My mom adventures in Fort Collins

Unsolicited parenting advice
January 29, 2012, 6:42 pm
Filed under: Parenting

Said children for whom my parenting is reality

There are all sorts of parenting advice out there. Since no one asked me, and I’m nowhere near an expert, mine is unsolicited.

I think advice falls into three categories, Clear-cut tips, Slightly controversial suggestions, and Advice for which people would probably like to slap me. And before I go ahead with any of these, just let me say that in most cases, I’m a very open-minded, non-judgemental person. I have been humbled many times on this parenting road (and I’m sure there are countless teachable moments yet to come my way). Yet, I’m way too opinionated and outspoken to keep my mouth shut, so here goes.

Clear cut tip #1

If you are considering buying a play make-up set for a four-year-old (particularly a four-year-old with a two-year-old sister), please consider how this will affect your home and everyone in it (including inanimate objects).

Clear cut tip #2

Only buy washable markers, crayons, and paint. Restrict the other kind from entering your home, particularly see to it that it never makes its way to the grout in your tile floor.

Controversial suggestion #1

When your child is having a tantrum in public, do not say anything out loud for the benefit of others. For example, saying “See, this is why you should have had a nap” loud enough so that others can hear you is both unnecessary and untrue. It’s unnecessary because tantrums are a normal part of human development (presuming your child is 2-years-old in this instance, not 15). No need to make excuses for your kid. And while you may not recognize it as wholly “untrue,” it’s likely that what you should be saying is something directed to your child exclusively and it goes something like this, “I’m sorry that my need to [insert word(s) here, i.e. “go to the grocery store”] trumped your needs today. Let’s get out of here as soon as we can.” Because, let’s face it, this is MORE true. And I get it! I totally 100% get it! I don’t always enjoy being held hostage by a toddler and sometimes you gotta get stuff done. So you do it! None of us (well, at least, I hope none of us) enjoys pushing our children to the brink of a melt-down, but depending on our busy lives and the personality of our children there are times when this is practically unavoidable. You do not owe anyone an apology (other than possibly your child).

Controversial suggestion #2

Go ahead and shower and put on non-pajama-apparel before heading out in public. Neglecting hygiene needs is a slippery slope. Parenthood is a long haul. Don’t make habits now that will become hard to break. Take this from someone who once answered the door to my insurance adjuster while wearing my white fluffy robe that was covered in poop. In my defense, I didn’t know it was covered in poop (I was holding a baby who’d apparently had a blow-out on me) and this lady came to ME, not the other way around.

All-out-get-ready-to-slap-me advice #1

Don’t ever dispense advice or judgement as though you are some sort of sage of wisdom. This will make other parents annoyed, and (I have plenty of evidence to back me up on this) as soon as you shut your mouth you will be putting your own advice to the test. I have found the biggest offenders of this tactic are people who read a lot of parenting books. Just an observation. I myself prepare to take the road that I know damn-near-nothing about parenting my OWN kids, let alone YOUR kids, so why would I even want to go there: I’d look like a fool.

All-out-get-ready-to-slap-me advice #2

Be prepared to be a hypocrite. It’s like the good Lord knows every time you make a statement involving the phrase, “I will never let my kids…” or “My kids know better than to…” To say that you will be humbled is like saying the Elephant Man was mildly disfigured. I once called my friend “a cute little hippie” for nursing her baby for 18-months. I have been eating those words big time since, ahem, Ruby is still nursing.

I’m sure there will be more unsolicited advice to dispense. You better believe I won’t be smart enough to keep my mouth shut.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Love it! Great post 🙂

Comment by Maya Fitz

Why thank you! You are my first comment EVER!

Comment by jaymers

Your thoughts are always welcome

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