Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The 10 Most Irritating, Least Helpful Parenting Tips Ever

by Redbook, on Fri Feb 4, 2011 7:39am PST
 
 
I have nothing against friends and family offering advice when you come to them with a dilemma. It's the people who pipe up, unbidden, because they see you with a child and assume you have no idea what you're doing. Too often these people are elderly great-aunts. Fortunately those ladies are afraid of the Internet, so I can rail against them and they'll be none the wiser! Thanks, ladies.

1. "Sleep now, because once that baby comes you'll never sleep again." Technically this is a pregnancy tip, of course, but I'm shoving it in here anyway. Yes, Great-Aunt Hildy, I will sleep throughout my entire third trimester. Because I am part bear.

2. "Sleep when the baby sleeps." Everyone gives you this one — annoying relatives, pediatricians, the cashier at the drugstore where you were buying newborn diapers. Are these people all robots, capable of instantly dropping off to sleep whenever their child is unconscious? Do they not have other things to do, like bathe, or simply relish the rare moments of silence you get when you have an infant?

Read more from Alice Bradley on << The Motherboard Blog >>
3. "I think your baby's hungry." Whether you're nursing or bottle-feeding, everyone assumes you don't know how to feed your child. And every time your child cries, whines, grimaces, or squirms, they are going to assume you are starving your poor baby and you need reminders to feed it. Lest you forget! This advice is especially maddening when they turn out to be correct.

4. "Relish every moment of your baby's first years, because they'll be grown before you know it." You mean, time only moves forward? I had no idea! I thought we'd be like this forever and ever! This sort of advice, obvious and innocuous as it seems, always put me on the defensive, as if I had just been carrying my baby under my arm like a football, muttering, "Grow up already, why don't you. Just GROW UP."

Related: Celebrities on Motherhood
5. "I hope you're sleep training that child. Do you WANT him to be spoiled?" Oh, distant relative/person whose aisle I shared at the supermarket, I'm so glad you know exactly my child needs. And that you know, from your years of scientific research, that any child not allowed to cry it out will be a horrible waste of flesh! (See #6 for this parenting tip's counterpart.)

6. "I hope you're not doing that 'crying it out' thing. It's so barbaric. Enjoy your baby all through the night!" Again, kudos to you, whoever you are, for knowing what's best for our unique family situation! I will be calling you at 4 a.m., so you can enjoy our baby as well.

Related: The Best Mom Moments of All Time


7. "Why are you bringing your child outside when it's so cold out?" It never ceased to amaze me that, no matter what my child's age, total strangers will express alarm and revulsion that I dared expose him to the elements. "And WHY ISN'T BE WEARING MITTENS? He's going to get consumption!"

8. "Your child isn't really sad/angry/injured. He's just manipulating you." There's no doubt that children can push our buttons as if they've had professional training in it, but the notion that my kid's authentic feelings are in fact manufactured to elicit a reaction really chaps my hide. If that were always true, he'd be a pint-sized sociopath.  I'm pretty sure that's not the case.

Related: Read 7 Hilarious Tantrum Tales Here
9. "Schools are just glorified prisons. If you loved your child, you'd homeschool." Oh, if only I loved my child enough to abandon my livelihood, tear him away from the community he so enjoys, separate him from the professionals who have dedicated their careers to childhood education, and forced him to stay home all day with me, where we'd be at each other's throats for hours! If only! Please note: I am not opposed to homeschooling, at all — in fact I wish it would work for us, but it would not.

10. "If I were you, I'd just—" OH NO YOU DON'T. I know where this is going. Listen, unnamed distant acquaintance who last parented in the 19th century (it's true — I often get my unwanted advice from ghosts) you don't know diddly about my kid, and our relationship, and what works for us.

Related: 7 Secrets of Low-Stress Families
Well! That felt good. What did I miss? What parenting advice could you do without, forever? Speak now!
Read more from Alice Bradley on << The Motherboard Blog >>

6 comments:

Domestic Goddess said...

#9 kills me. EVERY SINGLE TIME. I do not have the patience to home school. End of discussion. Kudos to those of you who do... But it would not end very nicely in my house. I don't want to hear about how the school system is evil-- If I believed that were the case, I'd figure something out. Ugh. My wonderful, smart, funny, spastic, probably ADD 1st grader is going to end up just. fine.

Callie said...

OK, so I need to print this post out and take it with me AT ALL TIMES because it is so refreshing to read that someone else finds all this "advice" annoying!!!! Love your comments for each of these little "gems" too. Great stuff!

April said...

Hi! I’m your newest follower. Please stop by and follow back when you have a chance. You can also add your blog to our Blog Hop! Hope you are having a Sweet Week.
http://www.AMommysSweetBlogDesign.com
http://www.MommysReviewsandGiveaways.com

Rachael said...

Funny!!! I just love everyone always thinks that though you may be the child's parent you know NOTHING about raising them! Thanks for the giggle!

Saving Mama said...

#2 Sleep when the baby sleeps! Ha!! If I do that, who will cook, clean ect?!?! Love that one!

~Beth D. said...

I agree! #2, if I slept when the baby slept I would have no clean clothes, no clean body and no dinner!