For those of my readers that are parents, I am sure you have encountered this at some point at least once as a parent. People who tell you how to raise your child or give you unsolicited advice, I am sure in most cases it is someone who wants to help, other times they have other motives. I knew this girl who would give me parenting advice, things that worked for her niece and nephew or someone who thinks they know what is best for my child. I am glad that those things would work for them but my child is his own person, things work differently for different children.
I remember when Noah was 6 months old and he would wake up in the middle of the night crying for a little bit. I had mentioned it to his doctor in one of his visits. She told me to wait 5 or 10 minutes before going in there. I mentioned it once and this person started calling me a bad mom, saying I didn’t take care of my son; of course that was not the case. I was following the advice of his doctor who specializes in children. As long as he was fine, it was ok for him to cry a little bit. He wasn’t in danger or being ignored. He was learning to self soothe himself. I would let it go for the exact time limit and then go check, most of the time he was back asleep. I knew that person was trying to upset me and I didn’t let it. I was a mom and I was doing a great job.
It is easy for someone who is not a parent to give advice. It is easy for them to say I would do this, or I wouldn’t do that. It is different when you are a parent and you know your child. I am sure people who want to have children think about what kind of parent they want to be. There are quick judgments about how someone raises their child. I am definitely not saying that there are instances where it is wrong for a parent to do something that is harmful to their child, because I know sadly that’s not the case. It does happen but at the same time there are many false accusations made against parents that are doing nothing wrong. I think that if you suspect something going on that is truly harmful please report them, but it is not a tool to use to get back at or hurt someone with. Think of it this way, Child Protective Services or whatever it is called in your state gets ten calls from people that are just trying to punish an adult that is ten cases that are legitimate are getting pushed to the side. I know that many parents like me love my child so much and he is my world.
It seems like everyone has an opinion when it comes to parenting, which is fine. I know that is perfectly ok to have your opinion, but at the same time if someone doesn’t ask for advice, maybe you should just keep it to yourself. Comments that other people make telling you what to do with your child are very annoying. Depending on what the comment is, it could really make them upset. It really could make someone question themselves as parents. They might wonder if they are doing a good job. I am not talking about the parents that don’t really deserve to be a parent, but good loving mothers and fathers.
There are some people I welcome parenting advice from such as my mom, my son’s doctor or any doctor, and if the person was degreed in something child related such as a counselor. I would also welcome parenting advice from my cousins that have children because I know they know what they are doing. I know that they wouldn’t tell me advice unless I asked. I would remember that just because it worked for their child, it may or may not work for mine. I know from talking to friends about our children, some things don’t work for siblings either. Every child is different, just because it works for one it may not work for another.
So, if you are not my mom, or not a doctor or the like or I didn’t ask you what to do, then please don’t tell me how to raise my child. Even then I don’t always follow my mom’s or anyone’s (other than his doctor’s) advice. I just ask their opinion and take it in to consideration. I know that I ask my friends for advice sometimes, as they ask me but it is always solicited. You might think you are helping but wait until someone asks about something before saying something that could upset them.
Have you ever received off the wall parenting advice? Have you ever had someone who had no clue what it is like to be a parent give you advice?