A while back I experienced an event that spurred the idea for this topic and as you can see, I’m just now getting back to it. Whether you are a new parent or a current parent with children (grown up or no), you’ve probably experienced this once in your life either in a supermarket, perhaps a School, daycare or some place else – someone else, another parent, may come up to you and try to tell you how to raise your kid (Granted, not everyone who has children deserves to have them – but that’s neither here nor there at the moment).
Whether it is in the way you are trying to punish your child for bad behavior or something else, they might think they are offering friendly parental advice (and some folks DO mean well) OR – they may even try to threaten the very way you wish to handle your children (spankings are not outlawed for parents people, just schools and other public facilities in most states, so long as they aren’t the parents of the child – though I don’t personally believe in this method of punishment 😛 ).
Sometimes you just wish people would keep their advice to themselves or just keep their nose out of your business and that’s completely understandable. I had one of these moments. I don’t have children of my own, yet, but I had a woman who thought that just because she was a Mother meant that she knew better than I on how to handle a circumstance I was in.
Now, I have been around children quite a bit. Enough so I can understand them fairly well, what they want and need, even people’s toddlers at times I can understand much like the parents should only probably be able to (You know that babble toddlers do that’s almost incomprehensible? Yep. That.). Kids love me. All of my friends who I have made mention to that I might like to have kids someday think and feel I would be a great mother. Granted, I will admit, I am no expert by any means on how to raise children but again – I do know a thing or two. So I’m not a complete idiot.
So to continue our story, I was at a big event and I was watching one of the little ones who wanted to wander around and eventually she saw someone she knew that she wanted to follow, but I didn’t think that was what she should do, especially since I had to stay close by in the event my help was needed. I was playing babysitter for the time to try to keep the peace while folks finished setting things up for said event.
When I stopped the little one, she began to cry and wail because she wasn’t getting her way and possibly because she thought the person she knew, wasn’t coming back. So I couldn’t blame her for crying, but she didn’t want me to coddle and hold her and I didn’t know what else to do other than to just let her cry it out. Some kids need to do that sometimes, I know this much. One of the mother’s there (not the child’s mother) came over and tried to offer me some advice. Unfortunately I can’t remember now word for word what was said, but what I do remember was the arrogance in the statement that just because she was a Mother she thought she knew what was best.
Which leads me into the point of sharing this story, all experienced mother’s at some point in their lives are going to feel like, when they see a new parent, a parent not doing things they feel they should be doing in regards to their child’s behavior or otherwise, they will be arrogant enough to feel, even for a brief moment, that they know absolutely what is best for that child (or your child), even if it isn’t their own. As I said, some will offer some good sound advice, whereas others are just cocky S.O.B.s who are annoying and need to mind their own business.
At the end of the day YOU will know what is best for your child, plain and simple. Not every child is going to be the same, there will be similarities in child-raising techniques or how to approach certain circumstances or situations regarding your child. Any good mother worth her salt is going to be “in-tune” with her child (same goes for Dad’s too), because of this bond it means intuitively you will understand what your child’s needs are, what they want and it may or may not make some of your decisions with them easier or harder.
Another element that does not help in today’s child-raising is the fact everyone is SOOOO paranoid about unfit parents raising Children. So they may be super, hyper-sensitive to watching other parents and how they treat their children and something so small and not very harmful could be interpreted as “Child Abuse” and grounds for “Calling Child Services“. I have heard horror stories from folks who would be in stores with their kids, trying to manage their bad behavior, another parent walks over all angry and huffy thinking the child is being abused, threatening the parent with reporting them to Child Services. Some of you are thinking, “Not cool” and I agree.
No good parent wants to hear that, from another parent – or even their child. So folks, this is a warning, a reminder but also some advice. Please be careful in how you decide to instruct others in how to raise their kids (this goes for non-parents also trying to learn how to possibly handle kids so as to perhaps one day have their own). Ask first if they wouldn’t mind some friendly parental advice. It’s easier and polite to ask, “May I,” as you aren’t forcing your opinions or ideas down the throat of another and they are more apt to respond positively than negatively.
Also, don’t just assume that when you see a parent trying to get a handle on their child, making idle threats that it might be more serious than it is, unless your gut says otherwise or you can honestly and truly see how violent and/or abusive the parent is truly being. It is often because of today’s fear of children being raised improperly or by folks who aren’t responsible enough to do so, that I feel folks often jump the gun.
So take a breather, try to see things from an objective viewpoint and ask yourself, “Am I over-reacting? Am I over-analyzing? Am I over-thinking this circumstance?” it may save you some embarrassment in the future and some serious frustration, along with the ire of another possible parent or future parent.
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this and for some, I hope this was helpful and possibly insightful.
Question, comments or new topic ideas, suggest and/or make them below in the comments. 🙂
~Blessed be, Namaste~