Good Enough Mother is still recovering from our trip to Lowes last night. We (and by “we” I mean ME) are going to undertake a painting project while here in South Carolina and needed supplies. It was there my kids, both of them, decided to show their arses. Arguing loudly, play slapping, snapping each other with a rubber band ball, you know, the usual.
I was replaying that scene as I read How to Give Parenting Advice to Strangers from our friends at Babble.com. The gist of it is, if you see a parent with their hands full, even if their methods is ineffective you should bite your tongue. I couldn’t agree more. Here’s why.
*IT’S REALLY NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. As soon as you leave the store or park of wherever you are, you will probably never see this person again in your life. So what difference does it make to you whether they do it “the right way” (and you know how we feel about that. See 10 from GEM)? It doesn’t – so butt out.
*YOUR ADVICE, NO MATTER HOW SOUND, WILL NOT BE TAKEN WELL. The person you are talking to is, no doubt, on overload. They’re dealing with a kid in full on meltdown mode. Even if you channeled the dulcet tones of Mother Teresa they’ll be pissed.
*THEY WILL ULTIMATELY FIGURE IT OUT ON THEIR OWN. The lessons in life that are attached to pain are the ones that are seared into our very being. Sweating, miserable, unhappy, embarrassed they will finally learn how to deal with the fussy kid. When they strike upon that success, they will file it away for use the next time it happens, and oh it will. Don’t take that away from them.
Luckily for me, all of the shoppers at Lowes last night were too busy searching for their plumbing snakes and 2 by 4’s to do more than offer disapproving glances to me and my wild kids last night. I thank them for that.
Have you ever been offered well-meaning advice from a stranger? What was it? How did it make you feel?