Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Would Never Do That

This week, I was witness to one of the most ridiculous attacks of judgment against a good friend of mine.    In particular, her mothering skills were under fire and from a woman who has no children of her own.  I can tell you that she did not deserve the attack.

It's not that I don't think that one who does not have children can't have opinions about how to raise children.  Certainly there are those who have a real heart for kids but for one reason or another don't have them.   I do, however, think they should be careful about dispensing advice to those that do.    As a matter of fact, even if you do have your own kids, I think it's a good idea to be prudent in dispensing unwanted advice.  At least, not until you've walked a mile in that parent's shoes.   Because raising kids, while full of much joy, is no picnic.  Unless you are on a picnic and that is just plain fun. 

Anyway, it reminded me of a favorite saying, 

I thought I knew how to raise children, too. 
Then I had some of my own.

Because really, isn't it true?  Did you say you'd never do something when you had kids but then after you had them,  you did?

Like, I'd never bribe my kids to get them to do what I wanted.  I would never let my child throw a tantrum in a store.  I'd never feed my kids ice cream for breakfast (we were on vacation, y'all).  I'd never spank them.  I'd never yell at them.  I would always patiently and kindly guide them instead.   I would always make sure their hair was combed before school.   I'd never ever miss any extra-curricular activity they participate in.  I'd never feed them junk food.   I'd  never let them watch too much TV.  

Good golly the list could go on.

I'd love to know that one thing you said you'd never do with your kids that you have done, or do now.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!!!  My maiden name is all Irish from my paternal Grandfather.  How about you?  Where does your Irish come from?

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Kristin said...

gosh, you know me...... what DON'T I do?? haha. I used to say I'd NEVer put my kids food on a restaurant table without sanitizing it first and having a mat underneath. Makes me laugh. My biggest lesson has been "never say never!" We're just all trying to make it thru, ya know? :)

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Amen Sister!

GladMom24 said...

gee..your list plus a million more. 'i'd never let them wear mismatched clothes,shoes,hairbows...never hover over homework...lick my finger then wipe off something on their faces...on and on.
My maiden name is german, hubby is french and yet we fully embrace any chance to celebrate so we all have green hair (even the dog) and will be eating green eggs and ham for dinner :)

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Oh homework - don't even get me started on the way I handle that some days. ugh.

Green eggs and ham! Now that sounds yummy!
We are having Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Yes, any reason to celebrate is a good one.

Your girls are always absolutely beautiful and perfect!

EE said...

I swore that I would never let my kids watch Barney... famous last words!!

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Yeah, we even had Barney toys. I recently gave away about 15 Barney videos. My kids loved him.

BTW, for those with older Disney watching girls - have you seen the episodes of Barney where Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez starred? I totally remember watching them on there!

Anita said...

Oh gosh, I said I'd never let me teen do so many things, it makes my head spin. At the end of the day, I pray for forgiveness for the things I've surely messed up and I pray for God's grace to help me do better tomorrow.
My mom's famous line was that you never pay for your own raising until you have kids of your own.....oh so true!
My mom's family has some Irish and English, mostly I'm an American Mutt!! We're all wearing our green and having yummy treats for dessert, go take a look at the picture on my blog!

The Chubby Dove said...

I swore my kids would never suck a pacifier. HA!

They both sucked one and then later gave them up for their fingers/thumbs.

That's just what comes to mind first. I'm sure I could think of some others.

Stefani said...

I have to admit that I was a perfect parent before I had children. :) Now I completely empathize with the parents I used to judge. (just to be clear, I would never have told any parent what they should or should not be doing, I definitely had the thoughts though.)

I was never going to let my children watch too much tv. Yeah. That didn't work out so well. We'd be here all night if I tried to list all the ways parenting is different than I imagined. :)

Sandy said...

Well, it's been too long since I was in the midst of child-rearing... but I'm sure there were plenty of things that I thought I'd never do.
It does grieve me when someone who has not "walked a mile in your shoes" (the EXACT phrase I thought of when I started reading this post!) thinks they can tell you how to parent. There are gentle ways to encourage parents who may not be doing it the right way, but that is totally different & should be done in love to help, not in arrogance to humiliate. It's too bad that we don't have the opportunities of extended families much anymore to give parents a break & to have others who love those children dearly.

sheila Gramling said...

I have to say people giving me child advice: in the grocery line, at church, at the pool... Is one of my greatest pet peeves. I have really been working on trying to put myself in their shoes. I don't mean to sound preachy, but I actually hated the way I let them make me feel more than the way they acted. I try to imagine what could possibly make them feel the need to give someone with four (now five) kids in tow advice (hear criticism) right in the middle of an already fustrating experience. To feel sorry for them seems to help me through the experience.

I also get "You sure have your hands full." "Better full than empty." "Are they all yours?" "Yes, but they are for sale." And my favorite from a mother of 12 when asked if any were accidents: "No if you are suggesting cars or cops were involved."

Tell your friend to hang in there. Many of us have been there and will at least have learned the lesson to never to it to another mom!

Janel@Dandelion Dayz said...

Dove - Oh, both of my kids had pacifiers - thank heaven for pacifiers. I let them suck on them for a long time, too. I was a thumb sucker and I did not want them to do that. No harm done and I'm glad I let them. I actually found an old one that I must have hidden a long time ago. Made me weepy.

Anita - teenagers. I don't even want to eat the words I have put out there with my own niece. I'm sure my brother is just writing them down so he can call me on them later!

Sandy - your wisdom is a blessing on this blog - thank you!

Shelia - Love you girl - you absolutely crack me up.

You are all amazing moms and I love that you shared today. That's what makes mothering so fun - doing it with other moms!

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