If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

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I’m a big advocate of peaceful interactions, both online and offline. Especially in parenting and teaching, I believe we all need to work together and support each other in raising the children who are the future.

The Thumper Theory

“If you can’t say something nice . . . don’t say nothing at all.”

– Thumper from the movie Bambi

I have a post called “Do You Follow the Thumper Theory?” at my other blog, Bits of Positivity. The post tells a lot of my feelings about interacting with others and has links to anti-bullying and character-education resources.

Even though I’ve shown this video at Raising Figure Skaters, it’s such a favorite of mine that I have to share it here, too:

The Thumper Theory Online

My personal policy for online communication is to follow the Thumper Theory whenever possible. If I’m leaving a comment on someone’s blog, I find something positive to mention … or I don’t say anything. Typically, there’s something positive to be said.

Most blogging parents and teachers are trying to do their best, and I truly believe I’ll help others the most by encouraging them. I also try to be a good example and simply offer my blog post ideas, which may be accepted or rejected. Last April, I had a post on how I use Montessori principles to advocate for healthy, gentle parenting choices: “Using Montessori Principles to Advocate Natural Parenting.”

Of course, there are rare cases where I have to intervene when someone’s doing something dangerous or truly destructive. Also, I might have to delete a comment if it’s not helpful but only negative and making parents feel bad about their own choices.

Fortunately, those cases are rare. I’m proud to be part of an online community that typically has a lot of love and support to give one another.

Here’s to saying something nice… 🙂


This post was written for the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have focused on how we can communicate with other parents compassionately.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • How to Respond Respectfully to Unwanted Parenting Advice and Judgment — At Natural Parents Network, Amy (of Peace 4 Parents) offers some ways to deal with parenting advice and criticism, whether it’s from your mom or the grocery store clerk.
  • Judgement is Natural – Just Don’t Condemn — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shared her views on why judgment is unavoidable and why the bigger issue is condemnation.
  • Four Ways To Share Your Parenting Philosophy Gently — Valerie at Momma in Progress shares tips for communicating with fellow parents in a positive, peaceful manner.
  • When Other Parents Disagree With You — Being an attachment parent is hard enough, but when you are Lily, aka Witch Mom, someone who does not enforce gender roles on her kid, who devalues capitalism and materialism, and instead prefers homeschooling and homesteading — you are bound to disagree with someone, somewhere!
  • Mama Bashing — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud reflects on the hurt caused on the blogosphere by mama bashing and pleads for a more mindful way of dealing with differences.
  • Accentuate the Positive — Joella at Fine and Fair shares how she manages interactions with the parents she encounters in her work as a Parent Coach and Substance Abuse Counselor by building trusting relationships and affirming strengths.
  • The politics of mothers – keys to respectful interactions with other parents — Tara from MUMmedia offers great tips for handling the inevitable conflict of ideas and personalities in parenting/mother’s groups, etc.
  • Trying to build our village — Sheila at A Gift Universe tells how she went from knowing no other moms in her new town to building a real community of mothers.
  • Internet Etiquette in the Mommy Wars — Shannon at The Artful Mama discusses how she handles heated topics in the “Mommy-space” online.
  • Parenting with Convictions — Sarah at Parenting God’s Children encourages love and support for fellow parents and their convictions.
  • How To Be Respectful Despite Disagreeing On Parenting Styles… — Jenny at I’m a Full-Time Mummy shares her two cents’ worth on how to have respectful interactions with other parents despite disagreeing on parenting styles.
  • Public RelationsMomma Jorje touches on keeping the peace when discussing parenting styles.
  • Navigating Parenting Politics — Since choosing an alternative parenting style means rejecting the mainstream, Miriam at The Other Baby Book shares a few simple tips that can help avoid hurt feelings.
  • Hiding in my grace cave — Lauren at Hobo Mama wants to forget that not all parents are as respectful and tolerant as the people with whom she now surrounds herself.
  • Carnival of Natural Parenting – Respectful Interactions with Other Parents — Wolfmother at Fabulous Mama Chronicles explores how her attitude has changed regarding sharing information and opinions with others and how she now chooses to keep the peace during social outings.
  • Empathy and respect — Helen at zen mummy tries to find her zen in the midst of the Mummy Wars.
  • Not Holier Than Thou — Amyables at Toddler in Tow muses about how she’s learned to love all parents, despite differences, disagreements, and awkward conversations.
  • Nonviolent Communication and Unconditional Love — Wendylori at High Needs Attachment reflects on the choice to not take offense as the key to honest and open communication.
  • Respectful Parenting As a Way of Life — Sylvia at MaMammalia writes about using her parenting philosophy as a guide to dealing with other parents who make very different choices from her.
  • Homeschooling: Why Not? — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling shares how parents can often make homeschooling work for their family even if, at first glance, it may seem daunting.
  • If You Can’t Say Something Nice… — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now tells her philosophy for online and offline interactions … a philosophy based primarily on a children’s movie.
  • Different Rules for Different Families — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children discusses how differences between families affect our children, and how that can be a good thing.
  • Respectful Interaction With Other Parents — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shares the ways she surrounds herself with a like-minded support network, so that she can gently advocate in her dealings with those whose opinions on parenting differ vastly from her own.


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Montessori-Inspired One Fish, Two Fish Math Activities at PreK + K Sharing
Montessori Monday – Inexpensive and DIY Sandpaper Numerals
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