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Monday, September 23, 2013

I Don't Accept Advice...

...about parenting or anything related to my child(ren) from someone who doesn't have children.  I don't do this to be mean or because I don't believe that they have good judgement or are incapable of being correct.  However, I do believe that it takes being in a situation to get a true understanding of it and all it entails.
It's just like when people tell you not to take financial advice from someone who hardly ever has money or marital advice from someone who can't keep a relationship and the list goes on.  Until you've had a child you essentially don't get it.  Some may feel like they do because they have nieces, nephews or have babysat or just have a parental spirit, if you will.  But nothing, and I mean NOTHING compares to having a child of your own that you are fully responsible for for the entirety of their lives. It's far more involved than you can truly fathom.

For me, it ultimately boils down to the fact that most people don't really start preparing mentally for a child until they are planning to have one. What I mean by that is, people don't just go around doing research on how to be a good parent, how to handle ear aches, how to deal with rashes, whether they are going to use this diaper or that one, whether they'll breastfeed or spank, etc...until they are truly ready.  Some don't even do research then!  They simply go with their instincts, what they've seen those around them doing or what is commonly accepted by society as "correct".

So, unless you can actually convince me that you've read over some literature to back up your advice I will have a hard time receiving it.  No offense, no hard feelings.  It's as simple as that :)!

Do you ever feel like you're offending others, especially your friends, that don't have children when/if you give them the old "you wouldn't understand" or "wait until you have kids" line?

I hope that people without children will share their perspective as well!
I'm very set in my strong opinions but it doesn't mean I'm not open.

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12 comments

  1. I have no children, so I don't offer advice. I am that weirdo that has read all sorts of parenting books and methods, researched diapers, strollers and pack and plays. Just about everything. So I have IDEAS. Yet, it's one thing to READ something.. but when the child is throwing things on the floor in Target.. who knows what I'll do. Probably not what page 324 tells me to do. So really, I know nothing. And even when I have a child, I think I'll know nothing. All kids are different.

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  2. It's true. Like a lot of things you don't know until it's you and you are in that position. And not just having to do with child rearing. My sister may be having issues with DJ on something and I might throw some things out there but we are close and I know she wouldn't be offended. I will say that sometimes it can be good to have an impartial opinion from someone that's not "in" it. It could potentially open your mind a bit more or get you to see it in a different way. But always with the understanding that bottom line I don't really know. And it goes from parent to parent too. You may not be able to give advice to another parent who has a different view on raising children. Child rearing in general is always a touchy subject if you ask me. There are so many more options, opinions, baby gear, ideologies then there were before. It seems like it used to be so much simpler.

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  3. I'll start by saying I don't have children. I'll also start by saying I don't go around giving parenting advice. That's just not in my personality. I don't think I'll give advice when I do have kids unless it's asked for.

    I also will say that I understand where you're coming from. As a teacher, I don't like having parents tell me how to do things in my classroom. They're not in there every day. They don't understand what it's like.

    You asked for a person without kids' opinion, though, so I'll share my thoughts. I may not have kids, but I have worked with kids since I was about 12 between babysitting, tutoring, church activities, daycare worker, and now as a teacher. I agree with you that I don't know what it's like to be a parent, but that doesn't mean that I don't have some valuable thoughts on kids. I've seen a lot of different parents and a lot of different types of kids. As I said, I wouldn't give unsolicited advice, but if asked...I think I could give valuable advice on some aspect of children. I don't think it's fair to disvalue my experience just because I don't have my own children. Of course, I would understand that there are some aspects of parenting I don't understand and I'd willingly admit that. In some cases, I think it's good to have the opinion of an outside party. When you're not in it, you sometimes can see things that the people who are in it don't see.

    I'm going to guess this post stems from you being given unwanted advice. I also understand that some people have "know it all" attitudes and that can be annoying no matter what they're trying to give you advice about. For me, I think it depends on the person you're getting advice from and how they give that advice. I, personally, wouldn't make such a blanket statement about taking no parenting advice ever from anyone who doesn't have kids. I think it comes down to what exactly they're giving advice about, what experiences they have, and their attitude or heart in giving the advice.

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  4. As a parent, I agree with Megan 's viewpoint. I don't like when people give their opinion just because, but if it is out of love I am willing to consider their thoughts. I had a friend who always gave advice for the sake of giving it, but for me she served the purpose of confirming that what I was doing was right for me. We were opposites. She did not have kids. I definitely understand where you are coming from, and how it can be annoying when parenting is something you learn most through experience.

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  5. That is definitely something I prided myself on ... When I originally knew I wasn't having kids I made it a point to NEVER give advice to anyone about parenting. It wasn't my place because I had no experience. Now that I have a daughter I can appreciate the fact that I didn't open my mouth when it wasn't warranted.

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    Raising-Reagan.com

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  6. I don't appreciate unwanted advice about anything - I agree with you. I don't want to offend anyone...but isn't it a little offensive receiving advice when you haven't asked for it?
    I used to think I would do things a certain way when watching parents before I had a child - and yes, things are VERY different when you have your own!
    I had a friend who was upset I couldn't travel to her wedding (I originally planned on going, but when I realized how difficult it would be to travel with a 6 month old alone since my husband couldn't get off work) I just couldn't make it (the drive was about 4 hours away, I didn't feel I could do it alone and was nervous as a first time mom to be so far away from my daughter with a sitter.) She hasn't spoken to me much since. She just recently had a child of her own, and I wish her well and her daughter is beautiful - but I can't help but think "now you will definitely understand!!!" (I never said it out loud to her so as not to be offensive since I wanted the situation to diffuse, but I thought it all along!!!)

    Amber
    Fashion, Floss and Lip Gloss

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  7. I totally understand this. I actually know a girl who didn't raise her two children and really had very little part in their lives. They lived like 5 states away from her. She constantly tries to give me advice and I'm thinking "Really?"

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  8. I don't like unwanted advice period. We parent more along the "crunchy" side of things and are definitely attached parents so we deal with comments and people thinking we're crazy on a daily basis it seems. I usually just smile and nod then do my own things. I have definitely been that person that has said "Once you have kids, you'll get it." Have I offended people? Yes. But, my how things have changed since they have kids of their own and finally "get it." :-)

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  9. Just found your blog and like what I've read so far. People without children have no reason to offer advice. Afterall, where is there learning curve? I will be back to read more. . .

    http://mykurves.blogspot.com

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  10. This is true. I actually tend to not accept advice from people who have children either. I feel like me and hubby are raising our son very different from how others around us are being raised and different from how we were raised. For that reason, we typically get very little unwanted advice. And since being pregnant, I've developed thicker skin. I will deaf ear a person respectfully to the point where they will eventually get the point that what they are saying means nothing especially when they are suggesting something totally opposite of what we are doing. :)

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  11. Oh my word! I could write a book about this! I feel exactly the same way! No one is a perfect parent and unless you know first hand what parenting is about then shut it!
    Even sometimes other parents irritate me with their advice! I want to ask at some point is your child exactly the same as Lil Mister?! Because forgive me but I find it hard to believe that you know exactly what my child is like! LJ is his own brother and they aren't even the same! Yet by some miracle you come along with a child identical to mine and therefore know exactly what I should do! lol
    Grr....no one knows how a situation is until they are there in it!

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