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How to give parenting advice without pissing people off

2

Posts

  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    Keep your mouth shut until she seems open to advice, and then give it. Restrict your aid and advice to gift cards and toys to the little one. Its hard, but better than some of your advice be accepted instead of her ignoring you all the time. Better yet, all that time you spend holding your tongue lets you build your argument better and focus on being nice to the little ones.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2014
    My best friend and I scattered some pillows on her bedroom floor then jumped off the top bunk. We were like 9 and had to do it while her mom was doing laundry or she'd yell at us.

    ceres on
    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    _J_ you are looking for a rational set of rules for an irrational situation.
    Rule of thumb: Things likely to cause imminent and serious harm you need to stop right away. This is like, playing with a knife or matches etc. Stupid but probably not that harmful shit like, running around in socks not your place. The things in mouth thing is a bit more complicated just cause of the choking hazard. Except these rules aren't that hard and fast.

    Everyone here flipped out over the stairs thing, but me and my sister used to ride down ours on a piece of cardboard into a pile of pillows. Our parents allowed this. Apparently they might as well of been handing us a Tec-9.

    Eh, were you two at the time? Because that would kinda be my issue with it. If easily navigating the stairs isn't a thing the kid can do yet then playing on them seems obviously grey area enough that you should ask their mom about it.

    Seriously, these kids are pretty young. I played on the stairs a lot too, sliding down them and climbing the sides and such, but that was also at an age where I could do that kind of shit.

  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I used to jump on my parents water bed all of the time. Then I get double-bounced (I believe that's the technical term) off of it by my brother and split my forehead open on the metal knob of a nearby dresser.

    Also used to go tobagganing near some barbed wire fencing. Then my snow racer hit a drift at the wrong angle and I went cheek-first into the wires.


    With Love and Courage
  • GizzyGizzy <- girl PhoenixRegistered User regular
    My cousins and I used to go to the basement, cover all the windows, turn off the lights, and cover one person with a blanket who was "IT" and play tag - the blanketed person following the sounds of our screams and running after us in the dark to tag us.

    Some furniture got broken, some kids got hurt, but it was soooo much fun!

    3DS Friend Code 3282-2248-0453
    Gizzy's Amazon Xmas Wishlist
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    If I watch someone peel an orange, and I notice some way to make it more efficient, I can voice the idea. They listen, and then either accept or reject it. Parenting seems to be not only completely unlike peeling an orange, but this bizarre realm of crazy that makes no intuitive sense, especially with respect to suggesting alternate methods, and voicing observations.

    So, I'm asking for suggestions / feedback in order to modify my behavior so I do not push this friend away.

    There's no need to make it personal.

    To be honest I would think you a weirdo if you criticized my orange peeling skills.

    But yes, parenting isn't the same as peeling an orange. It isn't a straightforward, simple, singular task.

    But regardless of that, you're also completely not understanding the situation. You're basically telling someone who has been peeling oranges for years (five at least) that they're doing it wrong because you peeled part of an orange once and while by no means an expert you believe you got valuable advice about this whole business of peeling oranges. Even if you were correct, and there is no reason to think you are and many reasons to think you're not, people are not going to listen to you so there is no point in bringing it up.

    My sister in law also offered pretty good advice on babysitting. That is: If you're babysitting you make it clear to the kid that you're not their parent and their parent isn't you and that's that. You get to forbid what you want if you're the one watching them (though obviously if the parent forbids something you also forbid that) and they have to accept that. If you don't like it when they're running around with things in their mouth you can say to them that they're not allowed to do that when you're around.

    And you can in fact voice observations. But you can only voice observations. You say what they did and what you did and don't offer any advice or tips or try to think with them. You only get to report data, not interpret it. If little Johnny tried to climb up the roof twice you just say that he tried to climb up the roof twice and you refrain from offering advice or even suggesting that something should be done about it.

    CogNot Mandatory
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    @_J_

    The best way to give parenting advice is when directly asked.

    The better question to ask is: should I give parenting advice?

    I get where you're coming from, because I used to do it for a living. It was my job to work with kids and their parents on improving behaviors and social skills like the ones you're seeing from her kids. It can be incredibly frustrating when you see behaviors that are potentially dangerous, and disrespectful to others (like spitting at you). You're coming from a good place in wanting to help. Just understand that a lot of parents aren't looking for help, don't see any problems, don't like your ideas, don't think your ideas will work or don't think they need to change anything. Those are typical reactions I got, even though they had initially sought assistance and I wasn't doing it for free.

    A parent's tolerance level of behaviors is so much higher than a friend of the family or a stranger. Just remember that she's the one who deals with all of the consequences. I couldn't fathom the number of conversations with parents that I've had where they're venting about something their kid did, and each time I could've pointed out how their actions directly contributed to it. Instead I listened, validated their feelings, and tried to help them problem solve similar future problems.

    Fixing problems in her house is mom's job and she has to be in a place to recognize them, and want to change. It's probably bigger than just the few issues that you see in your time there, and requires more than just some parenting advice from you.

    RocketSauce on
    Mulletude_J_
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    I like to be contrarian so I will just jump in and say I agree with where J's coming from, if not with the execution. Even literal experts are not above needing and accepting advice. I can totally understand where the sentiment of "my kid, my rules" comes from, but nobody is perfect and the idea that we should all accept any rules a parent uses because it's their kid is silly. I do however agree that unlike most situations, parenting is one where there is a lot of feedback, whilst simultaneously being of skeptical value. It can be very frustrating.

    That being said I don't think J's fatal flaw is wanting to offer advice. The problem is in the mindset behind the advice. There are no perfect rules when it comes to raising kids. Presenting any advice, even something like "it's bad to let little kids run around with pointy objects in their mouth", as though it is an absolute fact is irritating and almost always wrong. There's always tradeoffs. Being overly controlling and cautious isn't good for a child either. But to me, that doesn't mean you should never offer advice! It just means that it's important to be aware of the limitations of any advice you wish to express. Approach every situation as if there is no clear cut right or wrong answer, and that everyone's information is incomplete (including, and perhaps especially, your own). Then you can simply explain your observations/thoughts, and the source of your information without giving the impression that you know better (because you don't).

    One example:
    Bad way = "It's dangerous to let your toddler run around with a medicine dropper in their mouth"
    Good way = "I saw so and so running with a medicine dropper in their mouth, and a doctor I know once told me that if they fall it could cause serious damage. Should I do something if I see that again, or do you think it will be ok?"

    In the good example you've explained what your advice is and where it came from, and are allowing the parent to judge the quality of the advice themselves and to ultimately decide what to do with it. In the bad example you are implying that you are the source of the advice, have already judged it's quality to be above reproach, and that the only reasonable decision is to follow it. There are no perfect rules, so don't imply that there are.

    UNRELATED ANECDOTE: My parents house had a 3 story laundry chute, and a few times me and my brother did the whole super spy thing where you climb down the narrow space by pressing your legs against one side and your back the other. We were pretty bad ass. So obviously my advice is better.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
    _J_
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    I can't think of a more personal thing you could try to critique about a person, except maybe trying to provide some unsolicited friendly advice on how they make love to their spouse or something.

    Yeah. This seems to be the main point about which I was mistaken.

    I don't understand it. But I can accept it, and go from there.

  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Jebus314 wrote: »
    I can totally understand where the sentiment of "my kid, my rules" comes from, but nobody is perfect and the idea that we should all accept any rules a parent uses because it's their kid is silly.

    Right?

    I am happy to accept the rule and act accordingly. But it is comforting to know that I'm not the only one who thinks the rule is silly.

  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    First, you never clarify what your actual relationship is with this woman. If she is your platonic friend, and you see the kids when you guys hang out and it's rarely, then yeah, butt out. If you can't butt out because you just have to say something, you should preface it with an honest "hey, when we hang out and I'm with your kids, I'm not really comfortable doing things because, well, they're your kids. How should I act around them, or what should I report to you? I've already kind of butted in and I don't want to be annoying."

    If you are actually more than friends, or trying to be more than friends, then that's a different conversation entirely.

    As someone who is about to be a parent, the unsolicited advice train has already started full steam ahead. My wife's approach is mean, but very effective. When someone gives her advice on something she doesn't actually give a shit about, she acts very receptive and says stuff like "Oh, that's neat, I'll have to try that" or similar.

    Then, she completely forgets about it. If I ask her about it (because I was present at the initial conversation) she'll tell me she just didn't want to be rude to the person. Still, it also means that when she DOES actually get good advice, she can follow it. Her general thought on receiving advice is:

    "Frame it in the sense of a story about yourself so it doesn't seem like advice. If you do turn it around so it ends up being advice, make sure you're not being pushy. For example, say something like 'when I was a kid, I ran around and tripped and got this scar on my forehead. I was literally scarred for life, although it didn't actually hurt me.' Or 'my sister had a kid who kept trying to go up the stairs, and she told him that the stairs were lava that only turned into stairs when mommy was on them. I don't know if that's a good idea, but it seemed to work for her kid.'"

    The relationship you seem to have with this friend seems weird, on the basis of her reaction -- you're giving her advice and she doesn't want it, and she gets pissed off at you, and then you're still friends and hanging out? It doesn't sound like she makes the friendship all that worthwhile, and you're spending time with the kids and the mom seems to generally argue with you about any activity you do with the kids. Why are you friends with this person if you two seem so incompatible?

    || Flickr — || PSN: EggyToast
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Why are you friends with this person if you two seem so incompatible?

    It would not be incorrect to say that we are both a little conflict oriented.

    I get that it sounds like a weird situation from the little info in my posts, and trust me it is weird. But we both seem to like it.

    If the social rules about parenting seem weird, they are nothing compared to the weirdness of personal relationships.

    schuss
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Reading this thread is like watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory (only not as funny, which depending on your opinion of TBBT could be pretty dire), with _J_ in the role of Sheldon.
    _J_ wrote: »
    If the social rules about parenting seem weird

    They don't, to most people.

    OP, from the way you have latched on to the 2-3 people who have given you opinions more moderate than "It is not your place to say anything unsolicited under any circumstances short of abuse or imminent impending harm to the child," I suspect you are really not interested in honest advice, or at least were certainly not expecting the advice you have been given. Nevertheless, I will reiterate the point as well:

    It is not your place to say anything unsolicited under any circumstances short of abuse or imminent impending harm to the child.

    I am being as gentle as I can when I say that to be quite honest, stuff like this:
    If I watch someone peel an orange, and I notice some way to make it more efficient, I can voice the idea.

    ...and the fact you can recognize there is a difference between orange-peeling advice and parenting advice but can't understand why:
    Parenting seems to be not only completely unlike peeling an orange, but this bizarre realm of crazy that makes no intuitive sense, especially with respect to suggesting alternate methods, and voicing observations.

    ...makes it sound like...probably only people with certain very specific personality types and dispositions will be compatible with you as friends. Perhaps some of those people would even take unsolicited parenting advice from you cheerfully and open-mindedly. However, the very fact that you asked for advice on how to give this woman parenting tips without giving offense proves that you realize she is not one of those people and by giving her unsolicited parenting tips you are probably going to give offense. In spite of your comments about how social rules don't make sense to you, you're actually doing pretty well in that you intuitively grasped that you're in dangerous territory here.

    Trust your gut instinct and refrain from telling her how to raise her kid unless she asks for your take on something specific. If not, then weigh the importance of every child-rearing tip you feel compelled to offer and ask yourself if each one is important enough to risk alienating your friend and losing the relationship.

    Gaslight on
    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
    naporeonCambiataQuidNot Mandatory
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    EggyToast wrote: »
    Why are you friends with this person if you two seem so incompatible?

    It would not be incorrect to say that we are both a little conflict oriented.

    I get that it sounds like a weird situation from the little info in my posts, and trust me it is weird. But we both seem to like it.

    If the social rules about parenting seem weird, they are nothing compared to the weirdness of personal relationships.

    It feels like you're really going out of your way not to define this thing you have with the parent. It's odd, and it's stopping people from giving you better (or at least more specific) advice.

    CambiataNot Mandatory
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    But regardless of the situation, they're her kids. You don't have any authority over them unless she gives that authority to you, and you absolutely do not have any authority over how this woman parents.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    So you've got a BDSM relationship with the mother and sometimes hang out platonically where you backseat parent?

    Unless you're actually the biological father you should probably still stop critiquing. No, she isn't a perfect parent. No one is. It's a trial by fire sort of job and there's unlimited access to advice and research already available.

    What is this I don't even.
  • HalfmexHalfmex I mock your value system You also appear foolish in the eyes of othersRegistered User regular
    I'm going to buck the trend a bit here and say that, as a parent myself, it is 100% reasonable to want so badly to interject something when you see another parent making what appear to be horrible decisions for their child(ren). I've bitten my tongue enough times that I'm surprised I still have one at this point. The sad fact is that the vast majority of people do not like being critiqued about their parenting and if they even sense it, they will become defensive immediately. So my rule of thumb is to simply keep my mouth shut and if applicable, give anectdotes about how my wife and I handled a particular situation. Sometimes the best way to affect a change is simply to influence. If you have no children of your own, familial anecdotes would likely work as well.

    The one point I'll break that rule is when I witness the child being physically or verbally abused; that I will not stand for and I'll step in at that point. Beyond that, just observe and influence if you can.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    _J_ wrote: »
    If I watch someone peel an orange, and I notice some way to make it more efficient, I can voice the idea. They listen, and then either accept or reject it. Parenting seems to be not only completely unlike peeling an orange, but this bizarre realm of crazy that makes no intuitive sense, especially with respect to suggesting alternate methods, and voicing observations.

    So, I'm asking for suggestions / feedback in order to modify my behavior so I do not push this friend away.

    There's no need to make it personal.

    To be honest I would think you a weirdo if you criticized my orange peeling skills.

    Reading the orange peeling part of J's post makes me think he's very like a family member of mine.

    I have a brother who once spent 45 minutes arguing with me because I refused to put things in the microwave in what he deems to be the "correct spot." Yeah.

    One of my other brothers was there, and explained to the advice-giving one that his assumptions about microwaves were wrong. The advice giver's response was "well, if she'd just told me that I would have left her alone!"


    In response to the question of the thread: No, it's not your business to "explain" to a parent what they're doing wrong, especially if you are not their father, or anyone's father.

    The Ender
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Telling people how to raise their kids ranks right up there with telling people how to do their job, whom to vote for, or how to worship their gods on the scale of "don't talk about this shit unless you're ready to get an earful". It is not your business unless she chooses to include you in parenting. You can (and should) still try to have a relationship with the kids, since exposing my kids to people I think are important or interesting and around whom they feel safe is kind of a big deal.

    I haven't been put in the spot where I've gotten unsolicited advice on how to parent my kids; I've probably gotten some dirty looks, but have been too preoccupied to have noticed. Like any other unsolicited advice I think the range of response here is likely to be somewhere between bemused scorn and outright umbrage.

    The problem with offering unsolicited advice is the response "who are you to tell me how to handle my shit?". This has less to do with how good the advice/observations might be and more to do with your advice simply not being welcome. If you came up to me in the gym and told me how I should be doing bench presses, or if on my morning walk you told me how I should discipline my dog, the absolute best response you'd get is silence though you'd likely get a "fuck off".

    Obviously, if you think she is an immanent threat to the child you should probably involve the authorities, but that doesn't seem to be the concern here.


    TL DR: You want advice on how to counsel people to parent their kid and not be shat on for it? Just don't.

    Cambiata
  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    I do not agree with J's viewpoints, but neither do I agree with the majority of the responders either. They both seem like opposing extremes best left avoided.

    With regards to things like the draw on a bear 'incident', I wouldn't have said anything unless she specifically asked me "What do you think of this". That would go the same for most other parenting advice things you could come up with.

    But with regards to what I would see as dangerous activities, my rule is basically: Would I say anything if it were an adult doing the same thing?
    If I saw my friend running around with a spoon in their mouth, yeah I'd say "Dude, that's dangerous".
    So if I saw a child of my friend doing the same, yes. I would say to my friend (or the child if the parents aren't there), that what the kid is doing is dangerous.
    And if you define a good friend as someone who doesn't say anything when they see you doing something dangerous, then all I can say is we have drastic differences in the definition of friendship.

    Psykoma on
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    I don't think anybody in this thread has said you shouldn't speak up if you see a situation where the child is in imminent danger of causing physical harm to himself/herself. I believe I specifically included that situation as a caveat in my post above.

    Edit: And as Cambiata points out, in such a situation your priority should be to personally intervene and remove the child from danger rather than standing by and giving advice to the parent.

    Gaslight on
    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I do not agree with J's viewpoints, but neither do I agree with the majority of the responders either. They both seem like opposing extremes best left avoided.

    With regards to things like the draw on a bear 'incident', I wouldn't have said anything unless she specifically asked me "What do you think of this". That would go the same for most other parenting advice things you could come up with.

    But with regards to what I would see as dangerous activities, my rule is basically: Would I say anything if it were an adult doing the same thing?
    If I saw my friend running around with a spoon in their mouth, yeah I'd say "Dude, that's dangerous".
    So if I saw a child of my friend doing the same, yes. I would say to my friend (or the child if the parents aren't there), that what the kid is doing is dangerous.
    And if you define a good friend as someone who doesn't say anything when they see you doing something dangerous, then all I can say is we have drastic differences in the definition of friendship.

    While I grasp your point, I don't understand saying it to the parent instead of intervening with the child.

    I mean if you saw the child drowning, you wouldn't smugly turn to the parent saying "You really shouldn't let your child drown like that, you know." Hopefully, at least, you would try to rescue the child from drowning, then tell the child they shouldn't be swimming in the deep end yet.

    GaslightJulius
  • HalfmexHalfmex I mock your value system You also appear foolish in the eyes of othersRegistered User regular
    edited February 2014
    I think we can agree that a life-threatening situation is a bit different from a potentially dangerous one. The issue isn't so much "should you say something" as it is "when should you say something", and that line varies wildly from person to person.

    Let's take diet for example. If I see my friend feeding his kid mcdonalds and cheetos every day, I'm going to bite my tongue, but goddamn do I want to tell him to stop doing that. But I won't. If, on the other hand, I see him shouting at his kid, using inapproriate language (maybe don't call your five year old a little shit) or something of that nature, I will absolutely step in and tell him to take it easy. Will he appreciate it? Most likely not, but if you're a good friend, you're not there to coddle someone's feelings 100% of the time. I'd give him tough love just as I would if he were doing something damaging to himself. And just as with situations like that, I can't force a change, but I can inform and influence.

    The challenge is determining how good of a friend you actually are with someone and when it would truly be appropriate to step in. A lot of people have the gross misconception that they're raising "their kid". No. You're raising the future members of society. So every time you've dealt with "that asshole at my job" or "this insensitive prick in my class", understand it was likely because their parents did a jackass job of raising them. "Parenting is hard" isn't an excuse to be terrible at it.

    Halfmex on
    _J_
  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Gaslight wrote: »
    I don't think anybody in this thread has said you shouldn't speak up if you see a situation where the child is in imminent danger of causing physical harm to himself/herself. I believe I specifically included that situation as a caveat in my post above.

    You did, many others didn't.


    Cambiata wrote: »
    Psykoma wrote: »
    I do not agree with J's viewpoints, but neither do I agree with the majority of the responders either. They both seem like opposing extremes best left avoided.

    With regards to things like the draw on a bear 'incident', I wouldn't have said anything unless she specifically asked me "What do you think of this". That would go the same for most other parenting advice things you could come up with.

    But with regards to what I would see as dangerous activities, my rule is basically: Would I say anything if it were an adult doing the same thing?
    If I saw my friend running around with a spoon in their mouth, yeah I'd say "Dude, that's dangerous".
    So if I saw a child of my friend doing the same, yes. I would say to my friend (or the child if the parents aren't there), that what the kid is doing is dangerous.
    And if you define a good friend as someone who doesn't say anything when they see you doing something dangerous, then all I can say is we have drastic differences in the definition of friendship.

    While I grasp your point, I don't understand saying it to the parent instead of intervening with the child.

    I mean if you saw the child drowning, you wouldn't smugly turn to the parent saying "You really shouldn't let your child drown like that, you know." Hopefully, at least, you would try to rescue the child from drowning, then tell the child they shouldn't be swimming in the deep end yet.

    I would tell the parent in the case of the child running with something in their mouth because the child would respect the parents authority more than me saying something, and so it would be more effective for the parent to do something (if anything is done) when the risk, while still there, is more minimal.

    In the case of an extremely high risk (or a certainty if you will) of serious damage (like your drowning example), I would be yelling what I see going on to the parent as I'm running to the child so the parent could come too.

    Psykoma on
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    If you're talking about a 2-5 year old running with something in their mouth that can hurt them, I think everyone immediately grasps that situation as dangerous and not needing to explain such a situation to a parent. And maybe it's because I have spent so much time around my siblings children, but the idea of consulting the parent before doing something like, for example, taking a pair of scissors away from a 2 year old seems ludicrous. You don't need any special respect with a child of that age. They may not like your taking away their pointy mouth toy, but I can't fathom why that would matter.

    Gaslight
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I mean even if you're talking about something non-dangerous - "that two year old is trying to eat food from the dog's bowl. I better not try to move the bowl out of their reach, or distract them with something else, because this child has no respect for me and so wouldn't understand!" No one really would think that, would they? Just move the damn bowl away, no need to chastise the parent for doing something wrong there, it's what two year olds do.

    Gaslight
  • PsykomaPsykoma Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Cambiata wrote: »
    If you're talking about a 2-5 year old running with something in their mouth that can hurt them, I think everyone immediately grasps that situation as dangerous and not needing to explain such a situation to a parent.

    I did have that hope.
    Until I read the previous pages replies.

    Psykoma on
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Halfmex wrote: »
    The challenge is determining how good of a friend you actually are with someone and when it would truly be appropriate to step in. A lot of people have the gross misconception that they're raising "their kid". No. You're raising the future members of society. So every time you've dealt with "that asshole at my job" or "this insensitive prick in my class", understand it was likely because their parents did a jackass job of raising them. "Parenting is hard" isn't an excuse to be terrible at it.

    Yeah. Folks seem to be on board with "if the child is about to die, you ought to intervene", given some limitations on what constitutes "about to". But it seems strange that folks oppose "If the child is about to become a shitty person, you ought to intervene".

    There's also the issue of vaccinations. If a parent says they will not vaccinate their kids, then I presume people would be comfortable critiquing that parent's decision, even though the absence of a vaccine is not an impending doom situation.

    I agree with your notion that a child is a future member of society, and so a part of the group. Too many people seem to think of a child as the parent's property.

    Halfmex
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    "But it seems strange that folks oppose 'If the child is about to become a shitty person, you ought to intervene'."

    How can you possibly make the above evaluation in any objective sense?

    I'd say if you could say that with certitude then you should probably intervene, but I don't know how running around with spoons in your mouth or not playing on the stairs is really indicative of anything.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    _J_ wrote: »
    Halfmex wrote: »
    The challenge is determining how good of a friend you actually are with someone and when it would truly be appropriate to step in. A lot of people have the gross misconception that they're raising "their kid". No. You're raising the future members of society. So every time you've dealt with "that asshole at my job" or "this insensitive prick in my class", understand it was likely because their parents did a jackass job of raising them. "Parenting is hard" isn't an excuse to be terrible at it.

    Yeah. Folks seem to be on board with "if the child is about to die, you ought to intervene", given some limitations on what constitutes "about to". But it seems strange that folks oppose "If the child is about to become a shitty person, you ought to intervene".

    There's also the issue of vaccinations. If a parent says they will not vaccinate their kids, then I presume people would be comfortable critiquing that parent's decision, even though the absence of a vaccine is not an impending doom situation.

    I agree with your notion that a child is a future member of society, and so a part of the group. Too many people seem to think of a child as the parent's property.

    man, what?

    A 5 year old spitting does not mean they're going to be a shitty person ....

    or are you saying my 9 year old is shitty because he spit when he was 5?

    Kids grow up and out of it. Especially when they hit school.

    edit:

    If this is any help, you've managed to piss me off as a parent and you aren't even giving me advice.

    Xaquin on
    CambiataMetalbourneDarkewolfeGaslightLoveIsUnityDaenristynicceresAldoNot MandatoryDoctorArch
  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    Also who are you to judge what behavior leads to a "Shitty person"?

    CambiataXaquinGrisloQuidGaslightceres
  • HalfmexHalfmex I mock your value system You also appear foolish in the eyes of othersRegistered User regular
    There are absolutely things that nearly all children do that are simply 'phases' and hopefully the parents are cognizant enough to coach the child through those.

    However, there are also some actions that are also indicators of some potential issues if they're not addressed early on. There are numerous books written on child psychology that recount these tendencies. Things like giving the child anything they ever ask for - you're pretty much begging for a spoiled kid with an incredibly unrealistic set of expectations when they get older.

    My wife has been a teacher for the past thirteen years and because of that I have heard of and seen an incredible amount of stupifying neglect from some parents. If a child isn't given the right kind of guidance in their lives, yes, there's a very good chance they could become a person who is very difficult to be around. I've seen it in family members, friends, acquaintances - children aren't some kind of special organism, they're just people, and people are nothing if not reflections of their life's experiences.

    The fact is, we've all had people step in and intervene in our lives in a disciplinary sense - teachers. If you've ever been to a public school, chances are very good that you've either seen someone be disciplined by a teacher (and thus step in on the parent's behalf) or you have been disciplined yourself. When that happens, notes are given to the parents indicating what the child did wrong. Sometimes the parent takes action, but more often than not (at least at an elementary age) the response given is "well s/he's not like this at home. Something must be going on at school" and the issue is dropped. And the behavior is perpetuated because no one stepped in and said "Hey, little Johnny is smacking his sister upside the head or kicking the puppy and laughing. You need to curb that behavior now before it gets worse".

    _J_
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Halfmex wrote: »
    There are absolutely things that nearly all children do that are simply 'phases' and hopefully the parents are cognizant enough to coach the child through those.

    However, there are also some actions that are also indicators of some potential issues if they're not addressed early on. There are numerous books written on child psychology that recount these tendencies. Things like giving the child anything they ever ask for - you're pretty much begging for a spoiled kid with an incredibly unrealistic set of expectations when they get older.

    My wife has been a teacher for the past thirteen years and because of that I have heard of and seen an incredible amount of stupifying neglect from some parents. If a child isn't given the right kind of guidance in their lives, yes, there's a very good chance they could become a person who is very difficult to be around. I've seen it in family members, friends, acquaintances - children aren't some kind of special organism, they're just people, and people are nothing if not reflections of their life's experiences.

    The fact is, we've all had people step in and intervene in our lives in a disciplinary sense - teachers. If you've ever been to a public school, chances are very good that you've either seen someone be disciplined by a teacher (and thus step in on the parent's behalf) or you have been disciplined yourself. When that happens, notes are given to the parents indicating what the child did wrong. Sometimes the parent takes action, but more often than not (at least at an elementary age) the response given is "well s/he's not like this at home. Something must be going on at school" and the issue is dropped. And the behavior is perpetuated because no one stepped in and said "Hey, little Johnny is smacking his sister upside the head or kicking the puppy and laughing. You need to curb that behavior now before it gets worse".

    But if fixing this kind of thing were as easy as saying something like that to a parent, then why doesn't your wife say that to whatever parents need to hear it, thus solving the issue for everyone?

    IMO if someone who is not the parent, wants to affect a child who they believe is being guided badly, they need to become a friend/mentor to the child, so that they can both offer the child praise that the child will value, as well as setting an example of right behavior and saying "I won't allow you to treat me that way" or "I won't let you hit your sister in my presence" when a child behaves badly. But this is something that requires long term commitment and the nurturing of a relationship, while backseat parenting is as easy as it is useless.

    Cambiata on
    noir_blood
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Caveat: Certainly if a child is doing something bad only when the parent is not around, that is something that should be communicated to the parent. "Did you know little Johnny tortures cats when no one is around?" not "You need to teach your son not to torture cats, you bad parent, you."

    Cambiata on
    Julius
  • Dark_SideDark_Side Registered User regular
    Yeah. Folks seem to be on board with "if the child is about to die, you ought to intervene", given some limitations on what constitutes "about to". But it seems strange that folks oppose "If the child is about to become a shitty person, you ought to intervene".

    It kind of looks like you made this thread just to round up people that agree with you, and you're going to continue to string it along until you get enough responses that do. People have already listed what you actually can do to make a difference; be a positive role model, be a rock, be consistent. But handing out unsolicited advice of how she's doing it wrong is just going to make her not want to be around you.

    Gaslight
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Caveat: Certainly if a child is doing something bad only when the parent is not around, that is something that should be communicated to the parent. "Did you know little Johnny tortures cats when no one is around?" not "You need to teach your son not to torture cats, you bad parent, you."
    Halfmex wrote: »
    Sometimes the parent takes action, but more often than not (at least at an elementary age) the response given is "well s/he's not like this at home. Something must be going on at school" and the issue is dropped.

    Most parents are really, really bad at seeing their offspring as anything other than perfect little angels who can do no wrong.

    This is one of the foundations of my intuitive notion that, maybe, an uninvolved third party is a better judge of a child's behavior, and the effectiveness of a parent's teaching style, than the parent.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    _J_ wrote: »
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Caveat: Certainly if a child is doing something bad only when the parent is not around, that is something that should be communicated to the parent. "Did you know little Johnny tortures cats when no one is around?" not "You need to teach your son not to torture cats, you bad parent, you."
    Halfmex wrote: »
    Sometimes the parent takes action, but more often than not (at least at an elementary age) the response given is "well s/he's not like this at home. Something must be going on at school" and the issue is dropped.

    Most parents are really, really bad at seeing their offspring as anything other than perfect little angels who can do no wrong.

    This is one of the foundations of my intuitive notion that, maybe, an uninvolved third party is a better judge of a child's behavior, and the effectiveness of a parent's teaching style, than the parent.

    I would wager that you know very few parents.

    edit: How old are you? What qualifications do you possess that make you gods gift to child raising?

    Xaquin on
    CambiataLoveIsUnityDaenrischrishallett83djmitchella
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    Ummm......only give advice about things you know are fact.

    Like wooden toys getting their paint sucked off by a child (it was a small ball on string, she was okay).

    Or honey for newborns (not happened in my family, yet).

    If its even slightly subjective, keep it to yourself unless asked, then offer it in the most polite and respectful manner.

    Cambiata
  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    If this is any help, you've managed to piss me off as a parent and you aren't even giving me advice.

    He's managed to piss me off on behalf of the parents I know, and I've never even had any kids of my own.

    XaquinceresJaysonFour
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I came into this thread wanting to make a joke correlating children and feral sociopaths. Now I'm just mad about the smugness of it all, and I don't even have any kids.

    Mind your own business.

    XaquinCambiataDaenriscereschrishallett83
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