I've been thinking recently over the way that many parents (especially moms) get into 'wars' over certain parenting topics: breastfeeding vs formula; co-sleeping vs crying-it-out; mom staying-at-home vs working; vaccination; circumcision; methods for discipline; even things like labor induction or epidurals.
On the one hand I very much understand why these are such hot topics: the parent is making a choice that affects another person's life, a choice which may even have lifelong consequences. That's a lot of responsibility, and I would hope that none of the choices would be taken lightly.
Inevitably people get defensive when someone else questions their choices. I have two basic thoughts on that:
One--if you have to be defensive about it, then are you really that sure about it?! If you truly believe in it, you shouldn't feel the need to defend your decision. Stand up for it, sure, but defend it? If it's so good and right, then won't it speak for itself? (I recently had this realization in regards to nursing in public. Either you do it or you don't, but if you do it then don't be apologetic about it, you know?!)
Two--I've always said that I can respect a person who makes an educated choice (even if I don't agree with the choice), but I cannot respect an UNeducated choice, or the choice-maker. Especially in this age of information, I think there's really no excuse to trust anybody's word on anything, parents should be able to learn things for themselves and make their own decisions. Nobody should just take the word of their doctor, or friend, or neighbor, or mother, or the author of some book...every decision should be based on study, thought, and (at least in all the cases I mentioned above) prayer.