Secretsofmommyhood

Parenting “advice” from strangers

Posted on: November 14, 2011

When I was pregnant people gave me all kinds of advice.  Actually, it would probably be more accurate if I said they gave me a lot of opinions on different things.  What kind of car seat to buy, what type of teething ring to get, what kind of bottles to use, what kind of diapers to use, and on and on.  some of it was helpful and some of it just wasn’t.  But, I learned to smile and nod and take in everything people said with a grain of salt. Use what information you want/need and leave the rest alone. 

Now, it’s one thing when friends and family give you advice and their opinions on things.  That’s what they’re here for.  They love you so they want to help you.  But, when complete strangers do it, I feel like that’s crossing a line.   

Over the weekend I went grocery shopping and took “G” with me.  He took a tumble at the babysitter’s last week and has a bruise on his cheek as a result.  So, I’m in the check out lane and the cashier is smiling at “G” and asked me how he got the bruise on his face.  I told her he had fallen down.  She then proceeds to tell me that I need to make sure I watch him when he’s playing so he doesn’t fall down and get hurt.  My first thought was, “Really lady?  Do you think I don’t know how to take care of my son”?  But, I’m a nice good Christian girl and I know that she isn’t aware he’s just learning to walk, so I just smiled and said, “Even when you watch them they can still fall down”.       

I’m not sure I understand why it is people feel it’s ok to tell you how to raise your child.  Especially complete strangers.  If my mother had made the above comment to me , I wouldn’t have thought anything of it.  She’s my mother, she’s helping me and watching out for her grandson.  But, someone I don’t know…not the same.  You don’t know my situation, you don’t know how he fell, you don’t know me or my son.  Therefore, you shouldn’t comment.

Every parent has their own way of parenting and taking care of their children.  You may not like it or agree with their choices, but how they parent is their choice (Of course, if it’s an abusive situation, this is something entirely different and needs to be dealt with).  I’m sure there are many parents who do things they regret and wish they could take it back, but we all make mistakes.  Please don’t judge me because my baby, who is learning to walk, fell down and got a bruise, or because I put him to bed at a certain time, or let him watch cartoons occasionally even though he’s only one year old.  They are my choices and if I make a mistake, I’ll learn from it and will move on.

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4 Responses to "Parenting “advice” from strangers"

What is up with cashiers? I didn’t receive any “advice”, but I recently told a cashier that Zach had accidentally rented a movie from Comcast On Demand. Her response, “Don’t make me go Judge Judy on you”. Um, ok. Not sure if she was implying that I wasn’t watching him well enough or that he shouldn’t be watching TV, but I wasn’t about to ask!

Either way, she shouldn’t have implied it. I would have laughed. I think it’s funny! 🙂

Well said Leah, even us parents who try to leave well enough alone need a reminder of this every now and then 🙂

Thanks Ranay!

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