Why is it that people who don't have children try to advise parents on how to raise theirs?
It just seems that so many people believe that they can give expert advice simply because they have worked with children or have been around them. I'm sure that every parent will agree that being around children and having children that you are responsible for 24/7 are two different things.
Hello Ellana, You sound as though someone has really annoyed you with their well-meaning but useless advice.
I know it can be frustrating, but perhaps I can raise a smile. No doubt someone, who is just pregnant, has also said to you, "the baby will fit in with our lives, not us fitting in with his or hers!"
I smile and nod, knowing that particular idea will have a very short life span!
Ellana317 - you just have to excuse them, because they just don't understand. Just be polite, use the information if pertinent and throw it out if not, and just remind them that you want to be around when they are in your shoes!
Remember you know your child better than anyone else, so pray and use the best common sense method that works for your child and yourself...
Celiegirl- The fact that I know my child better than anyone else is what I hang my hat on. That said, even with all the good advice in the world I am still going to make mistakes so I do my best and let God handle the rest. Thanks for your answer!
I think they are trying to give us something to laugh about later. ; )
I think in general that people have the best of intensions when giving advice. I do feel that sometimes you can get good advise from someone that doesn't have children as you get an outsiders perspective. Granted they also may be completely off due to not knowing about children. The way I figure it, take it all in stride and use the stuff you like and put the rest aside.
Everyone has an idea and thinks that their ideas are best. If you suddenly say you are pregnant, everyone around you will start telling you how to take care of your baby as if it is theirs.
some people like to look/feel important, some may be envious, and you also might run into a few who actually do know a lot about kids.
Relatives who are school teachers are often the worst offenders. It's interesting to see how they cope - or don't - when they have kids of their own.
If I voice an opinion on how to bring up a child in a certain aspect of their lives it is usually because the parent has asked me for my opinion as a friend even though I don't/can't have children of my own. I would then give my opinion based on the fact I strongly recall how I was brought up, (I am qualified by virtue of having not only been a child once, but by the fact I turned out okay as a result of that upbringing). For example, I remember that my parents taught me to appreciate the value of money by making me save up hard for luxury items I wanted, even items they could have afforded to buy me, and they expected me to get part time jobs to buy those items. This made me appreciate these items all the more when I got them. Another example would be the fact I was expected to pay regular 'keep' to my parents as soon as I started work, (I never got a free ride, accommodation and meals once I was working). Final example was that if I ever really needed to borrow money off my Mother (much later on in life when I had some struggles), I was always expected to pay it back, and with the equivalent amount of interest she would have got had she left it in the bank.
This is all advice I would pass on to a parent, in spite of not being able to be one myself. It taught me the value of money, to learn to work for what I wanted in life, to avoid borrowing as it comes at a price, and that there is no such thing as a 'free ride'. I don't need to be a parent to know this is a good way to bring up kids, after all I was that kid 24/7 once!
Mistyhorizon2003 I understand your point and it has been well recieved but being a single mother and having so much pressure on me as it is, what I need is for someone to support and encourage me rather than discourage me with constant critiques.
Perhaps the secret is for those people not to be so 'critical' and more attempt to 'guide' the parent in the right directions. Like with any advice, the best way to treat it is 'if it feels right go with it' and 'if it feels wrong cast it to one side
Misty, a thousand applauses. One does not have to be a parent to know about child dynamics. All of us WERE children once so WE know, end of story. What old fashioned ideas some people have. Really, now .
Just because some people may not have children of their own do not mean that they do not have any experience of their own. In my opinion, working with children or being around them are good enough reasons to be qualified as experts on the subject. For instance, a teacher may know much more about disciplining children and putting the right values in them than a Parent. Also many people are victims of Bad Parenting also and know exactly how a Parent should not be. Some have gone through experiences like neglect, abuse, partiality etc and knows how a child would feel in such a situation. Such people can be better guides on how a child should not be treated and what the possible consequences could be. I think you may be aware that most of the time the scars of Bad Parenting even remains in the adulthood. So I do not think there is anything wrong in accepting good advice even if it comes from someone without children. An outsider often sees mistakes which a Parent may not notice in the child.
Everyone is a perfect parent-- until they are one.
This must be a well-known phenomenon because I find myself repeating this phrase (in my head, while biting my tongue) everytime some well-meaning, but misguided expert says they know exactly how they'd handle X, Y or Z situation.
I don't know all of the specific reasons people have for offering advice to parents when they themselves have no children, but it's obvious from the question that you weren't exactly looking for an answer. I'm sure as a parent you've received some pretty awful and naive advice from friends and acquaintances who have no experience raising kids... and you've probably received similar advice from others who do.
I would be wary, though, of refusing to listen to the advice and opinions of others merely on the grounds that they do not have children of their own (which is the kind of disregard that is voiced in your question). I don't know where it all began, but the notion that someone must be incapable of offering good advice or giving real help unless they have personally experienced that concerning which they are advising is absurd. I am not playing down "experience"--that can be very helpful indeed--but experience does not make someone wise by default. I do not need my surgeon to go under the knife before I will be willing to trust him; and my friend who has undergone a hundred surgeries will be of little help to me when I need an operation. Assuming that those who have not shared in our experiences can therefore do us no good is a bold assumption to make, and I'm afraid very often unwise.
First, I am not a mother. I lost my baby girl some years ago. Although I am not raising a child, I have been and are part in the lives of my siblings' children. I am not one of those who will give advise to parents directly if I am not asked for help. Now, I have had experiences of mothers and fathers telling me stories about their children and complaining about their behavior; how disrespectful they are; the time they spend on the computer; their laziness, and so on. One time, a friend (single mother) came to me telling me those things and I offered her some advise and even asked her to bring her children to me so she can have more time for herself. Time passed by and she kept complaining and making excuses. At one point I asked her not to bring me any stories if she is not going to do anything about the situation. Now, I do not allow her to tell me anything at all.
It is true to say that in order for me to understand a particular parent and his/her situations with raising a child I have to be in her/his position. I would never say that raising a child 24/7 and being around children are the same thing because it is not. Yes, there are parents who know their children better than anybody else (as I perceive from you), but there are so many who do not even care about their children and do not take the time to know them….and guess what?, those around the children are the ones who know more about them and their needs.
If you are comfortable with the way you are raising your children with the love, dignity and discipline needed for them to be good citizens and caring human beings, do not worry.
I became a mother at 42 my husband was 45. Our beautiful daughter will start school next Monday at the ripe old age of 4. I never planned to have children - I was never broody, but I absolutely adore my impatient, rambunctious, gifted little girl. Over the years I did manage to gain a number of God-children and a hoarde of nieces and nephews, with whom I went out of my way to bond. The parents of the children in whose lives I was involved would seek out my advice on matters ranging from diet to schooling to discipline.
I’m not one to give unsolicited advice except for the most exigent of circumstances, and I never persist in trying to put things right. But, by the same token it’s impossible to hold back sound advice which can help a loved one. I couldn't just sit idly by when I have a possible solution to a pressing issue.
Often, the reason we need advice is because we are too(emotionally) close to the situation. Perhaps an outsider who has not had the specific experience has the appropriate amount of distance to see a solution. I accept that there is a definite added value in bringing to bear the compassion that comes from similar experience, but this is not always so. Naturally there is an agenda in any sort of counsel. There are elements of self-promotion (not necessarily a bad thing), profit motive (a realistic ‘must’), and viewpoint (we all have one). And I see nothing wrong in any of this, as long as we – the target audience or client – are neither naive nor manipulated. If a health visitor with thirty years of professional practice behind him suggests a course of action I would listen, regardless of whether he had a child or not. My primary concern would be his experience and not his parental status. And my high-flying lawyer friend who has no kids of her own but was raised in a family of nine should I be so arrogant as to dismiss her advice on how to get my daughter dry at night.
Childless adults be they experts or amateurs may provide a different and valid perspective. Whether a parent chooses to accept someone’s offering or not is their prerogative but, I don’t think anyone should base their decision solely on another person’s ability to be part of ‘a group.’ If an idea is positive or potentially life-changing what does it matter who it came from?
Supernanny Jo Frost, 'Britain’s best-known parenting expert’ is Oprah-approved, world famous, and multimillionaire childcare phenomenon and she does NOT have a child.
Because that's the best way they can raise hell in the family!!!
LOL Ellana, I noticed that when I was young, too. It was always the friends who did not have children who were the ones giving unsolicited opinions. Of course, I guess they eventually had children of their own and probably realized at that point that children are not adults in little bodies like it once seemed to me they thought they were.
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