Don't you just LOVE parenting advice from non-parents? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 75 Old 05-21-2008, 12:23 AM
 
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Thanks! I agree that taking care of children and being a parent are two different things but the term parent can mean different things too. And unfortunately for some people (nobody here, just some ppl I know) BECOMING a parent doesn't guarantee they will figure it out either.

I'm sorry if my posts seemed defensive and harsh but...well I am defensive about that kind of thing. I appreciate you clarifying!


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Originally Posted by mumster View Post
You are right Earthmamatobe. My original quote was way to generalized when I said "you don't know anything (cause you're not a parent)" What drove me crazy about this friend was that SHE really didn't know anything and she insisted on undermining my parenting skills. I do feel that you're situation is different as you have cared for children as if they were your own. Most non-parents haven't and I really feel that people need to EXPERIENCE the practical side of parenting theory in order to really get it. I base this on my own experience in which, looking back, I truly knew nothing about parenting before experiencing the strong emotions that came with my first.
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#62 of 75 Old 05-21-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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You know, I'd like to soften my post about non-parents talking smack. I've gotten pretty bad parenting advice, upon reflection, from other parents.

I guess it doesn't matter who gives the advice or suggestions as long as the advice giver takes the time to understand the mama/dh/dc family dynamics well enough to empathize with the situation. IME, many advice givers don't take the time to do this and come from a stance of "this worked for my dc's (or someone else's dc's) so it should for yours, too." Of course, these are the experiences that stand out in my mind because they're so horrible.

I'm sure that there are plenty of people, with or without children, that are able to provide excellent advice. I know that I've received excellent advice from MDC, and none of these mamas has ever met me or my dc's IRL.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#63 of 75 Old 05-21-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by siobhang View Post
I stopped, looked at her for a long moment, and said "It really irritates me when someone assumes that I have not done research, debated different options with dh, and even already tried a few different approaches to solve this problem. It sort of implies that we are ignorant or neglectful."
Yes - the stinging implicit judgment makes me initially resentful - even if, upon further reflection, the advice is good. I've said this kind of thing quoted above numerous times. For two people in my family with wayyy more advice than I want (who *are* both mothers - just not exactly the kind I want to be) I now just shorten this type of response to "Give me a little credit. Do you really think we haven't tried/thought of that?" If the person giving advice has not experienced parenting firsthand, it adds fuel to my resentfulness - even if there is a grain of truth to what they have said.

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#64 of 75 Old 05-21-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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I now just shorten this type of response to "Give me a little credit. Do you really think we haven't tried/thought of that?"
heh, I recently changed it into "been there, done that, didn't work, let's move on..."

Actually, one of my pet peeves is when someone comes to MY house, and interacts with MY kids, and proceeds to try to parent my kids, IN FRONT OF ME.

now, don't get me wrong, I want my friends to back up house rules and be an extra set of eyes/hands. And that not everyone has the same rules or expectations for kids, so they may guess wrong in terms of what rules to enforce, etc.

But when someone proceeds to tell my child that they'd better do X (like clean up a mess or say sorry or something) when I am standing *right there* and I clearly saw the "infraction" the person is trying to correct, I am just stunned by the audacity.

Because, to me, the implication is "I can parent your child better than you can, because clearly you aren't doing it to my satisfaction."

</vent>

You know the attributes for a great adult? Initiative, creativity, intellectual curiosity? They make for a helluva kid...
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#65 of 75 Old 05-21-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aran View Post
Yes - the stinging implicit judgment makes me initially resentful - even if, upon further reflection, the advice is good. I've said this kind of thing quoted above numerous times. For two people in my family with wayyy more advice than I want (who *are* both mothers - just not exactly the kind I want to be) I now just shorten this type of response to "Give me a little credit. Do you really think we haven't tried/thought of that?" If the person giving advice has not experienced parenting firsthand, it adds fuel to my resentfulness - even if there is a grain of truth to what they have said.
That is how I feel too!!!

I LOVE your response. I will have to use that (if you don't mind)

.
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#66 of 75 Old 05-21-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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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.
Yes, yes, yes. I was here for a couple years before having a baby, and so I did, in fact, get about what I was expecting as a parent, although (and I expected this) I couldn't really know what exactly it was going to be like because no one in the world had ever had MY baby before.

But yes, it is possible to not yet be a parent and to have a pretty good idea about parenting -- if part of what one knows is that one can never truly know what it's like for anyone else, whether or not one also happens to have a child.

It's really just clueless, unsolicited, one-size-fits-all advice that bothers, whether it comes from another parent or not.
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#67 of 75 Old 05-21-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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That is how I feel too!!!

I LOVE your response. I will have to use that (if you don't mind)

.
Have at it!!!

aran .......... Mr. aran .......... DS1 .......... DS2
BIL Oct. 1961 - Jun. 2009 taken by cancer
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#68 of 75 Old 05-22-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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I'm probably in the minority here, but unsolicited advice bothers me more from people who ARE parents themselves. I guess I figure, you had X number of children and parented them - that was your turn. Now this is my child and it is MY turn. So be quiet...LOL
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#69 of 75 Old 05-22-2008, 09:49 AM
 
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I cannot stand parenting advice from those who are not in the trenches with my particular child so I feel ya. Something about parenthood that seems to make your life so much more of a spectator sport, open to commentary from the sidelines.

But, I think I must be missing a step. Are you planning to miss your brother's wedding (a wedding that I presume you can afford getting to) solely because it is 2-3 hours away and your child hates the car? If you are planning to attend the wedding but just can't get to the rehearsal I think that is a bit self centered on your brother's side. But, if you are actually taking a miss on his wedding I can say that I would be pretty upset also in his shoes. That seems aggressively child-centered at the expense of everyone else to me. As someone whose youngest child loathed the car until recently (screamed her head off unless she was asleep and still cries after an hour of drivetime) I can honestly say there is no way I would skip a sibling's wedding over it. I would plan to take twice as long to travel the distance; I would plan to stop every 30-45 minutes; I would plan to bring snacks and toys, and sing songs, and show videos, and all the other dances we do while our kids are upset. Heck, I would plan on going on my own while my partner stayed behind with my children if it was completely necessary. But come hell or high water I would be there for my brother/sister on his/her wedding day, one of the most important days of his/her life and a day where he/she should be surrounded by loving family.

Hopefully, I am just misreading and this is all about the rehearsal dinner and you already have a great game plan in action for attending the wedding! And hopefully you have a fantastic time!

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." -Isaac Asimov read.gif

 
 
 
 

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#70 of 75 Old 05-22-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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i just wanted to chim in and say that just because someone's (parent or non-parent) advice is something that you don't agree with, it doesn't mean they know NOTHING. maybe they just don't know anything about your particular parenting style. doesn't mean they are necessarily WRONG, just DIFFERENT.

i know that before i had my son, i got a lot of the "oh you just wait till you have kids" comments. and i found them rather condescending. some of my ideas have adjusted regarding my parenting choices, but the fundamentals that i knew i would follow have not changed.
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#71 of 75 Old 05-22-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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But, I think I must be missing a step. Are you planning to miss your brother's wedding (a wedding that I presume you can afford getting to) solely because it is 2-3 hours away and your child hates the car? If you are planning to attend the wedding but just can't get to the rehearsal I think that is a bit self centered on your brother's side. But, if you are actually taking a miss on his wedding I can say that I would be pretty upset also in his shoes.
I was wondering the same thing. A couple of people commented on him being self-centered and thinking the day was all about his needs, which really it is about the bride and groom. But I was wondering if the child can't make it to the rehearsal, how are they going to the wedding? Two-three hours isn't far, so I don't quite understand the major imposition. DD doesn't like the car, but there's not a chance I'd miss my brother or sister's wedding over a 2-hour car ride.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#72 of 75 Old 05-22-2008, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am attending the wedding, of course. Dh is coming with me. It's the trip alone that I don't want to do.

: Mama to ds (5) and dd (3) and .
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#73 of 75 Old 05-22-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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I am attending the wedding, of course. Dh is coming with me. It's the trip alone that I don't want to do.
Well, that makes total and complete sense. Hopefully he chills out and hopefully you all have a great time at the wedding!

"There is no belief, however foolish, that will not gather its faithful adherents who will defend it to the death." -Isaac Asimov read.gif

 
 
 
 

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#74 of 75 Old 05-23-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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Dh and I have very few friends who are parents. So, we get lots of advice from bachelors about how to parent our dd. Sometimes they have good insight. Most of the time, they're just clueless, but if we can explain a parenting preference in biological/instinct terms, they tend to change their minds and agree. It's led to some amusing conversations.

I don't come here anymore. MDC has become overgrown with ads & useless extra forums.
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#75 of 75 Old 05-23-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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I have to say that the advice that gets me are the people who have NO experience with children. For example my brother (who has held an infant maybe 5 times his entire life) told me that breastfeeding would ruin my marriage..
The advice from other parents can be just as bad as well. My father called me up the night I was coming home from the hospital after having my DD (DD was 2 days old) and told me to drive up and see him that weekend. When I said I wouldn't he started getting mean and cursing at me about how its not hard to have a baby and its nothing to drive two hours after all my ILs were able to see the baby the next week. My MIL flew from Phili to California and rented a car to come down and help me set up the nursury and stock up some meals.
I think some people are just self centered and you just ignore them..

Slightly off topic: EarthMamaToBe I hope you get some really good news at the end of the month. Its hard to want and see everyone else having and not having one of your own.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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