Thursday, November 13, 2014


One of the things I've noticed about parenthood is everyone has their opinion about how to raise children and will share it with the expecting parents-particularly the Mom. This doesn't stop when the child is born either. Actually it seems to happen more often. "Do this, it was great!" "This is what I did and it worked." Where every bit of advice is well-intended most of it is unwanted.

For me personally I never give advice unless someone asks for it or if I do have advice I always ask, "Can I make a suggestion?" Then I offer my advice. Often when other people give advice they're only telling the other parent what worked for them. This of course is okay. However, what they don't always think about when giving advice is whether it would work for that family or the children they're raising.

I was talking earlier this week with the parents of the child I take care of. They were telling me how they have friends who they often don't go to bed before midnight and their children often stay up until eleven or later and one of the children sleeps until eleven in the morning. This is done because the Mom performs at a local theater and often doesn't get home until at least eleven at night. Where this would not work for most families it does for this family.

Each families dynamics are different and each parent has a different style in the way they raise their children. Often what is overlooked when giving advice about how to raise children is the child's personality and temperament.  When I do give advice I try to tailor it to the child's personality and temperament because it's going to be more helpful than just some random advice that worked for some other person's child or even my own. What works for one child doesn't for another. There is no one size fits all way to raise children or to discipline them. A child's temperament and personality always should be considered too. Sometimes I ask questions about a child and how they react to certain situations because this tells me about the child's personality and temperament and allows me to give what I hope is helpful advice.

One of the other things I've noticed about advice when it comes to being a parent. The parents who think they know nothing about how to raise a child are the ones who want lots of advice and are usually the ones who don't need it. They're figuring it out and doing fine. The parents who think they have it all figured out and don't want advice and don't listen when it's asked for are the parents who need the advice and help the most. They are often the parents who have no idea what they're doing and it shows. At least to a trained eye like mine.

Everyone will have their opinion on how to raise children but the best advice I can give anyone: listen politely and then do what works for you and your family.

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