That’s right, I’m going there today–not even for myself, but for the number of times I’ve seen other parents ridiculed for being a parent to the child they gave birth to–and the worst part? The ridiculer was someone who doesn’t even have a child. The nerve, right? Let’s get into it!
I’ve only been a parent for about 15 months now, but in that short amount of time, I can’t begin to tell you how many people have shared their “advice” and opinions with me about how I should parent my little one when they don’t even have a child
It’s not always bad advice, but you have to have respect for the person you’re advising–considering you don’t truthfully know what you would do “if you were me” because you don’t have any kids.Here are a few times you should keep your opinion about someone’s parenting skills to yourself if you’re not a parent.
You shouldn’t give a parent advice on where they take their child(ren).
As a single parent, it’s very seldom that I do not have my daughter with me. Yes, there are places that children shouldn’t go, which is why they aren’t allowed in the establishment; but so long as children are allowed–you don’t need to be concerned with their presence as long as they’re with their parents. The main reason you shouldn’t comment on where a parent has their child is the simple fact that the parent has their child. There are a lot of people who leave their child(ren) with whoever to get out anywhere. You don’t know the why behind why they have their child with them, just respect the fact that they do.
You shouldn’t give a parent advice on who to have around their child(ren).
This one right here probably gets me the most. As a parent, you do your best not to bring your child around any hurt, harm, or danger in any given moment. No one chooses to bring their child(ren) around a bad person. If that person turns out to be bad, I’m sure that isn’t something the person portrayed initially. Either way, it’s not your place to tell a parent who should be around their child(ren). Period. It’s just rude.
You shouldn’t give a parent advice on what time their child(ren) should be in bed.
If you had children you would know that the earlier you put your child to bed, the earlier they wake up. Of course, every parent wants their child(ren) in bed by 8 p.m. just for peace of mind, but it usually doesn’t work like that. Especially when they aren’t old enough to just go lay down in bed when they’re told to. There is a lot that goes into “putting the kids to bed.” Feeding the child(ren), bathing the child(ren), you’ve got to prepare the dinner in their somewhere, all while trying to wind down and manage home life in general. As long as the child(ren) are getting their proper amount of rest, don’t worry about what time they go to bed. Mama’s got this.
You shouldn’t give a parent advice on how their child(ren) spends their time.
This is one of those times where the comment that you should have kept to yourself starts out with “my child(ren) won’t be allowed to…” or “my child(ren) would never…” Let me be very clear about one thing, you don’t have the slightest idea what you will or won’t let your child(ren) do until God blesses you with that child. Let children be children. They are going to get messy, make mistakes, eat candy, and watch TV. You do it. Why shouldn’t a child be able to? The world we live in is corrupt, you’re right, but with the guidance of a good parent that world won’t have a chance to harm that child. Too much of anything isn’t good for anyone. Let the parent decide where to draw the line.
You shouldn’t give a parent advice on any situation you haven’t had the experience of raising a child in. Period.
At the end of the day, that child only has two parents–and for a lot of us, there is only one functioning parent. Don’t insult their efforts by offering your advice when you have never experienced what that parent is enduring day in and day out. This might have been a tough pill to swallow for someone, but it needed to be said. And it’s not just to you. There are people with children that fall into this very same category and that need to hear this very advice. Don’t consider this a negative command, but a positive reinforcement. Being a parent is the most time-consuming, stressful job there is and many of us do it alongside another full-time job. Let us be the parent. Let us decide what is or isn’t good for our children. We don’t know everything, but we will learn as we go. If you find that some of your advice was right to begin with, good for you. Don’t rub it in, be supportive to the parent during the learning process. After all, these are things you’ll be applying to your own journey of parenthood someday.