed and grown as did the other child and they are great friends! I also have to say that I have a second daughter who is three and she is that “pushy” kid. Yup, I have “that kid” (eye rolls).. LOL see what the universe did to me I swear because I was so overprotective/crazy with my older shy daughter. I got little Miss Crazy for #2. I love her spunky personality, BUT, now I see all the first time moms at her preschool a bit nervous when my strong-willed little girl wants to have a play date. Thank god she is my second, I just roll with the punches this time around.

Don’t ever feel “bullied” by other moms (you know that happens too). You need to do what is best for Easton.

Elisabeth, I think you were being defensive in your Camp Response above. Readers were basing responses on your story. If you can’t give all the details please say so or expect confusion and negativity. Sorry, but I still think 3 and 4 is way to young for camp. As moms, lets agree to disagree. :)

Please keep blogging, whether I agree or not, I always feel like posting and seeing what other moms are thinking.

Harley on

Wow! Sounds like I certainly missed a heck of a roller! Unfortunately, it seems as though people read into things a little too much, then again, as I said – I did miss it so I can’t say too much. I will, however, say that I appreciate that you actually took the time to fully express what you were trying to convey, to apologize for the ruckus it apparently caused, and for clearing it up (which to me, it seems you did quite well).

On to the subject of sleepovers: they were never easy for me as I preferred my house. I still, to this day as an adult, don’t sleep well somewhere that isn’t my own. I started sleepovers around 6 years old I think. They weren’t something I participated in often, but I was also a military brat who moved all the time so I didn’t really have a tight knit group of friends to have sleepovers with until it was almost time to move again.

I can’t speak from a parents perspective, just a godmother/aunt and former nanny perespective. As long as you have their routine (most of the time the routine goes out the window unless it’s a religious or hygienic routine) and know their allergies/dislikes and have their meds, it’s all about having fun and enjoying the night. I had more fun hosting sleepovers than I ever had participating in one as a kid.

Lauren on

This post was wayyyyy too long. Someone from People should be editing this. She just repeats herself over and over.

Michelle on

My mom had the same no lying policy. She always told me I could never get in trouble for telling the truth. She might be disappointed or upset, but she would never punish me for telling the truth. And I was always honest with her. We had a great relationship and I rarely got in trouble.

I think it’s a good policy to have around the house.

Maria on

3 1/2 is way to young for a sleepover. My kids are grown, so I as the saying goes “been there, done that”, and I would never do a 3 1/2 year old sleepover. No one will sleep and most likely there will be crying and kids wanting to go home. You even get tears with 10 year olds!!!

Also get used to hearing “what do you do today…..nothing”. That will go on for years. I don’t think they look at it as not being truthful, I think they just don’t want to be bothered or are plain tired and don’t want to get into it.

Good Luck with your little one!

Guest on

I didn’t agree with everything you said in the “bully” blog (I think you misused the word) but I understood what you were trying to say.

My daughter is 8 now and in K and 1st grade I saw that with one girl in particular, she would get my daughter to do things that were against our rules and misbehavior. My answer was to try to avoid any time together outside of school and I talked to her about her behavior. Even at 3 Easton can understand that certain things are just wrong.

Don’t give up, not every friendship is beneficial to your child. Some kids just dominate others like this girl did with my daughter. Try to have Easton play with children who are not as forceful or as she gets older, explain to her the value of saying “no” I won’t do that.

Lora on

It saddens me that mean-spiritedness among commentors (commentators?) has made you doubt the wisdom of expressing your experience honestly and politely which you always do.

I’m a teacher. Verbal or physical domination or even “joking around” can be forms of bullying and do need to be addressed in these early stages before they become a habit. This doesn’t mean micromanaging children’s social interactions–it’s about modelling and reinforcing prosocial behaviors and it is a responsibility of the educational system as well as the home environment.

Your assessment of the situation was, imho, in no way pejorative toward the other child nor the supervisors. You have a right to your concerns. And, as a friend of mine says, Haters gonna hate no matter what you say!

Hope you have a good week and that the sleepovers turn out to be fun.

fuzibuni on

Hi Elisabeth,

Personally, I really like your blogs and appreciate the honesty. I read the “bully” post and figured it got taken down because of all the crazy comments.

I respect the fact that you addressed it directly… I’m sure it wasn’t easy. You seem like a intelligent, thoughtful and strong woman. More power to you!

C on

Hi Elisabeth,

I have to say, I posted a response to the “bully” blog that told a story about my niece’s ability to tell a strong-willed little girl that she didn’t agree with her. At the time, my niece was only 5. I now have a 15 month old who is incredibly strong-willed. She is also the sweetest, most loving and fun kid I know (not biased at all! :) ).I disagreed with the fact that you took this very personal issue involving someone else’s small child very public but I hope I was civil in what I wrote.

But I guess I’m still not that sure what you meant–if another child is influencing Easton’s behavior in a way that you don’t like, you (and, I agree, the teacher who witnesses it) need to intervene. I think there is so much fear over disciplining (even just saying “no” to another person’s child) that we don’t do it. But part of the concept of it taking a village is that all adults who surround little children as they grow should participate in teaching them right from wrong. So I would also say that its the teacher and your and the other parents’ responsibility to work with both kids to help them understand their actions and words and to be better little people. Its not only about Easton.

Anyway, I think it merits discussion for sure and I hope people can be civil in how they talk about it. I don’t understand sitting at home and just channeling some inner place of hate anonymously on the internet. An odd pathology of our internet age, I think. I appreciate your blog and response and I’m sorry that it was so public and caused pain in your circle.

Rhonda on

Elisabeth,

Just wanted to let you know that while I disagreed with your decision to post what I thought were “too” personal details about Easton’s buddy and parents, I do NOT think you are a moron or an idiot for having a different opinion than I do. (I’m not implying that my opinion is correct and that yours is wrong…..just saying that our opinions differed).

What Mom on earth can say that she makes the right decision all of the time? We’re human and I think one of the best qualities of a great Mom is one that self analyzes, allows herself to not be perfect, and also allows others to be less than perfect. I guess that’s called extending grace.

Keep writing/blogging….be yourself and don’t worry about writing things that are pleasing to others. Just be true to yourself and I will extend you grace and I’m sure there are a whole lot of other people who will as well. ;)

erika on

hang in there, girl! i, for one, was one who loved your blog post about the problem with the friend at school because i was going through the SAME thing with my daughter!!! i also have a blog (with a somewhat big readership but NOWHERE near as big a readership as yours- ha!)- and even i have gotten lots of judgemental things said (anonymously) in the comments.

my daughter is now 5 and i have learned the hard way that i do not need to explain my parenting choices to others. there is so much judgement from others, but only you know what is best for your child.

you are a great mom and you are doing a great job- and there are a lot of us out here who appreciate your refreshing honesty. (((hugs)))

Danielle on

I really like you blog. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree. A lot of times I don’t comment, because a lot of times I don’t have the time (oh, the life of a mom with two toddlers :)

I love the fibbing comments :) Sometimes when I tell my three and a half year old to “tell daddy what we did today” he gets really excited and tells a complete story… about something we totally did not do. I like to smile and nod and raise my eyebrows and ask “oh really?” heehee

Vanessa on

Hi Elisabeth! I read your blog from time to time, and I guess I missed the drama with the bullying one. And whatever happened, you need to do what’s best for your kid. Don’t worry about all the people just trying to stir up trouble.

And as a teacher, I see first hand every day what a polarizing issue bullying is and that there are many different kinds and degrees of bullying. It also varies depending on the children’s ages. Bullying, or the beginnings of it, looks much different with the preschool set than it does with the ages I have, 4th-6th graders.

That being said, about sleep-overs… I think I actually went to my first one around age 4. I also had divorced parents and was used to staying over at my dad’s, so maybe being away from my mom to go to a friend’s felt more “ok” for me than it may for some kids. Even so, I always called my mom to say goodnight, even into middle school.

Every kid is different, though… my daughter is almost one, and there are members of my family who can’t understand why we’ve never left her overnight with someone. And the truth is, for a long time I just didn’t feel ready to leave her. I feel like I probably could now with a few very trusted people. When it comes to these things, though, I don’t think there’s really one right answer for the “right” time for a kid to start doing overnights. I would say if you have opportunities to leave her and she wants to go, let her keep trying. Eventually she’ll make it the whole night :-)

I really do enjoy reading, so please keep writing. Blogging is a great outlet… don’t let the haters get you down!!!

Chuck on

I have never comment, but I’m laughing at this, its nice to see that you look these over, I wish I had that kind of an audience to ask the confusing parenting questions I had!! I am somewhat embarrassed to say I read your blog frequently, I can’t say most men read people magazine that often…

As for sleepovers and playdates. My daughter just did her first one recently, and she actually made it the whole night, I was so proud! But also kind of sad because it felt a little like not being needed you know? Being a single dad its hard to see her grow up already. My Eloise is just 4, and the person was a family friend whom we’ve known forever. I think the first real on their own slumber party (where I am not friends with the parents) for a kid should be at about 10 to 11ish. But it depends on your kid, if Easton is mature enough at any age I see no reason why she couldn’t go to one early. Its all up to your kid and what you and her dad feel comfortable with.

Gabbie on

Hi Elisabeth,

I don’t have children of my own at the moment (Though my partner and I are seriously thinking about it), But after reading your blogs I think if I can be at least half the great mother you are than I’m doing my job properly!

Thank you for sharing all your stories!

Lady M on

Hello Elisabeth – I am a mother of nine and would like to respond to all of your questions but my response may end up being as long as your post. ;-) So if you have the opportunity, please feel free to email me. I know it’s not likely you will but I’d be happy to help.

jenni on

At 3 1/2 you might try sleepovers with cousins first, or if you have a close friend with a little girl her age, try a mom AND daughter sleepover. You will find every kid is so different and ready at different ages,.

We tried having a sleepover with a neighbor kid this summer, and my kids were fine (theyre 6 and 7) but the next night this little boy wanted to sleep at our house, and about 9 pm after I tucked the kids in bed and went upstairs, all of a sudden i hear the front door slam, he had jumped out of bed and didnt stop running til he was on his own front porch!

Mandy on

I’ve always enjoyed your blog.

I too am curious how to approach the subject of lying. Just this week my son(3) ran out of his sister’s(5) room (where they were playing) crying that his sister bit him. His sister came out on his heels saying that she did NOT bite him. Upon investigation my son had a huge bloody bite mark on his collar bone. I knew that he didn’t bite himself.

I was furious, but sort of at a loss for punishment.

Lillian on

Thank you Elisabeth for keeping it real, after all this is your life and your experiences.

I wish I would of read the deleted post. I have a child that is overpowered by another and now a second incident with another child has happened. I have been careful not to use the word bully, but why has it become so PC not to use when it is prevalent nowadays? I would like to know how your situation turned around.

I look forward to your blog posts, keep them coming even the ones without the rainbows and unicorns!

ML on

You’re going to get a lot of responses about those two blogs so I’m just going to answer your sleepover question :)

My son just turned 4 in June and just started JK in September so up until now he hasn’t had any friends to even talk about sleepovers. He has spent the night with his grandparents probably since he was two and in the last few months has been requesting to sleep over at Nana’s house or at Oma’s house.

I think for kids under 6, sleepovers probably only occur with family members. I think that most kids under 6 aren’t comfortable to be at a “stranger’s” house. I know that my son is not close enough to anyone to ask me for a sleepover.

Keep blogging! I loved you at Serena Southerlyn and I love reading your blogs. Apart from Mark McGrath, your’s is the only blog on here that I’ve been interested in reading.

Thanks for sharing your life with us.

Lisa on

I’ve found that women can just be catty. That’s why I don’t go on forums like thebump, thenest, and theknot. When I was pregnant, I would go on for advice and get “flamed” (yes, it’s a word for being attacked). It got to the point where it would just upset me. I have a hard time reading negative comments so I couldn’t put myself out there like you do.

I don’t agree with co-sleeping and I think you’re a little overprotective but to each their own. I don’t think you need to breastfeed your kid when they’re 5 but if you want, that’s your prerogative, just don’t try to push your views on me. You’d probably think that some of the things I do as a parent are crazy too so there ya go.

Elizabeth Parker on

Hi Elisabeth. “Bully” is a word that has morphed over the years, taking on more meaning. I notice the word a lot, because I live in Central America and work in a private high school and “bullying” is now an actual psychological term that they don’t translate to spanish. I’m 44 years old, but when I was a kid in Chicago the class bully was just the mean kid. So your blog got a lot of negative activity for a rather new “term”, AND what is probably some regional sensitivity. Being politically correct is tough=)

My daughter and our babysitter’s daughter are the same age, so they were having “sleepovers” by the time they were between 4 and 5 BUT our kids feel at home in both of our houses because we live nearby. Lots of little girls here have “pajama parties” though, moms drop their girls off early evening in their jammies and pick them up around 9:30pm or so…sort of the sleepover without the homesickness. One mom I know even makes breakfast for the girls instead of dinner. Easton won’t be little for long, and every child matures at his or her own rate. My kids started camp this summer, my daughter is 11 and my son is 9 and both of them were just ready even though both camps accept kids as young as 6 and 7 (they spent 3 weeks though, not a few days).

No one knows your daughter better than you do…listen to your heart.

Rachel on

The thing is, I don’t think that a three year old (and this is coming from someone who teaches a room full of them) is really, truly capable of knowing what a “sleepover” is. I think they hear us big people talking about sleepovers and I think they hear us talking them up as great things, and then, they get there and the thought is essentially, “What the heck did I get myself into?”

A simple suggestion for something to do if Easton is asking for friends to sleep over is perhaps to set up a “Sleepover Playdate” plan it out for an afternoon (maybe even coordinating with naptime if that still applies). Have the children wear their pj’s to the playdate and bring a favorite stuffed animal or blanket. Build a tent in the child’s room with blankets and let them watch a short video or read stories and then tuck them in for their “sleepover.” This way they know that they don’t really have to go to sleep, they don’t have to stay all night and they get to go home when the playdate is over. Honestly, if you talk it up and make it fun, I’m betting most three year olds won’t know the difference.

Janey on

It made me sad, too, to see everyone tearing each other apart in the comments. But it isn’t just here, Elisabeth. I hope you realize that. Read the comments on any of the other blogs (or for the nastiest of the nasties, the Dancing with the Stars threads), and you’ll see just how people can get.

Writing/blogging can be so difficult, because you don’t get the facial expressions of personal conversations. I often have to read something twice, then re-read it AGAIN to make sure I’m not overreacting or misunderstanding something. When someone is jumping up your bum, try not to take it personally.

Okay, moving on. I think 3 is a little young for a sleepover, too; but only you & the other kiddo’s parents can decide what’s right for your little ones. As long as everyone can be contacted (just in case of a disaster), though, it may not hurt to give it a try. But whatever you do, don’t force it if either Easton or her friends aren’t ready yet. There will be plenty of time for slumber parties in middle school & beyond. :)

As far as suggested topics, can I throw something out there? How do you let your kid be a kid? They grow up so fast … how do you get/keep them interested in age-appropriate activities? To me, 3 & 4 year olds should be playing outside, playing dress-up, acting silly, drawing pictures/coloring, making up stories, & doing crafts. Yet I see little ones zoning out on mommy’s iphone every time I go out. I’m okay with a little tv/electronic distraction; but it seems like a lot of parents don’t interact with their kids when the digital babysitter is always right there. (My husband is guilty of this, so I’m really curious how other parents handle it.)

Paige on

Thank you so much for addressing mean spirited comments! I wish people could remember we are all different and what works for some doesn’t always work for others. We make decisions that reflect our personal beliefs and lifestyles, with the intention of making the best choice for our beliefs and lifestyles. Instead of judging others, we should be educating ourselves about alternate choices. We never know when that new information may be useful.

UES on

Elisabeth,

Your blog this week was so poignant and real – thank you. I have never commented before, but felt the need to let you know how it hit home. Just today, I had a conversation with a female co-worker about how tough and judgmental women can be on each other and how we tend to rip others apart to make ourselves feel better.

It is a so sad and a shame. We should be lifting each other up and supporting our fellow “sisters.” It boggles my mind that people take time to sign on and comment, just to say they “hate” a name someone choose for their child. Why put that much energy to project negativity into the world? I simply do not understand it, and never will.

Don’t get me wrong I am a lawyer and love a great debate – but to go out of your way to say something negative or hurtful, just to say it… ladies we can do better than that. We wonder where kids are getting things from sometimes, but a lot of the time we don’t have to look very far.

I did not read your blog on “bullying.” It seems like there was a real heckler’s veto, in that it was removed. Perhaps if people disagreed and were more thoughtful and constructive in their words, a real and helpful conversation could have stemmed from your blog.

Again, really appreciated your blog this week and how you approached the situation. Your daughter will be proud to read them some day. I hope all has worked itself out at pre-k! Keep doing what you are doing!

Amanda on

Elisabeth – I know exactly what you mean when you referenced the ‘paranoid head space’ we all get into. We try so hard to let our kids be their own little person and give them some freedom, but it is hard to let our babies go when all we want to do is hold them tight. It’s like we obsess about if they are okay and how are they doing – when they typically end up being just fine!

I must have missed the post about bullying, but I know what you’re saying about kids who seem to dominate other kids. You realize that they’re not bad kids per say, but when it is affecting your kids life in a negative way it is hard to not let that get to you. You are a great mom, and wanting to ‘talk it out’ is not something that should be criticized.

I know sometimes my words can be misinterpreted, so I know that feeling. I love your blog and I adore you & Easton. Hope all is well!

Nikki on

Wow. I appreciate your honesty and I’m astonished at the grace you’ve shown when facing such harsh criticism. It’s not easy putting yourself out there only to have someone completely twist your words and tear you apart. While we may not be a literal part of each other’s lives I’m sure we all face similar obstacles and I think it’s important to help each other instead of adding to the problems we have to face. We can agree to disagree on certain topics and then just be adults about it and let it go.

My thoughts on sleepovers…the only time I’d allow my daughter to have a sleepover at that age, and it was RARE, was with a trustworthy family member and that family member was my grandmother, plus she lived nearby. My daughter never really requested sleepovers until she was around 5 years old and even then…I was a bit nervous. It was easier perhaps because my daughter is friends with one of my best friend’s daughters. I know the family, I know their lifestyle and I know I can trust them.

I also tend to trust my “gut” or instinct. If my internal “radar” goes off about someone…based on previous experience… I know it’s spot on and I listen to the warning. Most mothers have this same kind of intuition. There are people we come in contact with that will give us a moment of unease and we can’t understand why. I wouldn’t become paranoid but I wouldn’t dismiss it either. Most times when I’ve been cautious about someone, I found out later that I was right to be guarded because my instinct was bang on.

Abby on

I think the way women judge each other so harshly and with so much cruelty is unfair and so detrimental to us. That we can’t build each other up makes me really sad.

marie on

I don’t think our personalities stay the same as they were at aged three…Because apparently i was a bit of a bully and headstrong at that age! I am shocked by some of the stories My parents have told me lol…Because by the time i was 5 i became very shy and quiet…and i remember always being a gentle kid….and still pretty much the same today.

jen on

Hi Elisabeth,

I appreciate you addressing the issues that your past blogs raised. I would not be as thick-skinned as you are to “weather” the comments. On a positive note, I want to tell you this impresses me very much. I admit I was critical of you posting the “bully” blog and am glad you exercised hindsight in removing it.

However, I’m still a little concerned because the blog post IS STILL POSTED ON YOUR PERSONAL WEBSITE (elisabeth-rohm.com). Question: WHY is it still up there??? If it was so problematic and you anticipate it to be problematic to your child in the future, remove it from ALL online sources – particularly your own site!

I got the sense (perhaps I’m misreading it) that you were more bothered by the comments being made that would negatively affect your life/child than you were the content itself (I felt it could be construed as “bullying” on your part that you were publicly speaking about a child in what could be seen as a negative manner…I know that wasn’t your intention, but I was worried that’s how it was going to be CONSTRUED).

Blogging rule 101 is that you should never identify someone in a blog that could be misconstrued in a negative way (ie. I was concerned that the child you were identifying in that blog and her parents were perhaps being cast in a very detrimental light…and they don’t have a national forum in which to defend themselves).

As such, I would strongly advise you to remove the blog post from your personal website as well. With that said, you also have the right to freedom of speech (as long as you are not libeling someone in what you write). This can be a slippery slope legally and I just want you to be extremely mindful of this. I don’t want to see you sued for defamation of character because I know that’s not your heart’s intent!

Another suggestion I have is that i hope that you have people who are proofreading and giving you feedback on your blog topics prior to being published to a national audience. (I would assume you do?) I teach writing and am a professor of communication/media studies and if I were pre-reading your blogs to give you advice on what to cut out and what could be awkward/inaccurate wording (ie. using the word “bully” instead of a different phrase), as an editor, I would have steered you into a different way of saying what you meant.

I am seeing some commenters on here who also feel as though you are a bit long-winded and redundant sometimes as well (which is VERY common in most people’s writing!)…if you can, just try to have as many people as possible pre-read your blog before it goes to a national audience to help you tighten up your writing and help you obviate anything that could be misconstrued by your audience.

Best of luck in your future endeavors and thank you for your candid response.

jen on

I’d like to point out to all of the commenters on here who are saying that women are “catty” in being critical of blog posts that this is extremely sexist and detrimental to call women who voice opposing opinions as “catty”.

It is important to speak up when one disagrees with something, not remain silent. As a woman, I will not be silent when I see something I disagree with. Women do not need to agree with everything and never rock the boat, so to speak. If you disagree, VOICE YOUR OPINION.

Yes, it is uncalled for when anyone is mean-spirited for the sake of being mean, but this is NOT unique to women. Please be mindful that it sets women back when you cast them in stereotypical ways (ie. by saying that women are prone to cat-fights, being catty, etc).

ENCOURAGE ALL WOMEN TO SPEAK UP IN A SOCIETY. Just stress that they need to voice their opposing opinions in a MINDFUL, THOUGHTFUL WAY.

Being “catty” isn’t a mark of being female, it’s a mark of being immature. Please understand the difference when speaking about women in general.

Teri on

Elisabeth, thank you so much for being honest and open and yourself. I don’t watch TV, so I am not familiar with you from there, but I’ve been hooked on your blog from the first one on. Unfortunately, I seem to have missed the bully one, it was probably taken down before I had a chance to see it.

On the subject of sleepovers, EVERY child is different, and we, as parents, know our children better than anyone else, so it is up to US to figure out if our child is “old enough” or not. Some children are very grown up at 3 1/2, some are still very clingy.

Personally, my 3 1/2 year old is a mixture of both. She has stayed overnight about five times now at her Grandmother’s, most of those times when her Half-sister is there as well, and she’s always very excited to do so. However, she doesn’t have any really close friends her own age, so I wouldn’t yet feel comfortable letting her stay overnight with a friend.

Speaking of, that is an issue I’d like you to talk about, if you can. My child is very shy around others her age, and I’d LOVE to pick her up from Pre-school and see her playing with someone rather than every day picking her up and see her playing alone.

I don’t know, is it something I’ve done? Have -I- made her introverted? How is Easton on this matter, does she have friends her own age that she plays with on a regular basis? Or do you see her more often than not sitting playing somewhere alone when you or Ron pick her up?

My little girl, her name is Ahvie, has been in Pre-school since she turned 3 in May, so to give a timeline, it’s been almost six months now.

I don’t think I’m a bad parent, I think she’s just emulating me – and I am very introverted and don’t leave the house much just to “socialize”. But I’m worried I may be affecting her TOO much.

Maybe some of you other readers can give me an opinion on this too? But please…no putting down, let us lift each other up! Remember all our children are different. I’m not asking for criticism, I’m asking for help.

Anonymous on

well said, elisabeth!

Twin Mom on

I’ve missed the last two weeks but thank you addressing something that you clearly felt needed to be talked about. It’s sad that some people feel the need to find the negative in everything, but unfortunately that’s how it is sometimes.

As for sleepovers, my children have slept over at their grandparents’ house (my parents) since they were babies and consistently spend the night over there as we are all very close. Other than that, they’ve all slept over at my in-laws’ house once and my oldest stayed with his uncle once about a year ago.

But would I be comfortable with my oldest staying the night at a friends’ house? No, not just yet. I would need to be comfortable with the parents, their house and, frankly, he needs to be a little older. He’s 6 now and we’ll consider it if/when the subject comes up but I doubt we’ll go for it until he’s in middle school. However, we would probably make an exception to a family we’re all really close to and have known for over 10 years but they’re the only ones I would trust with my children. Otherwise, he’ll need to wait. And my twins will most likely follow that same rule.

As for lying, we always stress that they’ll be in more trouble if they lies than if they were to tell the truth. It’s an issue we’re working on and I’m sure we’ll continue to work on with all of the kids for years to come.

mamatobe on

I really love reading your blog and love your tone. Just so you know, at least one person wasn’t taking your ‘bully’ blog THAT seriously to get angry about it.

I think that the response you received is in line with some of the problems that parents face with one another. Rather than being able to speak openly, intellectually and realistically about children’s behavior with one another everyone gets super defensive and at times even acts like a child themselves. I totally understand some of this comes from instinctual protectiveness, however- we are the adults, its up to us to A.) Talk about it and B.) Set a positive example for our kids.

oops… Didnt mean to go on a rant… but I am happy you will continue blogging! :)

Mandy on

It is OK to disagree with each other, but to FORCE your own opinion on someone by telling them how much of a bad person they are for doing something is not good. Gentle disagreements and debates are fine, but the name calling and tearing someone down to the point that you make them question themselves is not.

No one has the right answers to everything parenting. It’s just not possible. We each have our own parenting styles that fit our personalities. That’s not to say one person is wrong in the parenting, it’s just different. We should embrace the differences, but not be judgmental towards each other. Being a mommy is hard work. We should be able to lean on each other not tearing each other down.

Elisabeth, I’m sure you are a fine mother! I appreciate you putting your life out here for everyone to see, I know that has to be difficult for you.

On the sleepovers, in my family we get to have sleepovers for our 10th birthdays. Until then it’s only family we stay with. So it’s nice to be able to celebrate that getting older and having more responsibility. I do believe that 3 1/2 is very young for that. If it were me I would only let her with family so she gets used to being away from you and won’t be as scared when she’s older. That’s just me though. I’m sure anything you decide will be right for you and your family and not what’s right for anyone else. Keep up the good mommy work.

Jen S. on

Wow!! I have never been offended by any of your blogs and when I leave my comments, I don’t read anyone else’s and keep it moving. I had no idea things were getting out of hand like this on the board.

I think it is very brave of you to share with us which is something you don’t really need to do…I know I couldn’t do it. If anything it makes you more vulnerable to scrutiny and the mean wackos out there who just want to be negative for no other reason than they can hide behind their keyboard. I always ignore and never respond to haters, period. I actually find them funny b/c anyone with that much vemon is not a happy person and feels like they need to lash out to validate their own lives and problems. You can only feel sorry for and not take offense to people like that.

I feel your every good intention about writing this blog and I am sure that I am not alone. Keep up the good work and know that those of us who are here for the right reasons which is to share and bring together know what is really going on. Take care.

Lila on

Sometimes the worst thing about being a mom is OTHER MOTHERS! They can be truly vicious. I am not sure why we tend to rip each other down instead of trying to build each other up.

You know in your heart you are an awesome mom, and your daughter has a wonderful life. At the end of the day, other people and their opinions really don’t matter.

BTW- I also have an only child and sometimes waver on it. But I know either way that my daughter is destined to have a great life filled with loving people!

Danielle on

Unfortunately, there’s a community on the internet that seems to be solely dedicated to the art of trolling. Even if they don’t really believe in the viewpoints they respond with, they just mess with their targets to get a reaction out of them and be just general jerks to everyone around them (which is why I tend to not read CNN comments myself). Some people are able to ignore them because we tend to know how trolls operate and just tell ourselves that they must not have much in the way of hobbies if they spend their free time doing this, but I know others tend to be stung very badly by the trolling antics of internet community members.

I had one person take a story I worked on and rewrite it to be the most horrible, atrocious thing ever, but I just pretty much ignored the guy and never gave him the time of day. USUALLY an internet troll will give up trying after a while, but at times you do have those unusually persistent ones.

Ah, sleepovers. I was the sad nerdy kid who never had many friends during the sleepover times of my life and so spent most nights alone at home with my Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64. I think the only times I ever went to someone else’s house was my cousins to stay up til all hours of the night playing Halo. >>; I was definitely not your standard kid.

Sarah on

I don’t have any children… yet. Our little one is due in January. It’s wonderful to get to read about someone else’s opinion on different parenting topics. It allows me the chance to think of the topic (that maybe wouldn’t even be on my radar yet) and come up with my own opinion, whether they matches yours or not.

As far as sleepovers go, I don’t think that a child is really ready for it until around 7. Of course, each kid is different and I’m sure there are raring to go at 3, 4 or 5. I just think of how upsetting it can be to be in someone else’s house with someone else’s mom and having an accident, or a bad dream, etc.

As for my favourite sleepover memory… I was about 13 and my friends mom ordered pizza for us at midnight. It was something that my mom would never do, so it felt like an adventure for me. Now, 13 years later, it still stands out in my mind as the best sleep over ever!

K on

I’m so glad that you addressed those comments! You go girl! When I was growing up, my mom always said to me, “I’ve never been a mom before, so I know I’m going to make mistakes.”

I think you are doing a great job. Everyone of us experienced very different upbringings. Merging those upbringings with those of our partners, as well as what we would like to do differently, gives us all very different parenting styles. I often wonder how I would of handled some of the challenges that my mom faced.

You are so brave for putting yourself out there. The older I get, the more I realize that women would be much better off if we were more inclined to discuss certain feelings that we often hide.

I’m not a mom yet, but I love reading your blogs because I feel like I’m really getting some insight. I also appreciate how well spoken you are.

Easton is a very lucky lady. Make sure to tell yourself on a daily basis that you are a great mom, and make sure to forgive yourself for anything that you or others deem as mistakes.

Elizabeth on

Hello Elisabeth with an S from Elizabeth with a Z! Your blog is one of my all time favorites and I look forward to all your posts. I read both of the blogs you mentioned and I honestly didn’t see any issue. I do remember thinking you were brave to blog about another child who would be so easy to indentify because obviously you would have some backlash about it. Keep blogging though … the benefits far outweigh the negatives!

As for sleepovers, my daughter is only 20 months so we haven’t had any sleepovers. I remember from my own childhood that I hated sleeping at other people’s houses but loved people sleeping at mine. I’d say try it out with a family member or close friend first and go from there!

Have a great weekend!

Jen B on

I must have missed the doozy post after the camp post too. This has already been echoed above – but parenting a three year old is a challenge. I never know if I’m doing more good or causing more harm!

Jumping into the topic at hand today — we did have a sleepover at a friend’s house while we were in the process of moving across the country just 2 months ago. The first night, the kids (both newly 3) did fairly well the first night – but the second night was a disaster. We ended up having to separate them.

We then moved on to one of my best friend’s houses where we stayed for longer than anticipated due to weather and my lack of desire to drive 8 hours in the wind/rain with a three year old and a one year old. My son and my friend’s daughter played like two peas in a pod all day long. At the park, at the play gym, in the backyard — you name it. But bedtime was a nightmare. It worked out that the friend spent a few nights with Mom and Dad in their room and she begrudgingly gave her room to my son. But we made it work.

So — all told, our three year old sleepovers weren’t huge successes! I’d say give it a whirl if you need to, but I don’t think they’re quite ready just yet. But then again, each kid is different so who knows.

Lying — my Mom had a great trick that worked for years with my brother and I. She told us that if we were lying a big red “L” would appear on our forehead to let her know. When she would ask a question — if either of us put our hand over our forehead before answering her, it was a sheer giveaway! :) And as I got older, I developed a healthy fear of my Mom and punishment!

Good luck. I enjoy your posts – the honesty, the frankness and the willing to accept all the comments. :)

Mira on

Elisabeth,

I read and posted on the “bully post” and I’m glad you realize that you misused the word.

I am disappointed, though, that you took down the post only to protect Easton. How about the other child and the parents of the other child, whom you openly criticized and insulted? Shouldn’t the post have been removed to protect them?

Good luck to you as you navigate parenthood. I think your experience will be significantly easier and less fraught with conflict if you come to grips with the fact that you cannot control your child’s environment 100% and you accept that your child and her needs do not trump everybody else’s needs.

Finally, I don’t appreciate the accusations that almost everyone who criticized you was “mean-spirited”. I think very few comments contained hurtful language. If anything, the posters calling for an end to critical comments were the offensive, mean-spirited ones. I’m so sick and tired of all the trivial calls for civility in the form of “you’re jealous, you must have a sad life, shut up if you have nothing nice to say” etc. etc.

Courtney on

Dear Elisabeth – I think you are a great mother and I enjoy reading your blogs. I think, though, you might need to grow a little tougher skin, or simply DON’T read all of the negative comments.

The internet is a cruel, cruel place at times. You can’t control what people will say. You can’t control how people will perceive your blog. Blogging is a one-way street no matter which way you look at it, because you aren’t having a back-and-forth conversation with the person who might be disagreeing with you. You simply can’t explain, justify, reiterate or change your mind once your words are out in cyberspace!

So, keep on keepin’ on! But don’t go back on your words. If you put something out there, stand by it. Or don’t put it out there at all!

Annie Mouse on

Elisabeth,

My children are almost 8 and almost 5 and they have yet to sleep anywhere, but their grandparent’s house alone (and they’ve had each other and have seen their grandparents weekly since birth). But since they do ask for sleepovers (and neither stay dry through the night – ugh, don’t get me started on that topic), we’ve been able to compromise. They’ve had friends & cousins who have spent the night here – the friends’ Moms or Dads have also slept here, the cousins are older and are fine on their own.

We’ve also taken one at a time to sleep at a friend’s house or to camp and one of us has has stayed with them. It’s been a good way to ease them (and us) into the idea of sleeping somewhere other than their own bed. I know someday we’ll have to let them go solo, but I hate to burden another parent with the overnight diaper issue (even if they say they don’t mind) and the potential Wake Up in the Middle of the Night in Unfamiliar Surroundings Freak Out.

Re: The Bully issue – I didn’t comment before but we have a boy like that in our neighborhood who truly is a bully and says mean things and we will not let him come over anymore (his nice younger brother is welcome), helicopter parent when they’re playing together outside, and continue to request that he not be in our son’s class at school. We don’t invite him to birthday parties nor other activities he might enjoy. Sometimes you have to protect your child, even if he/she doesn’t understand and you look like “the bad guy.” And we cannot talk to the parents about it due to a language barrier.

You don’t parent the way I do, but you clearly love your daughter and are doing your best and I respect that. Thank you for your candor.

Sarah K. on

Hi. I’m one of the people who expressed some concerns about your bullying blog (although, I hope I wasn’t vicious or disrespectful). I wouldn’t have the patience that you do when people go so far as to insult your daughter. I guess not enough people have mastered the skill of expressing an opinion without calling other’s names. So, kudos to you for putting yourself out there despite the criticism.

But, I have to agree with Jen’s response. I didn’t realize you still had the blog up on your personal website until I read her comment. I have to ask – why? How could you be more concerned with the comments you were receiving then the content of the blog itself? You very clearly identified this little girl and made some pretty serious accusations about her home life and resulting behavior. If you’re really that concerned about her well-being, a blog is not the appropriate place to express those concerns.

To say that this little girl is unhappy and is lashing out to the extent that your daughter is suffering at her hands is a very serious thing to say. But, in this blog you’ve basically retracted that even though your website still has the bullying blog. I would assume the family doesn’t want their personal business on your website. It might be in the best interest of both girls to take down the blog entirely.

As for the sleepover thing, I think 3 is a bit too young. Even 7 year olds get scared and want to go home at night. I can only imagine how terrified a 3 year old would be sleeping at a non-relative’s house. Besides, 3 year olds aren’t the best candidates for slumber parties since they’re asleep by 8 or 9 anyways. Maybe try a evening pajama party and do fun nighttime activities, like making s’mores. That way, the toddlers get some of the experience, but then get to go home at night.

Dawn on

I commend you for continuing this blog even though women have been getting more and more critical. This is a personal/public blog. Not every post has to be perfect. I personally do not find you long winded or redundant. I enjoy a long post. I also like how you are trying to fully explain the point you are trying to make. I say, keep doing what you are doing.

I did read the bullying post and to be honest, I didn’t feel that it deserved all that criticism. I did not think you were picking at another child at all. I read it and I felt that you were having the same problem that most of us do with our own children.

How many times does a person see their child responding to different kids in different ways depending on their personality type? Easton may only be piggy-backing off of this other child’s free spirit attitude. For a lot of kids they try to emulate other children’s actions even if it is not in their personality because they find it freeing.

These ladies should not have taken it so literally. I would have to say the people getting nasty on the comments were the bullys!

Lizzie on

Elisabeth ~ I really enjoy your blogs and look forward to reading them. Your honesty is refreshing. Thank you! :)

Maria on

Well, I didn’t read those particular blogs- but all I know is that anyone who put their personal info on parenting out there into cyberspace is gonna get negative feedback no matter what you say! People can anonymously attack you and act superior without having to own it. try to know it is not personal, people just like to be opionionated and rude sometimes!

Deanna on

i don’t always agree with everything, however, I truly appreciate your honesty. I feel that a lot of celebrity parents generally say the “right” thing to make themselves look good. Its also nice to know that you will actually read this comment.

Lady M on

@Jen “Blogging rule 101″ “Sue for defamation” “Strongly advise”

Are you serious?! What are you, the blogging police?! Elisabeth can write whatever she wants to write. Just like many other famous bloggers out there who already do. Just click on the “DOOCE” link below and see for yourself. Or maybe just refrain from reading these types of blogs.

ilikebeerandbabies.com on

Welcome to blogging. People are mean. For no reason. Don’t let their negativity get you down. You know you are a good parent and that is all that matters. Let the meanies have their fun and just ignore it. I had a woman tell me flat out that I was going to be a bad mom as a comment to an obviously joking post about parenting. I am sure that made her feel important. It made me feel bad. Which I am sure was her intent. Now it makes me laugh because being mean might be all that she has and my life is overflowing with awesomeness. Hang in their, sister. Your blog is entertaining and relevant. And you are a good mom. The end.

Julie
ilikebeerandbabies.com

3littles on

Elisabeth, I have to tell you that I love your blog! I did think that you used the word “bully” too easily, but I understood what you were trying to say. I was surprised that you gave enough detail to identify the child, but thought maybe you had spoken to the family before posting the blog.

You asked what we would like to “talk” about. I am a working mom of three very small children; our oldest is 16 months! My husband stays home to take care of the babies. Overall the arrangement works for us, but it can be stressfull and we don’t always understand eachother.

I’ve read that working women with stay-at-home dads/husbands have become more common since the recession, but I don’t know many people who have this in their lives. I would like to hear how other people handle the conflicts that arise, what other women do to keep themselves from controlling everything, and how the stay-at-home dads feel about their lives (and their wives)!

annie on

I’m going to re-post Jen’s comments because she so perfectly conveyed what I wanted to say. -annie

I’d like to point out to all of the commenters on here who are saying that women are “catty” in being critical of blog posts that this is extremely sexist and detrimental to call women who voice opposing opinions as “catty”.

It is important to speak up when one disagrees with something, not remain silent. As a woman, I will not be silent when I see something I disagree with. Women do not need to agree with everything and never rock the boat, so to speak. If you disagree, VOICE YOUR OPINION.

Yes, it is uncalled for when anyone is mean-spirited for the sake of being mean, but this is NOT unique to women. Please be mindful that it sets women back when you cast them in stereotypical ways (ie. by saying that women are prone to cat-fights, being catty, etc).

ENCOURAGE ALL WOMEN TO SPEAK UP IN A SOCIETY. Just stress that they need to voice their opposing opinions in a MINDFUL, THOUGHTFUL WAY.

Being “catty” isn’t a mark of being female, it’s a mark of being immature. Please understand the difference when speaking about women in general.

- jen on October 14th, 2011

krissa on

I am paid blogger for an online parenting magazine. There are people out there who will disagree with you to disagree with you. They’d argue that rain wasn’t wet if they could.

There are trolls who just lay in wait for you to post your next blog so they can make a crude comment.

The topics that bring out the worst in people are usually the ones that there needs to be a dialogue about – unfortunately sometimes the internet can be the worst platform for it to take place on.

Keep blogging. Keep on being real.

You sharing your life with us “common folk” is truly appreciated!

krystall dawn on

You are going to find haters EVERYWHERE :) it’s the power of being anyone you want online. I wouldn’t take them to heart.

It’s funny because I can relate your experiences but I was a younger mother than you are (had my daughter at 21) and it makes me revisit a different stage in Aurora’s life and just by pausing it makes me remember that each stage has it’s ups and downs. I think you’re doing great going with the flow,.

I don’t comment on here ever, but I thought you should know there are people that are reading that really like your blog posts.

My daughter is almost 10 now and it’s still a ride (mostly fun) :) Aurora stared sleep over’s that age. I think the independence is a good thing, she’s never been afraid to go new places and try new things. I understand why some parents wait, and I think the most important thing is gage what you think is best for your child… I respect others that don’t have their kids sleep over for awhile but it’s not what I chose for Aurora. I want her to be comfortable in and out of our house and see that every household does things differently.

Keep blogging. I enjoy it!

Lisa Kentala on

I think 3 1/2 is too young for a sleepover. The child may wake up scared in the night and want to go home – even get hysterical or disoriented. I would wait a while. However I’m not fond of sleepovers at any age. I only have sons so I’m not sure this applies to girls, but when boys do sleepovers they stay up all night playing video games and sleep when they get home – the entire next day – not good! My youngest is 14 and we stopped sleepovers a few years ago because this was happening on a regular basis.

ErinjCruz on

Thanks for clearing that up. I personally don’t always agree with everything you write in your blog, but I definitely have the understanding that those are your views/opinions and you’re writing the blog to elicit discussion, not to preach to us. So… I always go by the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” rule…

I’m glad you wrote this, because I was frustrated with the attacks that I was hearing on your blog towards you… and I say that with someone who also disagreed with some of the things I was reading. There’s a way to respectfully disagree. Or just don’t comment.

RE: SLEEPOVERS
I probably started going on “official” sleepovers in the sense of staying over at friends’ houses when I was about six or seven. Prior to that, I always had sleepovers at my Grandmother’s house (we stayed there for 6 weeks every summer to avoid horrible summer camps, actually) – and I stayed over at my neighbours’ house quite frequently… But an actual “my friend called and invited me to sleepover, not because you need me out of the house but just for FUN” was probably in the second grade or so…

Consider this a warning though… my mother to this day still complained about all the sleepovers I went on because apparently the next day, after not enough sleep, way too much sugar and a messed up bedtime routine, I was quite a cranky girl, and SHE had to deal with it.

This is just another random thought also… but when Easton starts going to sleepovers when she is older, I would be cognizant of making sure you know what she is watching… I remember being an eight year old at this girls’ house and her parents let us watch something we shouldn’t have watched as little kids… and I was so so scared for YEARS. For years I had nightmares about this show they let us watch… and my mom had no idea what it was or how to help because she wasn’t there and they hadn’t told her.

So… in a non “I’m the embarrassing mom who is going to monitor everything” way, I’d make sure you agree with whatever parents on what is appropriate and what isn’t. (I only JUST, using extreme googling skills and bits and pieces of faded memories, found out what I had watched that scary night and re-watched it… not so scary anymore, haha).

Shannon on

Love your blogs, Elisabeth! It takes a lot of courage to open up to everyone and deal with the inevitable feedback. Best wishes for you and your beautiful family!

Beth on

I’ve never commented here. My kids are older than Easton, and reading your blog brings back all those days of little kids and all the complexity involved (trust me — I think it just gets more complex).

I just wanted to say that you’ve handled this with a great deal of grace under pressure. It was wise to have the post taken down, especially if comments were devolving.

Nice to know that you read the comments. Try not to take people who are simply mean for mean’s sake too seriously.

Jess on

I have commented a few times before. I LOVE reading your blogs on here! I look to see when you have posted a new one. I appreciate your honesty and candidness. It is nice to see that celebrities are real people too and go through the same parenting issues that we do.

People get really nasty on here, but it is the same old story, with regards to moms tearing each other down, being competitive and judging instead of being supportive.

I think that you have encouraged a lot of really good dialogue!! Keep blogging and being yourself. You are doing a great job at being a mom and you are voicing what a lot of us think, but are never able to say for fear of retribution.

kimmy on

I too agree that if you feel bad about the “bully blog” you should take it off your website. I feel sorry for that child’s parent’s. You have the right to not want your child to hang out with this child, complain to the school, whatever, but how would you feel if someone wrote a blog on People.com about your daughter. I bet you would feel horrible to see such things written about your daughter. Remember the Golden Rule, Treat others as you would like to be treated.

Janie on

Quick and to the point: 3-1/2 is too young for a sleepover. There’s plenty of time for that when she’s 8, 9, 10, etc.

Patti on

Elisabeth, I love your blogs and I would not change a thing! You are an honest, eloquent writer. As a Mother of 3 girls, I can relate to every topic you tackle. Glad you are not going to let cruel, hateful people stop you.

Backpacking Dad on

I’ve been blogging for a long time now, and when I found out that some people I knew locally, interacted with daily, knew of and read my blog I became very mindful of the other characters who were showing up in the melodrama. While I consider it entirely my own discretion what I’ll share about my children, I am more cautious about details from my wife’s world, and more cautious still about details from the worlds of friends or acquaintances. That is all about my own level of comfort, though, and not about some obligation I feel to other people not to talk about them. If I don’t think I can handle the conversations I’ll have in person as a result of what I might say, I don’t say it. But others have an easier time with those risks.

Emily on

I’m always worrying about being careful with the topics and information I share on my own blog, while still wanting it to be personal and real. It’s a difficult balancing act, and I feel for you!

On another note, my son is just like Easton when I ask him about his day. According to him he never eats anything, does anything, or goes anywhere. Ha!

Julie on

Love reading your blogs…. I find them to be refreshingly HONEST!! Sorry that I missed the “Bully” blog, as I had that same issue with a child here in the neighborhood.

JTF on

I have never posted a comment before, but I just have to say I read your blogs all the time and I am so glad that 1) you take the time to read the responses, 2) you don’t let the negativity of the mean people get to you and 3) you are still going!

While I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I also feel we need to respect each other and their opinions. I think some people post just to be negative and hurtful and it’s sad because they obviously need something better to do with their time :)

jessica on

Elisabeth,
I have generally not been a fan of your posts as I don’t really agree with alot of them, but this one was refreshing. I also agree with what you said about how mean some people can get on here, it really isn’t helpful or necessary to be that way. Conversations do not really require such negativity, even if you do disagree with someone. This post alone will keep me reading!

Sarah on

Jen, your posts are very condescending. I am a journalist/writer, and when I write something that I know will end up with a large audience, I write what I want to write in the way I want to do it. I’m sure Elisabeth did the same thing. I’m sure she’s had much more experience being in front of a national audience than you have, and I’m sure she knows the consequences.

Editors should stick to looking for grammar errors and the like, not trying to change a writer’s style or wording. This isn’t a research paper; it’s a casual blog post. I refuse to work with editors who want to change a writer’s style or reword something so it doesn’t say what the author wanted to say.

In your second post, you even tell people how to react to things and what to call each other. That’s ridiculous.

I’m sorry this has nothing to do with Elisabeth’s post, but I had to speak up about that. I can’t tolerate people who think they know it all.

J on

I’m with Mira regarding not appreciating your calling others mean spirited. Just because someone disagrees with you doesnt mean they are picking on you.

Yes, some comments were a little harsh, but for the most part they disagreed and explained why. To me it seems more like a lot of people didnt agree with you and you took the post down because you didnt get the sympathy you usually look for. I dont understand why your other blog’s bully article wasnt taken down as well if it bothered you so much.

And spare us the wordy kumbaya post trying to explain that you did talk to counselors at camps after complaining to us that the camp neglected yoir kid when they really didn’t, or that you didnt mean to call other kids a bully. If that was the case you would have posted all of that the first time and not give us a wordy explanation that you always keeps things out of your stories here when you have your constant complaint articles hoping for pats on the back after you trash another kid.

Dont be upset because people call you out and then come back and make it seem like you were attacked after you’ve made petty complaints more than a few times. Some people are tired of it is all. You dont need handholding, just stop whining about very little thing and then getting upset when people get tired of the dramatics and give their opinions.

JasminBelle on

Haha, how funny that once somebody calls y’all out on your cruelty it becomes, ‘well maybe I don’t agree with all that you have to say’..etc. About half of you women are RUTHLESS! Both with each other and towards these celebs. You say some wicked things here under the guise of your screen names that you would never have the guts to say to anybody’s face, especially not a celeb.

Half of you are sweet and encouraging but the other half..whooeeh! Try a little tenderness! Maybe you can see now that famous folks have feelings too. This poor woman actually takes these comments to heart and reacts accordingly.

Lis, keep doing your thing and try to brush these people off. The more successful you are in your life the more of these types are going to criticize your every move. You’re bright and beautiful and a great mom (half of us can see that)!

Elizabeth on

Elisabeth, I didn’t catch the bully post, but I fully enjoy reading everything you write on this blog. You are very open as a mother and I love it! You do not sugar coat anything, and that is something I hope to be able to do when or if I am ever a parent.

In every photo Easton looks like such a happy, sweet child. You and your family are certainly doing something correct, she is going to be one amazing adult!

I want to tell you that you should never appologize for how you feel, or what you write. There are alot of people in this world and on this site that will cut you up for every tiny thing because they get a rise out of it. This is your little girl, and your life. Always feel powerful about everything you do, never lose that passion.

I hope you guys do decide to add another child into your family, Easton is truely a beautiful little girl and she would make a terrific big sister! Thanks for writing every blog, it is very awesome to see this side of celebrities once in awhile!

Audrey on

I really enjoy your mommy blog. I especially enjoy the stories about your mom and how it shapes your parenting style with Easton. I think you are funny, interesting, and insightful (only a little California kooky sometimes). :)

I have a four year old with an attitude problem-I thought that did not show up until around 13-guess I was wrong. Would welcome some creative correction ideas.

lara on

As a mother of six young children I do believe it is important not to rush things like sleepovers. There is plenty of time for sleepovers summer camp etc.

I enjoy your blog and I think your heart is 100% in the right place. I love how you co-slept and are so sensitive to her needs but some things can wait until they can be enjoyed at their fullest. MHO :)

Sarah K. on

Mira, I agree. I too have noticed that the posters who are criticizing others comments are mostly the ones who use nasty language and name-calling. I critiqued the bully blog without being mean-spirited and so did most other people.

And, in the bully blog most of the “negative” comments were actually in defense of this other child/family who did not ask for their personal business to be aired out. Most people were expressing concern that this other toddler (remember, she is also only 3) was being accused of being a bully, making Easton suffer, being unhappy, and generally ruining an otherwise perfectly behaved Easton. There was a lot of blame thrown at the feet at this toddler who had never even been violent or threatening to Easton. And then it was suggested her family life was to blame for her behavior.

So yes, posters called out the inappropriateness of that blog. To be honest, that was the right thing to do. It would be perfectly obvious to everyone at Easton’s school who this little girl was since she was so clearly identified. Elisabeth can defend herself as she has done here, but what about this pre-schooler and her parents? They don’t get to jump on to people.com and defend themselves. How exactly should they combat accusations that their child is troubled and a bully?

And for those wishing you’d had a chance to read the bully blog because your child is in a similar situation, don’t worry. The “bully” in the blog was a 3 yr. old Elisabeth said was sweet and loving and her daughter loved her.

concerned on

Look, I really hate to see you come out and try to justify your statements because of the comments of others. YOU are the parent and YOU know what is best. Your insticnts are right and should not have to be justified.

I am a homeschooling mom of 4 and take very seriouly who our children keep company with. Please do not give in to pressure to loosen up or reliquench your God given right to protect your child as long and you can. You must set what is exceptable in the eyes of your child not people who are probablly better and telling others how to “be” that they are at “being” themselves. And in 6 months opinions will not make a difference when real life issues are at hand. If you knew the attitudes and behaviours of their children, you may not want to give to much heed to their “words of wisdom”.

We have but a VERY SHORT time to mold and instill as much moral, truthful, honest, responsible, and hopefully God fearing traits into our children as possible. Who can own up to and take responsibility for the choices that THEY make and hopefully, that they have been given by a truely loving parent, the skills to be able to do so. Love is not always touchy feely emotions and letting one have their way. You are not rearing your child to be a four year old girl or even a 16 year old, but you are rearing your child to be a woman. Please don’t neglect instilling as much as you can even if it is not “exceptable” to the masses. This is the age they really do learn it. Twelve may be too late.

Just one more, sorry this is so long, too many today are not living in an accepting reality. “It is what it is” and if it is a “bully” however those characterists are displayed, then it is a “bully”. I do not sugarcoat many things, WHY? Stick to your guns, how and what you do does effect their future. Imagine the “bully” at 18. Is this the influence or what you want your clild to be looking to at this age. Or will she be able to see, for herself, because of what you have taught her, that this kind of personality is not something that I think is right or want to be.

tia on

I have a very shy easy going child.She was best friends with this other little girl who had a srtong personality.I noticed that this childs parents were very controlling people.I dealth with this by setting very clear limits for my daughter and teaching my daughter to avocate for herself.Their is a lot of nasty things that goes on at the school gates.Us parents can be crazy and judgemental of each other.

Sara on

I’m with ya girl! The past is where it should be, behind you! You’re a smart lady and write some concise intelligent sounding blogs. The flat out mean spirited comments are probably prompted by either jealousy or ignorance and need not be worried over. There are those who sprang to your defense maybe a little too strongly, eh?

As for Sleepovers… I have a bit of a different situation than you, as my MIL lives in our house, and you may not totally be able to relate but…. My almost 4yr old son has “sleepovers” with granny about once a week. She loves it and He LOVES it! He has to earn them by sleeping the night through in his own bed during the week, but either Friday or Saturday night he’s in her room in her bed =D It’s their own little ritual and special time to hang out and Mommy and Daddy get a night out to themselves (who would pass THAT up???)! Maybe starting that way, with a family member coming to YOUR house and hanging with her might help her transition (maybe let her stay up a bit past bed time as a reward?). OR you could try a “Nap time sleep over” (if she still naps that is) to ease her into it?

Recently my son asked to sleep at his friends house all night. I was all for it, but, since we are a “full disclosure household” I then explained to him that mommy and daddy would be sleeping at OUR house and if he woke up we would not be within walking across the hall distance, etc, etc. That made him stop and think a bit. Not 5 minutes later, after fielding more questions he says to me “mommy, I think maybe NEXT week I’ll want to try and sleep at X’s house”.

I think they get this idea of it being all fun and games. THEN we as parents make the mistake of not giving them ALL the details (like were we will be and what is expected of them while they are away) and end up having to go pick up a sobbing child at 2 am. AND, even if we DO give them all the info they are still just 4(ish) and nightmares are still real to them so the middle of the night drive is still a real possibility.

I think the best thing to do (and what you seem to do) is to trust YOUR judgment and go with what works for you and your family. If She’s ready (and adamant about being ready) you try it with the stipulation that she has to try and handle the scary herself. IF she wakes and is freaked you talk to her on the phone. Either she chills out and goes back to sleep or you go get her. In the end, you never know until you try (and that little gem applies to just about everything lol) =D

PS: I think you’re just fantastic and THAT matters not a bit. It’s what YOU think of you that matters the most =D

Jen on

LOL about the topic of sleepovers as I have two kids, ages 3 1/2 and 5, sleeping over tonight (and you naysayers, they are peacefully sleeping!). I do think 3 1/2 is young to have a sleepover with any “friend”, but the little girl spending the night is an exception. My husband and I have been friends with her parents for over 10 years, they live less then 5 minutes from us, and our kids have known each other since birth.

I think sleepovers at this age are ok IF it is the child of a very close friend or family. I would never let my 3 1/2 year old spend the night at a friend’s house that I didn’t know both of the parents VERY well. The great thing about sleepovers for us is that the kids DO behave and it’s always nice to have a quiet night when it’s not our turn to host the sleepover:-)

G’luck with your decision. My daughter also was begging for a sleepover when she was barely 3 and we decided to try it while we were on a short trip to Disney with our friends. We swapped kids while staying at a hotel – knowing that if it didn’t work, the other parents were simply a room or two over from us and could quickly and easily pick up their child.

hmm... on

CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG (said with a twang) lol

My baby girl 7yrs old…..can stay at grandparents or cousins. I may be a little paranoid BUT……BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY!!!!

Bad things can happen at even the closest friends. I know because it happened to me.

Grandma on

I think children like the allure of things that they know bigger people do, things that sound cool bc they hear it on tv or hear about it in a book. But we, as parents, need to understand that what a child thinks she wants and what is actually best for her are often not in-sync. A sleepover at easton’s age would not be a good idea. In fact, Easton has no way to even fully understand the concept of sleep-over.

So, one idea, is for you to host a Sleep-over playdate one afternoon. Have the girls wear pajamas for the playdate, paint toe-nails, watch a show in the dark, and have cookies and milk for a snack in eastons room w the lights off. Or, do a camping sleep-over, Set up a tent in your living room, Make pretend s’mores w fluff, chocolate n Grahams, play a radio, tell funny stories, roll out sleeping bags, pull curtains and turn off the lights, give girls flashlights and let them play in the tent for their mini “sleep-over.”.

Either way, In an hour or so the playdate is over but the kids still feel like they e experienced a sleep-over. And you know you gave her a positive, age appropriate experience.

Lee on

Elisabeth – You can have a “sleepover” that doesn’t last all night… Say from 5-10PM while the other kid’s parents go out to dinner. You can play games, have dinner, make dessert, put pajamas on & watch a movie & put the kids to bed in sleeping bags. Then the other child can either be carried home asleep.

Kristin on

Hi Elisabeth,

I agree with the previous posters that said that you should remove the “Bully” post from your personal website as well. For the sake of all involved (the girl, the girl’s family, Easton, and yourself), I think it would be best.

Even though I don’t always agree with your blogs, I hope you continue to blog. It is a brave thing to expose your parenting decisions to the world, and even more so when you are a known public figure. I also think that maybe you can benefit from the (constructive) comments because, hey, no one’s perfect, and outsiders can often give you a new perspective on an issue that you yourself are too close to it to see. I think everyone benefits from healthy discussion/debate, and I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to take dissent as a personal attack.

Anyway, thanks for your contributions to this site.

P.S. On a personal note, I have been a fan of your work since you were on Angel and look forward to seeing your future endeavors!

SherriP on

I’ve got twin boys, they are 15 months now and I’m fairly sure just about every nap and night is considered a sleepover, lol. That said my kids have slept at my parents and in-laws since they were probably 4 months old, not all the time, just occassionally. Obviously they are far to young for me to consider leaving them with people other family, without some very extenuating circumstances.

My husband and I took a 6 day vacation for our anniversary and it was so great that we could leave our boys with our parents and know that our kids we happy and comfortable. I want to say I started having sleepovers with people I wasn’t related to around 8 yrs old. I think it was a good age, we understood disipline and accountability and how to behave. That said it’s totally up to you.

I do disagree on a few of your practices, I just don’t get the family bed. I couldn’t sleep with them, and they really couldn’t sleep with me. I nursed, and that was about where it was at. Since they came home from the hospital they have probably only shared a room with us maybe 10 times. I think it’s important for them to be able to soothe themselves and it’s kept me sane. The world is a big scary place, but its so much more scary if your a kid and you know your parents are scared too. Obviously we have to be more careful now that ever before, but we want them to be confident young people as well. Freedom in a controlled environment, like going shopping and you can see them, but maybe they can’t always see you, see what they do, do they get really scared or are the way to comfortable with it, it also allows you to figure out your kid a bit more and maybe better what she needs by her cues rather than your fear?

Just thoughts. I do think you are a good mom, and it’s important to protect your kids, but they have to be adults one day too. I still find myself thinking “am I old enough to be home alone” and I own my own house. If you learn to relax a little, she will too and you will both be a little better/more sane for it too.

jennifer on

“Three-and-a-half seems a bit young, right?”

I have four daughters 21, 13, 11, 8. The rule I always followed was: “Do not asked me for a sleepover until you are in 4th grade” That is somewhere around 9 years old. For me it has worked. Of course they have been asking since pre-k to do a sleep over, the answer was always a simple “no”. They can sleep over with Granny/Granddad and they have on many occasions as well as spending sometimes upwards of a week with their grands in the summer.

My 21 year old was always wanting to have people over, which we did. My 13 is my queen bee social butterfly so she is always wanting to have someone over or go to someones house. We pretty much only sleep over at one friends house and they alternate between ours and theirs nearly every weekend! My 11 year old has had a friend over twice and has had one sleepover away. She doesn’t really ask to do it, she is just a different personality. Homebody. Then there is 8 who thinks she is a ready at 3rd grade but she really isn’t because she still ends up in my bed two or three times a week after bad dreams.

I guess the point is it is different for every kid but for me, i need them to be old enough to assert themselves if something is wrong and old enough to articulate to me if something i need to know if happening when they are out of my care.

I will grant to readers that the dynamic is different for sleepovers when you have a houseful. For one they are not really ever alone so they are different socially and adding another kid for a sleepover has to be done carefully. The rule here is “if you friend is not respectful to your sisters then she is going home”.

I sent one home once for trying their “Omg, your baby sisters are annoying, lock them out of the room.” etc.. I told the young lady we do not exclude others in their own home and if she wasn’t ok with that, she could call her mom to come and get her. Simple enough… she called mom. Best part, I didn’t have to explain to my daughter why that was not a loss. She says to me, “She wasn’t nearly as cool as she thinks she is.” We spent the rest of the night with popcorn and movies.

I have never commented on your blog but I read it often. I was an only child and the sibling dynamic in my house is as much of a learning experience for me as my kids.

I use to blog for a living when my kids were at little and I quit working. Trust me, the flame wars in comments are unavoidable. Hang in there and realize the world is full of people who have only one real contribution to the world, “they stir shit and try to make others miserable”.

There have been articles I have read I haven’t really agreed with, but I ask the question, “Is this kiddo happy, healthy, and safe?” If the answer is yes, then someone is doing something right… even if it isn’t the way I would have done it.

Julia on

Elisabeth,

Hang in there! For every negative post there is a positive one from someone who enjoys reading your blog. I agree with a previous poster who said its easy for woman to write catty comments when they are masked by their screen name. I doubt a lot of these people would say mean things to your face, and if they would, then maybe they should consider that none of us are perfect, and none of us have ALL the answers. Mothering is a learning process. I have a 4 year old son, and everyday I am faced with new and challenging situations. You are simply trying to illicit discussion, not create an atmosphere for tearing each other down.

jujub's mom on

Your blog is great, keep it up! Not everyone has to agree all the time, but you seriously need to lighten up with your little girl, not talking about sleep over’s-at 3 NO WAY!!!! but in general…kids are going to be mean to her, teacher’s may disregard her, it’s life it happens, and the best thing you can do for her, is teach her how to handle herself in situations, it will do her better in the world.

I was once just like you…and one day I realized I was raising a little girl with no self confidence, because Mommy was overbearing and didn’t give her any sort of chance to figure it out! She is 7 now and I am much calmer then I used to be!

I think the one thing all of us Mom’s have in common is we parent from fear, meaning we are afraid we are going to screw our kids up, and your know what they are a lot more resiliant then we give them credit for.

april on

It’s a lot to put yourself, your family and your parenting skills out there for everyone to read and criticize, whether negatively or positively. So, thank you for being willing to that and to create a platform for others to voice their opinions. You never know what you’re going to get. I agree that people who are only on here to be mean and not really have an open dialogue should refrain from commenting.

I hope you continue to be open and honest and share your stories here. It’s very eye opeing to read these blogs and hear from people with vastly different opinions, concerns and experiences. I’m glad not every single post is the same as mine and that people disagree. If it’s for the good of your child and family, then lets talk!

Jenna on

Elisabeth,

I have read some of your blogs in the past, but not the bullying one. I loved your work on Law & Order and that is why I have read some of your pieces in the past.

Nonetheless, I was curious as to the firestorm of comments it brought about so I searched Google for it.

YOU SHOULD KNOW, that although the page has been taken down, you can still view it via CACHED pages and all those negative comments are there too.

If you really want the piece taken down, I suggest that you contact Google, Yahoo, and any other large search engine and ask them to do so. Or maybe it is People.com’s responsibility? That being said, I see you have your own website with the blog in question posted, so maybe you are not really that concerned about it.

Andrea on

My 4 year old goes for sleepovers at my sister’s only (her daughter, my niece, is also 4). Other than that, no sleepovers with friends. I could see my 4 year old staying at someone’s house and then at bedtime being like “okay, I want to go home now”. He’s too unpredictable at this stage and also he does not really understand the consequences his actions can have. Also, I just really feel that he’s too young for him (and me) to deal with sleepovers at this stage – including being away at camp. I think when kids get to an age where bedtime routine is not as necessary/strict and they can stay up a bit longer without being “off” the whole next day, then sleepovers would be okay.

bekah on

I had my first slumber party for my 5th birthday; we watched Adventures in Babysitting. I invited about 5 girls and one of my friends got homesick and called her parents to have them come pick her up. I had a slumber party every year after that until the Jr. High parties started, lol.

My daughter is now 3 and she has stayed overnight with my sister and parents. But when she asks I’ll let her, whatever age she happens to be. And if she gets homesick, I’ll pick her up; if she has friends over and they get homesick, no big deal either… Its all about trying new things.

JRW on

hmmm I agree with J

cc on

I didnt read all the post here but do you people really have a life or do you just sit at the computer all day?

Echine on

That long-winded Blogging 101 comment instructing you to tighten up your writing is very amusing… This is the first time I’ve read your blog, I enjoyed it very much. Keep writing.

Theresa on

I love your blogs and enjoy reading them. I hope you continue to write them. Have a great day!

goldenlifeinfl on

I have enjoyed reading your blogs although I have never commented before. You write from your experiences, and they are real down to earth things which make you appear to be very approachable, and I appreciate that.

Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep reading :)

bdcgal on

You go girl!!!!

Kellee on

I read your blogs often and I’m sorry that people have been so rude and mean. Some woman just have to have something to say about everything…..even things that don’t affect them or their kids. Keep doing what’s best for your family and fans!

On sleep overs. I saw go for it. As long as both parents feel comfortable no reason to hold back. My 7 year old had her first sleep over at 2. She went to a very close friends house that had 2 kids of her own and I knew she was in just as good a hands as my own. Now that she is in school she has gone to 2 sleep overs of classmates.

mama L on

i love your blogs, but i really find the comments, here and everywhere, horrifying sometimes. what people say anonymously they would never say in person. i find it shocking.

that said, we set up 2nd grade as the time to start sleep overs. my older son didn’t always fare well, and my daughter did. my 7 year old is dying for one, but the boys don’t seem interested right now. i’d prefer they came here, but you know, that doesn’t always work out.

MomOfThree on

Personally, your “Bully” post was a heck of a lot nicer than the thoughts that go through my head as a mother dealing with the same issues! Dealing with the “notsopositiveofaninfluenceonmykid-kid” most definitely ranks in my Top 10 “Isn’t there a Handbook on How to Deal w/ this Parenting Whuck??”. I agree with your decision to remove the post if it was directly affecting your community. The post was emotionally driven (nothing wrong w/ a little mama bear taking over sometimes), but you most definitely touched on a topic that is a reality everyday in schools across the country!

My family has been navigating the uncharted waters of one of these “treasured friends” for five years now, and I will tell you that five years in, our son is finally.getting.it (albeit he is now 11). But, that’s only after a LOT of tough love (which is equally as painful for parents) and learning the hard way about “guilty by association”. The silver lining? He’s also learned valuable life lessons about holding himself accountable and taking responsibility for his own actions.

Making the school/teachers aware when your child is simply not a good mix w/ another student is prudent and they will appreciate your proactive approach. It doesn’t make either child a “bad kid”, but until Easton can make those decisions for herself, you are the only advocate she has.

The “right” parenting approach is unique to each family. Cut yourself some slack over the negative comments and know that it will be the first of many times that other parents don’t agree w/ you. :)

Busted_n_Broken on

Elisabeth,
First, LOVED you in “Angel” and “L & O” … and my wife and I are HUGE fans!

Second, I didn’t see the “bully” blog BUT, in my opinion, any even “mild” form of bullying (or having a “strong will”), needs to be dealt with! Yes, first you have to see if it clears itself up (in a short time) or if intervention must be the course. But, you cannot let it go on! In my opinion, the problem here is ALWAYS the parents! Let’s face it … 99.99% of parents think their child/children is/are PERFECT! It takes a special kind of parent to say “hey, ya know, my child IS a bully … and let’s work together to figure out a way to work thru this”! Only problem is … in a lot of these situations (where children ARE bullies), there is something going on in the home that exacerbates the problem! Hence, parents not wanting to admit a problem at school that could point back to problems at home!
Either way, any forms of “bullying” MUST be stopped in the early stages! I would NEVER allow ANY form of bullying or “impression of strong-will” upon any of my children … I don’t care who gets offended or upset!

Anyway, sorry I kinda got off on a rant … I have a son (grown now) who was bullied, also. He was always small and not physically fit in school, but he DID grow into a fine young man (and he is 6′ 220 lbs., now) … and no one bothers him anymore (not even his 5’10″, 240 lb. Dad)!

Elisabeth, never worry about “blogging” from your heart, and, never worry about wild rants against your opinion (there’s always people who disagree … and that’s fine)! You’ll ALWAYS have 2 fans in my house! God bless!

Leigh on

Didn’t read either of the blogs and in all honesty it is so easy too skew the line between ‘venting’ and truly exposing too much about the accused party, if people at the girls school were easily able to identify the other child then yes, maybe you should not have gone into so much detail. Honestly though you live and learn and maybe next time you’ll vent rather than expose. None of us are perfect though and as a parent of 3 girls, soon to be 4 I have made thousands upon thousands of mistakes and luckily I don’t have to answer to all of people.com when I do something questionable, and thank God for that. Criticism as a parent is something I have the hardest time with and in all fairness I think most Moms do. Keep doing what your doing, parenting is one of those things that no one ever gets “right” most of us just get lucky that are kids don’t remember every stupid mistake we make :)

michele on

LOVE YOUR BLOG AND LOVE YOUR ACTING!!!!!

MAS on

First sleepover was maybe 5 and my father was called to retrieve me at about midnight. I was inconsolable. I was thereafter banned from sleeping over at that house until I was 9. Honestly, I was always very grateful for that rule. I don’t think I ever really enjoyed sleeping somewhere else. Of course, I was also a child who slept with a nightlight and teddy bear. I think every child is different and hope the parents are tuned into their children to know when the time is right.

Blue Buddha on

I’m not a regular reader so I didn’t see the past few blog posts. But, with regards to the author’s questions, I’d be interested in hearing the ways people pass down teachings, inspirations or parenting lessons they learned from their own parents. I am currently about 10 weeks away from giving birth to my first child and I also lost my Mom 3 months ago—she was a single Mom of 4—and this passed down history seems very important to me at this stage in life.

RJL on

I don’t usually comment on your blogs, Elisabeth, mainly because my son is only 7 months old now and I’m not having the same experiences as you’re having with Easton right yet, but I read every single blog post and I always look forward to them!

Megan on

Elisabeth…I have enjoyed your well written and humorous blog from day one! Sometimes I do read what others have posted and I am always amazed @ how judgemental and rude people can be, but then again writing a comment anonymously affords people the confidnece to say things they would otherwise never have the backbone to say in person which annoys me. I did not catch the article you are referring to and hopefully things have settle down for Easton and your family!

Constant on

I am not a mother, nor am I one to put mothers on a pedestal, but I adore Elisabeth’s blog. Her honesty is balanced with just the right amount of diplomacy, so it saddens me to read that she feels the need to pull herself back. The last thing I want is for Elisabeth to walk on eggshells.

About the bullying issue, I didn’t get a chance to read that entry, but I’m not sure why we should get so hung up over terminology when we know that Elisabeth wants the best for the people around her and is taking the time to ask meaningful questions.

It is so easy for us to protect children (and a parent’s pride) by avoiding harsh labels such as “bully”, but deflecting from the issue of domineering behaviour by fussing over political correctness or hurt feelings is not going to get us anywhere.

My friend’s daughter is bossy and sometimes mean to the other children in her class. Most people would call her a bully. Her mother’s hackles are up because there is no way she has raised a bully, and the girl’s teacher has asked her to stop being the “leader” all the time.

It could be argued that the use of the word bully has distracted the adults from attending to the matter (the mother is defensive and the teacher is shutting the child down completely), however; I think the lesson here is to realize that we have enough knowledge in this day and age to know that a bully is simply a hurting child in need, and we have no excuse to get distracted and defensive over the label.

It was heartbreaking to hear my friend’s child’s tearful confession (after she was scolded by her teacher and mother), that the other children look to her for leadership. She gave me the impression that she was sensitive to a lack of leadership in groups and it overwhelmed her to sit back and watch her classmates flounder.

Any label (bully, dominant, confident) is going to hide the fact that there are some very good intentions, and very real frustrations in a child exhibiting “dominant” behavior. More importantly, a label comes with a predetermined solution even though the problem might not be as obvious as we think it is. In the case of my friend’s daughter, it’s clear that some of her “dominant” qualities should be nurtured, and that she simply needs to learn a more healthy way to express her leadership.

Anyway, I can only hope Elisabeth keeps ruffling our feathers a little because how can we become better parents, teachers, and supporters if we don’t answer the tough questions or make the difficult observations that keep us honest?

Jojo on

Dear Elisabeth,

I am the mother of a 22 month old child. He was a very early preemie and started school this year. There was an episode that opened my eyes about children and their interactions. During his first day of school, the teachers put children of different ages together for a assessment. My son is still not walking so I kept a close eye on him since I didn’t want him to get trampled by the other kids. I noticed one particular child who kept taking my son’s toys away from him. She was older and being very possessive of all the toys in the playroom. My response was to intervene by grabbing a toy from the storage boxes and bringing it to my son. The little girl tried to take it away immediately and I showed her the toys she had and told her to play with them. At that point, I stood back to let them play and I noticed the little girl grabbed my son’s toy forcefully from his hands. I expected him to cry or be upset but he wasn’t. He went and grabbed one of her discarded toys or moved on. I was more upset about this little girl’s actions than my son was.

This was a learning experience for me. I am a first time mother of a child with special needs. I am very protective of him but he showed me that there are times where I need to step back and allow him the freedom to figure things out on his own. As a parent, it is not always clear where the role of protector ends.

On the other hand, after several weeks of school I have had the opportunity to observe my child’s interactions in groups. He is independent, motivated and a bit of a pushy child. He goes after what he wants and it makes me wonder the type of child he will be as he grows up. Will he be that child other parents complain about? I hope that he is a kind person and not a “bully”.

Your blogs shed light into subjects that are not easily discussed among parents and I think you are doing a great job. I found your blog about batteries not included very touching and was able to relate to it. Overall, you are doing a great job and hope you continue to post about your adventures as a mother. I look forward to reading many more.

Jason D on

Not being a woman (ok, ok, dont boo too much, I’m impressionable), I’ve had the priveledge of raising three kids, none of them mine and none of them starting any younger then 6, I thankfully didnt mess up so many times and didnt raise them the way i was raised (back handers, steel toe capped boots, walking sticks and if i was especially good, a rather worn belt).

My brother unfortunatly ended up becoming the very way hed been raised, i became the opposite, i still have the DNA of a violent person but i’d rather cut off my arm then raise it to my kids.

Bullies have problems in their minds or their raising, when you learn that violence is the only answer you think you can do the same thing or that it becomes the first option of choice.

I didnt like my past and knew although i inherited each of my kids that they deserved a life better then mine and that i had to learn the right way to handle situations other then turn into my father.

Its true you dont get a manual when you have kids but you touch to your past to raise them and my past was a deviousness of being able to sneak out, smoking, drinking, etc and i didnt use them to allow my kids to do them but knowing the tricks they can pull i was often two steps ahead of them, Once my daughter was about 10 years old and was going out with ther friends, i set a time to be back of 8pm and when she came home at 8:30 she said her watch was broken and sure enough it was set to 8pm, so i reset it and sai it on my bedside table and said if it was still the right time the next day she was grounded, yes, she ended up grounded.

My father would have put a few memorable bruises on me but id never do that, i wasnt a perfect kid and ill never be a perfect dad but to think what would i have done at that age has given me a few heads up to their slyness.

My kids are now 30, 25 and 19 and one has her own kid, one is training to be a nurse and my youngest is in college out of state and joined the ROTC…I’m proud of all of them, none of them has become like my dad and none of them has ever been touched by me other then hugged and hand shakes.

You can overcome your past and you can learn from a time you dont like recalling and no amount of being bullied or beaten is ever right and is ever an excuse to become a bully yourself.

It’s nice to be a real dad and i actually have a relationship with mine now…..i dont forget but i dont dwell either, my brother didnt learn that until it was too late.

Thanks for the blogs, just remember if someone likes you or hates you but at least tells you then your fine, when they dont tell you then you or they have a problem, I’ve been called lots of names and the result in me is i write bumper stickers that are sold across the whole U.S….seems making light of my life is actually sellable…lol

Jeannette on

Elisabeth, I missed the bully post so I have no idea what happens but sounds like a doozy. There are many people who troll blogs just to post nasty things. Ignore them as you would your child throwing a tantrum. Essentially that is what they are doing.

My own child is 1.5 and is already quite spirited so I am working to make sure that she is not a “bully” or bossy even at this early age so I get it. As for sleepovers, I too was probably at least 8 or 9 before I slept over anywhere. Three seems so young to sleep away from home and a lot for another’s mom to handle. Can you imagine the instructions to get the other child to sleep? I would have a very complex list to get my little girl to sleep and sometimes that doesn’t work! LOL.

I love reading your blog so keep on writing and don’t worry about the haters.

Lady Cat on

Hi there…

I’ve always loved your acting, and I’ve even more admiration for you knowing that you do actually look at the comments people post to the things you write.

Being a parent is tough; we all know that. You are allowed your point of view, and it’s great that you want to share it. Not everyone will agree, and you never need to apologize for that. It’s your experience, not theirs.

I have a 3-and-a-half old son who can be kind of aggressive, and I am forever reining him in. If he is not behaving appropriately with his friends, I always want to know so that I can modify his behavior NOW before it becomes a problem. He’s an amazing, spirited kid, and he needs to learn limits so that he doesn’t turn into a bully or an overbearing adult. Hopefully your daughter’s little friend gets some guidance on her behavior in order to help her develop in a more positive direction.

As to sleepovers at 3.5, I know my son couldn’t handle it at this stage. I also had a close family friend’s daughter stay overnight at my place when she was about 3.5 and she was kind of freaked out to be away from her parents (even though she had begged to come with me). I guess it depends on each individual child’s personality, but in general I’d say that even though the desire is there, 3.5 is still a little young for sleepovers.

Karyn on

When I became a mother, I decided the only feelings I care about are that of my family. I will tear anyone apart first and then ask questions later. I think we have become too PC in the world and worry more what the outside world thinks that what our family thinks. I strive to be a good person and help those around me, but if you mess with my family, watch out.

We don’t do sleepovers (except family). I remember sleepovers…Nothing good ever happens after midnight.

My kids lie constantly. Constant repetition is part of a mother’s job and setting a good example. I always try to tell my kids to not lie about things they can get caught on. I figured it was a good place to start.

I think you’re brave. I wish you luck and a short term memory.

Janet on

I really love how often you blog Elisabeth! But in all honesty, how do you actually read the pages and pages of comments on every single post!? Incredible. Try not to let the negative make you negative!

Brenda on

I don’t like the idea of “you won’t be in trouble if you tell the truth.” My children still get an age-appropriate consequence for doing the wrong thing, but get in more trouble if they lie about it. Otherwise it seems to give a kids a free pass for doing the wrong thing if they tell you about it instead of hiding it. Are you saying there’s no consequence as long as the child is upfront about their wrongdoing?

Christina on

I would like to say, unfortunately, we are always having to deal with people who don’t agree with what we say or do. As a parent, all we can do is what is best for our self and children. I didn’t get to real the whole bog about “bullying,” but I have a daughter who is now 9 years old and she had to deal with one in school from the first day of Pre-K. The girl finally moved away in 4th grade, which made my daughter so happy. Now in 5th grade she has heard a rumor that this girl is coming back next year in 6th grade. My daughter has really shown some stress on this matter. This bothers me and would love to hear what others think I should do. Right now, I’ve told her not to worry about it, live for today, not what might be. I’ve also told her that hopefully this girl has grown up a little and they might end up being good friends. Please give me your opinion.

As for the “sleepover” thing, I would say why not try it. The worst that could happen is that you might get a call in the middle of night to come and pick her up. I have three children the oldest being 14 and the youngest being 10 years old. I think the first time the oldest spent the night somewhere was about 4 yrs. old. It was with a cousin, but they did great. As for my youngest, she actually spent the night with the neighbor around 2 1/2 or 3 years old. She begged me and I said okay because I knew it would happened. To my surprise the neighbor said they were out by 9 O’clock and slept all night. Go figure! Now that they are older, my kids stay home more and if there is a “sleepover” it is at my house.

Good luck and I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Just an extra note, I so loved you on Law&Order!!! My husband and I watch it all the time.

J on

Janet, she only apparently reads and pays attention to what she finds to be negative. She was upset because a lot of people did not agree with how she picked on another child and their family in a blog about how her daughter was apparently bullied. In another blog she went off on a camp complaining that they didn’t take care of her daughter and she trashed them, and didn’t like how people were asking her if she even talked to the camp about the supposed neglect.

So she created another blog to whine to people that she is being ganged up on. Give us a break. Then she adds extra comments that she could have added to her complaining blogs from the past instead of just going off and not thinking about the damage her words could do to others. She’s even blogged about how knows she drinks too much because her daughter holds empty wine bottles and tells people that mommy drinks a lot. Then she asks us all if it’s ok to have a drink when your kid can see that you dink too much.

She goes off on tangents in most of her blogs and then expects pats on the back and when she doesn’t get them she has a hissyfit and calls everyone mean girls saying people ganged up on her. It’s obnoxious and I wish People would find someone a little more mature and less neurotic to do their celeb parenting blogging. She sounds more like she needs to talk to a professional instead of having these ventfests.

amandamay on

christina – your bully situation sounds *very* different to the situation elisabeth blogged about. in her blog she talked about a girl who is best friends with easton (not someone who is mean to her daughter or someone her daughter fears) she basically said that easton loves this girl but that this girl is more independent/in control of the friendship and elisabeth didn’t like it. she said that sometimes they get in trouble together but it’s the other girl’s fault for leading easton astray (i’m totally paraphrasing, but that’s the general idea of the blog as far as i understood it) that’s why people were saying it wasn’t “bullying” – also, from what elisabeth said about this girl and her parents, it would have been very easy to identify them if you were in their school/circle of friends.

Elle on

I think a lot of the negativity has to do with how “competitive” motherhood has gotten. This isn’t a sport, folks!!! (There’s a good blog post!)

As far as sleepovers, my boys are 1 and 2. They have a cousin that is 18 mos that they sleepover with all the time. Mostly because his mom (my sister in-law) is AWESOME and I trust her wholeheartedly with my kids. I think it all goes back to how trusting you are with the other parents when they are young, not the kids.

Julie on

Nobody’s perfect and everyone’s different! I hate how judgemental some folks comments get, not just on your blog but to pictures, stories, others comments, everywhere! Like you said, if people could just respectfully disscus a topic we could all learn and grow, maybe even find comfort, advice, or reassurance.

I have 18 month old twins and I’m fine with them sleeping over at either grandma’s or my sister’s house. Other than that, not quite yet. I think its totally up to how much you trust the person theyd be staying with and how comfortable your child is with staying. Mine are still a little young to care or enjoy staying with a friend, but several of my close friends have children close to the same age and I imagine in a couple years they may like the idea of a sleepover and Id be ok with that, still knowing that I may get a call at midnight that someone cant sleep or “doesnt fell well.” I don’t see any issue with trying out a sleepover with close friends or family that I trust. It’d also have to be a small group for such young kids. One adult can only responsibly care for so many toddlers at once :)

peacebeme on

These people (internet trolls is the term) just comment negatively on all sorts of blogs because they have nothing else to do. They don’t even care what the topic is. It makes me so mad, it takes the legitimacy out of the conversations!

cbaxter on

dear ER,

i don’t always agree with what you write or how you parent, but i admire the hell out of your willingness to be public with your parenting.

kudos for your honesty and humility. keep writing, and don’t let snarkiness set you back.

- CMB

angelika05 on

I just wrote my own blog post on bullying, and ironically I came to find out that my 4 year old son has a bully in his class a few days later. The two weren’t related.

Anyhow, I read your post and I have no idea what people got so upset about. It was literally baffling to me. At the age our kids are, kids learn bullying from their parents; either because the parent themselves are bullies, or the kid goes on a power trip and the parents don’t intervene.

Personally, I love that you are so honest and I hope you continue to write!

Robin on

Elisabeth,

I love your blog! It makes me smile, it makes me laugh, and sometimes it makes me cry! You know your child far better than anyone else – if you feel she is old enough for camp at age 3 or 4, then go for it! Some kids are ready for that experience much sooner than other kids.

Both of my kids (now 21 and 10) were incredibly comfortable in an all-day preschool at a relatively early age (around 2 1/2 years each, I believe). As a matter of fact, I was “dismissed” by both of them once they had met their teachers and a couple of the other kids at the preschool. While I was heartbroken to no longer be as “necessary” as I once was, their teachers told me that it was a sign that they were happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids.

As far as sleepovers go, my 10 year old daughter just got to the point in the last year or so where she is completely comfortable sleeping at a friend’s house. It’s never really been an issue when she has been at a relative’s house, since it is usually her older sister (now 33) or her grandma. There were several instances when she was between the ages of 6 – 8 that I had to go get her – not necessarily in the middle of the night, but around 11:00 or 11:30, when they were finally settling in for the night. I made it a point of telling my daughter and the mother supervising the sleepover that she could call me at any time, either just to talk or for me to pick her up. Now she can’t wait to push me out the door and doesn’t want to leave in the morning!

You sound like a fabulous mother – keep being true to yourself and your family. None of us are perfect parents, including the naysayers on this blog – we just do the best we can for our families and their individual personalities!

Jacquie on

Elisabeth,
This is my first time reading your blog and I actually don’t have children so I’m afraid I can’t offer much in the way of child rearing advice. But I do have a 4 year old niece that I adore and getting to know her has caused me to look at the world differently. One thing that I have become painfully aware of is how often we adults put forth a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude. And I think that while criticism can be constructive and at times actually kind, when things are said with the intention of making someone feel demeaned so that the critic can feel correct or superior, it is in fact verbal bullying. If we want children to “know better” we have to “do better”. So, while perhaps your use of the word bully was not the best choice, in no way did you deserve to be verbally bullied because of it. Parents, please think about how your child would view your words or actions before speaking or posting. Thanks for listening to my two cents.

Amo on

I’m so bummed I’m reading this nearly 2 years too late, but if you are still thinking about what you would like to discuss or blog about, I’d really like to talk about dreams (not just aspirations) but weird, interesting, maybe de ja vu kind of dreams. I find dreams really fascinating. :)

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