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Don't you just LOVE parenting advice from non-parents? - Page 2

post #21 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
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I have to respectfully disagree that not being a parent means you know NOTHING about parenting. I have no carried a child to term but I have been a nanny for 20 years, have a degree in ECE and extensive training, have taught parenting classes, have at various times taken custody of THREE different children of friends, am a GAL (guardian ad litem), care for at least 2 babies daily (who wear CD's in MY house). I may not have given birth (therefore not a parent) but I know a LOT more than many of the parents I know. Many of them regularly ask ME for advice. Fortunately they don't think I'm totally ignorant just because I have not given birth.
I did that too (well, except for I was never a GAL, I did do emergency respite care fostering though).

Guess what?

Parenting is way different.

I'll grant you that you're definitely more used to the mechanics of things. However, when you are actually a parent, it totally changes things. And I really wish that I had known that while looking down a bunch of other parents all those years--as well as getting frustrated when my advice didn't work as well for them.

Kids behave differently around their parents. You don't have a light at the end of the tunnel when you're a parent.

So yes, I agree that people who are not parents can and do give good technical advice...but I think that they cannot honestly feel the kind of empathy of parenthood that someone who has felt the rage has.

Also, you don't need to have actually given birth to be a parent, FWIW. For whatever mystical reason, I have found that most of the adoptive parents I know feel that same rush as bio kids do.

It's always different by necessity and even somewhat subconsciously (IMO) when you know they're not really yours, than it is when they are YOURS. And the kids know it too, and therefore tend to act differently.

Waaaay off on a tangent here though.
post #22 of 75
Some of the kids that are "not really mine" have been in my care 24/7 for months at a time. One called me "mama" and we were planning to adopt her (The bio father reappeared).

I agree there is a difference between being a parent and knowing about parenting but I know plenty of parents that don't have a clue.

I'm just saying you should not instantly discount someones parenting advice because they do not have a child. Otherwise I would not have talked many parents OUT of circumcising and INTO breast feeding!

To the OP tho, your brother is clueless about traveling with a babe who hates traveling. Do what you are comfortable with!

:
post #23 of 75
Thanks for posting this thread. Sometimes non-parent comments roll off my back, sometimes they drive me nuts. I think more depends on the person sputtering the nonsense, and their intention. Sometimes I am able to step back and remember all the idiotic comments I made pre-kids, and that helps me realize that person talking now is just trying to help out in their own way.

What drives me really batty though, is the harsh judgements, even here on MDC, by people who have no kids. People who write long emails about how awful this or that parent was, or how they saw something in a public area for 5 minutes and that parent must be the devil incarnate. Umm, get off your keyboard and become a parent and be humbled by it. Then frankly, I am more willing to feel compassion for your successes and your sorrows.
post #24 of 75
Hmm I guess I had better STOP advising people to reconsider routine circumcision , and STOP telling them that "breast is best" and STOP telling them they there are kinder alternatives to CIO. Guess I'd also better let all the parents who routinely ASK for my advice know that it turns out that I KNOW NOTHING and they may as well go pick up a copy of "Train up your child" because after all the PEARL'S are PARENTS so they must know EVERYTHING and since my uterus has defied me I know NOTHING.

I really thought MDCers were more open minded than to think people who don't have children can't possibly know anything about parenting!

Just because the children I raised weren't "mine" does no mean I don't know anything about parenting. Most them spend more time with ME than there so called "parents"!
post #25 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
Umm, get off your keyboard and become a parent and be humbled by it.
That's really harsh. If women are on MDC who are not yet mothers, they are likely trying to conceive and having difficulty with it. EarthmamatoBe has stated in this thread she has carried no child to term, meaning she's had miscarriages. You may not know what it's like to deal with infertility and may not realize how mean-spirited your above quote sounds.
Anyway, harsh judgments aren't too fun no matter who they come from, why pick on those whose hearts are aching to become mothers?
post #26 of 75
i take advice on how to help kids out with specific things from anyone. i've gotten great ideas from my childless friends. i take "parenting advice", advice about how to handle large issues of family management or tweaking my parenting philosophy almost exclusively from other parents or those who have had a large hand in raising children like nannies and such.

the advice that the brother gave has the flavor of "all children like X" "all children have x needs" that's what i take issue with. i don't think people without children know nothing. i think that many of them do not know something that people in the thick of the parenting experience can't escape. the only thing that all children everywhere have in common is the need/want for air, water and food. actuially not all children even like food. stop by the SN forum or my house for the night. i get that kind of advice from non parents more than parents but you do run into those who think their children's minds and bodies are mass produced modular items.

if i get advice that contains the phrase "all children ...X" i tune out. it's condescending (you have kids and you didn't know they all X) and useless (all children do not x so anything based on that premise is bound to be flawed).
post #27 of 75

Hey Charleston Mama

I used to live there... beautiful town. I'm adding my two cents' worth here:

I gave great advice for decades before I had my own child. I was the eldest girl in a LAAARGE family, which provided a lot of training. Not that I think one needs ANY training to be a natural parent.

Re the self-centered brother of the OP: you know, even if your child LOVES riding in cars, a five-hour drive is a HUGE undertaking even if you're doing it with adults only, or just by yourself. Five hours... that's a lot of $$$ GAS $$$. And to have to drive all that way and then be "on" for a big party, and be facing a five hour return trip, even if it's the next DAY, is a LOT.

And the "step out of your comfort zone" remark--what a broadside. That was insulting, disrespectful and manipulative. I'd have been offended, too. If you do end up going, I hope it's because there is some other more alluring invitation involved.

VF
post #28 of 75
Thread Starter 
I didn't mean to start a heated debate. I do think that there are folks out there that definitely know a thing or two about parenting.

My brother is farthest from that group however. I should clarify, that the trip is 2-3 hours each way, so 5-6 hours total. He also lives here, by me, it's just his wedding that's in a different state.

I just can't get his comments out of my head.
post #29 of 75
Off topic: Needle in the hay nd EarthMomma2Be, I was not specifically referring to you!! And I was adopted, and never said being a parent meant giving birth. Maybe someone else wrote that?

Sorry if my mail sounded harsh, but I do think parenting is very humbling. You come in with all sorts of expectations and ideals, and find out 50% you were on track, 25% you didn't know better, and 25% just does not apply to you or your DC! OK, maybe you were 90% right, I don't know, I can only speak for myself. But yes, it can be annoying when people who don't have kids give parenting advice. And yes, sometimes part of it is because they don't have kids to base their "advice" on.
post #30 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
OK, maybe you were 90% right, I don't know, I can only speak for myself.
Haha, no not at all! I had a lot of ideas that I totally don't agree with now (such as no lying down with a child, at most, sit by their bed in a chair until they fall asleep--or if they aren't well-behaved when you take them somewhere, the next time they stay with a babysitter!), but another thing that I hadn't planned on was secondary infertility. So I guess I can just really empathize with earthmamatobe even though I do have a child. And I really wasn't feeling that you were trying to hurt anyone, I only wanted to point out that it could come across as really hurtful to someone who's struggling with infertility.
post #31 of 75
I have an online friend who is a nanny and I often turn to her for advice because she is very well educated on numerous parenting subjects and has experience with a wide age range of kids. I'd much rather get advice from her than one of the "Oh, just let them cry until they puke, that's how I got mine sleeping through the night" mommy crowd.
post #32 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
Hmm I guess I had better STOP advising people to reconsider routine circumcision , and STOP telling them that "breast is best" and STOP telling them they there are kinder alternatives to CIO. Guess I'd also better let all the parents who routinely ASK for my advice know that it turns out that I KNOW NOTHING and they may as well go pick up a copy of "Train up your child" because after all the PEARL'S are PARENTS so they must know EVERYTHING and since my uterus has defied me I know NOTHING.

I really thought MDCers were more open minded than to think people who don't have children can't possibly know anything about parenting!

Just because the children I raised weren't "mine" does no mean I don't know anything about parenting. Most them spend more time with ME than there so called "parents"!

I feel ya earthmama.... before I had a baby everyone was always "wait until you have him, you wont feel that way" or "you'll see" or "when its yours its different" but I really find it to be what I expected. What did I expect? to be up all night, to not have time to myself, to have to learn to do things with one hand, to have sore cracked nipples, to have to change my clothes a hundred times a day, to be pooped on, peed on, puked on, to have to listen to him cry and cry sometimes and not be able to do anything to stop it.... and I am loving all of it. Now that he's here, I get the same type of comments, but now they have turned to "you must have an easy baby" or "is he colicky or high needs?" or "wait until he starts crawling" bla bla bla. sometimes you know what to expect and sometimes you don't. the people who dont tend to assume that everyone must have felt how they did for some reason.
post #33 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Calla~ View Post
I didn't mean to start a heated debate. I do think that there are folks out there that definitely know a thing or two about parenting.

My brother is farthest from that group however. I should clarify, that the trip is 2-3 hours each way, so 5-6 hours total. He also lives here, by me, it's just his wedding that's in a different state.

I just can't get his comments out of my head.
It's okay Mama! Debate is good for you! Your brother is being insensitive although he probably doesn't know better. I would suspect he just wants you there and did not choose his words carefully AND since you are his Sis he is probably used to saying whatever pops into his head (my BIL is like this since I've known him since he was 3).

Tell him you are sorry but your "comfort zone" is not the one you are concerned with it's your child's.

Sorry I hijacked your thread!
post #34 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
I feel ya earthmama.... before I had a baby everyone was always "wait until you have him, you wont feel that way" or "you'll see" or "when its yours its different" but I really find it to be what I expected. What did I expect? to be up all night, to not have time to myself, to have to learn to do things with one hand, to have sore cracked nipples, to have to change my clothes a hundred times a day, to be pooped on, peed on, puked on, to have to listen to him cry and cry sometimes and not be able to do anything to stop it.... and I am loving all of it. Now that he's here, I get the same type of comments, but now they have turned to "you must have an easy baby" or "is he colicky or high needs?" or "wait until he starts crawling" bla bla bla. sometimes you know what to expect and sometimes you don't. the people who dont tend to assume that everyone must have felt how they did for some reason.
Yeah! And since my sis and brother are 12 and 16 years younger than I am I got a good bit of practical experience before I ever left home! Honestly I've been up all night with crying babies that weren't "mine". If you can do that without going crazy then when you do have a biological attachment I would think it would be EASIER to still love them in the morning!
post #35 of 75

People with kids can give some very bad advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post
Off topic: Needle in the hay nd EarthMomma2Be, I was not specifically referring to you!! And I was adopted, and never said being a parent meant giving birth. Maybe someone else wrote that?

Sorry if my mail sounded harsh, but I do think parenting is very humbling. You come in with all sorts of expectations and ideals, and find out 50% you were on track, 25% you didn't know better, and 25% just does not apply to you or your DC! OK, maybe you were 90% right, I don't know, I can only speak for myself. But yes, it can be annoying when people who don't have kids give parenting advice. And yes, sometimes part of it is because they don't have kids to base their "advice" on.
I remember being told I'd change my parenting ideas once I had a baby, but I parent the way I planned to parent.

I was told by parents that I would regret co-sleeping and carrying my baby so much. I was told that I'd understand better once I had a child of my own.

People cling to their stereotype that non-parents are clueless, but, honestly, most parents sound clueless most of the time, probably because they often are just flying by the seat of their pants.
post #36 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild View Post
I remember being told I'd change my parenting ideas once I had a baby, but I parent the way I planned to parent.

I was told by parents that I would regret co-sleeping and carrying my baby so much. I was told that I'd understand better once I had a child of my own.

People cling to their stereotype that non-parents are clueless, but, honestly, most parents sound clueless most of the time, probably because they often are just flying by the seat of their pants.
Ok I know I'm commenting this thread to death but I just like what you said. Some of it comes down to this: some of us have spent our whole lives preparing for a child and have a REALLY good idea of how we will parent. Having tried out pretty much everything (including cloth diapering and baby wearing) on "other peoples kids" I KNOW how I will parent and actually have a good practical knowledge. I know you make adjustment and you discard what does not work for YOUR child but I KNOW how to be a parent, we are just waiting on the chance to "prove it"!
post #37 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
That's really harsh. If women are on MDC who are not yet mothers, they are likely trying to conceive and having difficulty with it. EarthmamatoBe has stated in this thread she has carried no child to term, meaning she's had miscarriages. You may not know what it's like to deal with infertility and may not realize how mean-spirited your above quote sounds.
Anyway, harsh judgments aren't too fun no matter who they come from, why pick on those whose hearts are aching to become mothers?

Thank You
post #38 of 75
I hate long car rides with babies/toddlers too.. I feel ya on this one.

That said, I must answer the question at hand with a resounding "Yes!"

I love the AMAZING bits of wisdom I get from my sister about my sons. She has no kids of her own, but taught art in an all-boys school for 10 years. She just *gets* them--their impulsivity, need to explore everything, etc. I think not being in the thick of parenting actually gives her perspective that I sometimes lack.
post #39 of 75
Oh man, I feel you! When ds was about 15 mo. my dad threw a gigantic fit that we were not going to drive 6 hrs. one way to spend the holiday weekend with him and the rest of the family. Ds hated his carseat with a passion back then and was in general, beside himself with getting his molars. It would have been dreadful. My dad told me it would be fine, he would scream himself to sleep, and he needed to learn that since I had to learn that as a child too. I set some very distinct boundaries then and haven't heard a negative word or know it all type of comment since.

The bottom line was he was desperate for me to be with the family and could not fathom a more mature way to handle his disappointment. My younger sister and a good friend have both done basically the same thing to me, even saying "people do it all the time with kids", when asking me to travel very long distances to see them, ds in tow. They just do not have another way to express their disappointment is how I see it. I agree with the pp who said send him a nice bottle of wine or something with a note about taking them out next time. Good luck!!! Mary
post #40 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
It's okay Mama! Debate is good for you! Your brother is being insensitive although he probably doesn't know better. I would suspect he just wants you there and did not choose his words carefully AND since you are his Sis he is probably used to saying whatever pops into his head (my BIL is like this since I've known him since he was 3).

Tell him you are sorry but your "comfort zone" is not the one you are concerned with it's your child's.

Sorry I hijacked your thread!

No need to apologize! You have every right to defend your opinion. No one is flaming you, just trying to make a point, I'm glad everything is sorted out.

I do know that my brother just wants me there. I tried to explain that I really do want to go. It's just that I can't. There's a big difference, I didn't want him to take it the wrong way.
As far as his 'parenting' advice..........if he had said, "Do you think she would like to borrow our DVD player for the car?", or would it help if someone would come with you, like blah blah?" it would be different, he was just being mean, and belittling my daughter's feeling , which was not appreciated.
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