Very often, we get unsolicited advice or comments about our children.
“Your daughter is still behaving like that?”
“You shouldn’t be doing that with your baby.”
“You should have let them nap.”
“You allow them to run around?”
I admit, I’m guilty of passing unsolicited advice or comments sometimes. But I guess it always only dawns upon me how frustrating or annoying these comments or advice can be when I am on the receiving end of things.
Just because I am a mother of two doesn’t make me a child care expert. Heck, it doesn’t make me an expert of any kind, except perhaps only expert of what my own children are or need or want.
I recently read an article written by a mother of five (or was it four) children. She claimed that she could spot a child who is badly in need of a nap just by taking one look. She also suggested that many children stop having naps earlier than they are ready to. Long story short, she brands herself as an expert because she has many children.
I read the comments that followed that article and one of them jumped out at me. “You may have five children but you are only expert about your own children.” It was something along those lines. How true!
Every child is different and develop at different paces. You can have six, seven, eight, nine or even 10 children and it still doesn’t make you an expert of someone else’s children.
This was a great reminder to myself. I shouldn’t make comments or give what I think is advice, unsolicited. If people want my opinion about a certain parenting issue, they will ask me. Sure, I can share my experience, but it also doesn’t mean that people have to take my advice wholesale. Some of what I do may apply to other children and some of it may not.
So, note to self (and others). No one is an expert of someone else’s children. At the very best, we are expert of our own children only. Even then, we need help sometimes.