Parenting Advice Or Judgement? Sometimes It's Hard To Know Which Is Which.

Family Matters on 08.31.11
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Photo Credit: Monica Rodgers 

As a parent we are all faced at one point or another with someone who has a problem with our parenting style (as if it's not hard enough!) 

I have one person in my life who always seems to know better than I about how I should parent and what kinds of behavior I should “tolerate” or not. I’m always kind of surprised with this - because it’s largely unsolicited advice and actually comes across more as a judgement than as anything particularly helpful.  It’s hard to remember in those moments that I am actually a very competent mother and have consciously chosen to parent my children in ways that are very different from my own up-bringing.  I have also chosen to parent my children based on the needs I think they have at a particular phase in our families own development.

All children are unique and therefore sometimes the way we interact with our children has a tendency to flux based on age, gender, behavior or maturity.  How I parent my immature six year old boy (he’s developmentally more of a four year old) and my overly mature nine year old girl are incredibly different as it relates to their own unique needs- then add the family dynamic and some of the difficult adjustments they’ve had to adapt to since our divorce and you have two incredibly different children who call for vastly different support and communication. 

I do not recommend only my own council as it relates to my children, but instead take inventory of what I know, witness and experience with the others who interact on a regular basis with my children: teachers, guides, extended family members, etc. 

It’s easy for someone who does not deeply know your children to make a judgement and offer their advice when they don’t actually really know anything about you, or your children- and they can’t if they do not walk in your shoes or know they dynamic of your household intimately. It’s difficult to not get offended and question yourself but just remember that YOU are usually the best person to judge your own parenting and weather or not it’s up to snuff... so take what’s helpful (if it is)  nod and politely decline what’s not ( if it isn’t) and go play and have some fun knowing that you are the *best*parent on earth for your own particular child.

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