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How to give parenting advice without pissing people off

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Posts

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    J, it's been said in this thread already, especially eloquently by Ceres, but how are you not able to recognize the haze of arrogance through which you are posting in this thread? Your very first post had that macro stating that just because a baby came out of someone doesn't mean they know anything... but what on earth makes you think that you know anything about parenting? Yes the things a person who has only learned through experience are probably going to be less substantial than those things learned through extensive and rigorous study, but you don't have either of those qualifications. Unless you actually have a degree in the topic, you automatically have less knowledge than the single mother you're referring to. You seem completely unself-aware of this fact. Very bad. I suggest, if you want to do some improvement on someone, you should study and improve your own personalty, and question why you could be so certain that you are the best knowledge base about a subject which you must know that you have very little real education about.

    XaquinDaenris
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    My brother and I used to race our bicycles down this hill where there was a big metal fence at the bottom: first one to hit their brakes loses.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    This mentality is infuriating. It's this kind of statement that demonstrates the gulf between people who have to do stuff vs people who don't, but think they know better. I do hope you keep your armchair parenting to Internet forums.

    XaquinGaslightCambiataDarkewolfeNot MandatorySmallLady
  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    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".

    The children are 5 and 2. There is very little at this age that they can do, have done to them, or not have done to them, short of actual abuse, that is going to make them "shitty people." The very fact you think that will be the outcome unless the children have the benefit of your wisdom speaks to your arrogance.
    _J_ wrote: »
    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.

    Experience and knowledge somewhat tainted by bias is a hell of a lot better than no experience or knowledge at all.

    But you are clearly going to go ahead and do what you want regardless of the advice you've gotten. @Dark_Side pretty much has it nailed:
    Dark_Side wrote: »
    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.

    So I for one am not going to waste more time trying to explain this to you. Other people can keep going if they like, but just reading this thread is more "around you" than I can stand to be anymore.

    Gaslight on
    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
    CambiataNot Mandatory
  • HalfmexHalfmex I mock your value system You also appear foolish in the eyes of othersRegistered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Cambiata wrote: »
    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.
    My wife has advised a few parents, but only those who she is friends with, and because she's been a teacher for so long and has had a great deal of experience with a number of different behavioral issues, they trust her opinion and aren't offended. To the parents who she isn't close with, she will state the issues to them and advise if she is asked because if those parents become offended, they will pull their children from her class/the school, and the school loses funding.

    Being a friend and mentor to the child is great and is advisable, but the reality of the situation is that the parents spend more time around the child and they should be the ones conveying this information. The issue lies in that if they are unaware that they are causing any issues with the child, they won't change their parenting tactics and the problem does not improve.

    Let me offer another example:

    One particular child in her class had been having a number of behavioral issues - stomping on other children's work, pushing kids, generally being a bully. As noted before, sometimes this type of behavior is a phase and with the correct guidance, the child will grow out of it. My wife pulled her aside a number of times and gently reminded her that that is not how we behave, but the issue never improved. Then one day the child called another child a "stupid asshole". This is a four-year-old kid. So my wife and asked how she would like it if someone said that to her. The child's response? "Well my mom says it to my dad all the time".

    And I wish that were an outlier, but that kind of thing goes on daily in every classroom I've ever heard of, seen or been a part of. Unfortunately for all the good a teacher can attempt, if an issue isn't corrected at home by a parent, it often continues or even gets worse. Sad but true.
    Xaquin wrote: »
    _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?

    Actually he's pretty well on the money. I wouldn't say most parents are this way, but a larger number than you might expect certainly are. If you know a teacher personally, talk to them about that sometime. Ask them how the parents react when they're informed that their child is having bad behavior in the classroom and that, even worse, their home life is the cause. They will deny and point the blame everywhere else. I've watched it happen.

    With all due respect, look at how you reacted to _J_ above when you inferred that he believes that a spitting child is a bad child. That's not even what he said and you became incredibly offended. He wasn't even addressing you or your parenting ability, but it touched a nerve. You're probably a great parent, but even the mere implication to the contrary made you very upset.

    It all points back to the main theme of this thread which is that, no, there's really no way to give any kind of advice with regard to someone else's child without them behaving as though you've called them every name in the book and insulted their entire family. It's not easy, but sometimes it needs to happen.

    Halfmex on
    _J_
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »

    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.

    You need to take a step back and realize how bad this makes you look. The kid and mom aren't your science project.


    Cambiata
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited February 2014
    Cambiata wrote: »
    J, it's been said in this thread already, especially eloquently by Ceres, but how are you not able to recognize the haze of arrogance through which you are posting in this thread? Your very first post had that macro stating that just because a baby came out of someone doesn't mean they know anything... but what on earth makes you think that you know anything about parenting? Yes the things a person who has only learned through experience are probably going to be less substantial than those things learned through extensive and rigorous study, but you don't have either of those qualifications. Unless you actually have a degree in the topic, you automatically have less knowledge than the single mother you're referring to. You seem completely unself-aware of this fact. Very bad. I suggest, if you want to do some improvement on someone, you should study and improve your own personalty, and question why you could be so certain that you are the best knowledge base about a subject which you must know that you have very little real education about.

    There are a wealth of misconceptions in this post.

    My position is not that I know more than my friend. My position is that I know different things than my friend. Having read some websites about parenting, and articles about philosophy of education focused upon pre-K / toddler aged kids, and having talked to people who have kids, I have a bit of information about some aspects of child development.

    Does that make me an expert? No.
    Does having a child make my friend an expert? No.
    Do I know some things? Yes.
    Does my friend know some things? Yes.

    There likely is no such thing as expertise with child raising, given the numerous questions that still exist regarding child development, and what acts have potentially deleterious consequences down the road. We're all finite knowers doing the best we can.

    And this part of your post is just plain false:
    Cambiata wrote: »
    Your very first post had that macro stating that just because a baby came out of someone doesn't mean they know anything

    No. It was "you don't have a PhD", my friend does not know everything about child development. She has kept a child alive to the age of 5, and another child alive to the age of 2.

    That's it. She has experiential knowledge of her experience with these two particular kids.

    Given the numerous posts in this thread indicating that parenting is a trial and error endeavor, that no one knows everything, that parenting is difficult, etc. it seems like everyone has different notions, and there is no true, objective path for perfect child raising.

    This, to me, indicates that parenting is an activity open to suggestion. Combining the notions of multiple persons may have a better result than one person going it alone. Utilizing advice from others who have already raised kids, or people who read studies about child development, etc. seems to strengthen the pool of knowledge upon which a person bases their parenting decisions, rather than decrease or inhibit these decisions.

    A parent who is given advice is capable of declining the advice, or offering an argument as to why that advice may not be sensible or beneficial. What confuses me is why receiving advice pisses parents off.

    I would think, "Oh. You give a shit about my offspring. That is cool, but here are my reasons for doing it the way I do it."

    Rather than take "Hey, maybe you shouldn't let your kids do X." as a personal attack on one's parenting abilities.

    Do I know more than my friend? No.
    Do I know different than my friend? Yes.

    Not sure why an alternate perspective would be unappreciated and wrath-inducing. The only reason I can think of is that the parents interpret the suggestion as an attack on their abilities. But it's not an attack on their abilities. It's a recognition that finite knowers do not know everything, by definition, and so alternate perspectives may lead to new discoveries that behoove the child.

    But that's me.


    Edit: And to the "arrogance" thing. It seems like there is arrogance on both sides, if we want to say there is any arrogance at all. It doesn't seem like a productive term for the conversation. "Who are you to think you can give me advice?" can be met with "Who are you to think you don't need advice?" Hubris all up ins.

    _J_ on
    Jebus314
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Halfmex wrote: »
    With all due respect, look at how you reacted to _J_ above when you inferred that he believes that a spitting child is a bad child. That's not even what he said and you became incredibly offended. He wasn't even addressing you or your parenting ability, but it touched a nerve. You're probably a great parent, but even the mere implication to the contrary made you very upset.

    It all points back to the main theme of this thread which is that, no, there's really no way to give any kind of advice with regard to someone else's child without them behaving as though you've called them every name in the book and insulted their entire family. It's not easy, but sometimes it needs to happen.

    Yeah. I find this conversation to be quite helpful. It really demonstrates how touchy people get about parenting.

    And as I said before: I don't understand it, but I can accept it.

    Because, really, if you want what is truly best for your child...that seems to include being open to suggestions. I'm not sure why an isolated, close-minded approach is taken to be best.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Halmex, any chance you can get your wife to make a post in this thread? Forgive me for saying so, but I really think that a real professional is going to be the last person in the world to assume that some random dude off the street, with no education or experience, is going to automatically have a better knowledge of parenting than someone who has spent 5 years with her own child living with her every single day. People with no children always think they know more about parenting than people with actual experience. I suspect it's an expression of the Dunning-Kruger effect. How would your wife feel, do you think, if I started giving her unsolicited tips about how to be a better teacher? Do you think she would be unjustified in finding my advice officious?

    Like we're not talking about abuse here, as your story about the child bully seems to point to. Nothing about what J has posted points to any kind of abuse going on.

    ceres
  • 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
    If you want to have a debate on why you are qualified to tell parents how to raise their kids despite a lack of worthwhile experience or education you should go to D&D. As you clearly do not want advice and as far as I can tell are dead set on acting like someone I wouldn't wish any even reasonably average parent to have in their life, you may not continue here.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    GaslightCambiataJaysonFourchrishallett83XaquinDaenrisCyberJackalKiasQuid
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