People who DON'T have kids, telling you how to raise yours...

September 4, 2010 3:26pm CST
I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets irritated by this. I often text my best friend when the kids are playing up, and recently we had an argument because she told me I "obviously don't shout at them enough" and "raising kids isn't difficult"! She has no experience except a few hours taking care of her one year old niece and some evening babysitting when the kids she's been watching are in bed, yet she thinks she knows more about childcare than I do. Does anyone else have friends like this, who have an unrealistic view of parenting?
6 people like this
20 responses
• United States
4 Sep 10
In the first place shouting at kids all the time will certainly not get them to listen any quicker. It doesn't work with children or adults for that matter. It makes all rebellious. So many people are quick to say what their take is on how to raise kids. I myself have two and I can say that although were great and have grown to be wonderful and respectful. But what I did to get them their worked for me but may not work for you. So as a new parent sure I listened to all who gave what was suppose to be great advice, but ultimately I made my own choices so I thanked them and remembered it was me who was raising them and well it worked for me. So next time you friend suggest something, depending on how your relationship level is with this friend, just thank her and do your own thing. Good Luck!
3 people like this
• Canada
5 Sep 10
Good point! I also commented that yelling at the kids is not going to make them do what you want! I also like your advice of saying thank you, but doing your own thing and that way her friend knows she was at least heard!
1 person likes this
• Atlantic City, New Jersey
4 Sep 10
Speaking from the opposite side of the tracks. I am a woman with no children but all my friends do have children. I do not claim to know more or less than they know but when asked for my opinion or advice, which happens often, I will give an honest answer- and maybe that me seem at times like I think I know better. But I never give any type of advice or opinion unless asked for it. I just call it as I see it. What is wrong is wrong- period- its not that I know more- its that I am looking at it outside of being the parent or the child.
• Canada
5 Sep 10
My brother and his wife are expecting their first child in February, BUT my brother used to stick in his 2 cents all the time about how to parent my 4 year old properly! I also thought it was crazy that when my now 4 year old was only 2 years old my brother's then girlfriend went to give my daughter a glass of juice in a glass glass. She was unaware of and didn't understand the concept of sippy cups. Now they are expecting so their lack of parenting knowledge will be funny to see, and it won't surprise me if he comes crawling to me for advice! Should be interesting indeed, but I can see how in your case it would have upset you especially because I don't think that yelling at kids would get the results you want anyways! Being a babysitter is a LOT different then being a mum!
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Sep 10
Teddy Bear, I have to be honest, I WAS one of those women who had numerous opinions on raising/rearing/disciplining children - WAY before I had one of my own. I've always had a very logical/analytical mind and it alwasy seemed to be 'black/white' to me... THEN I had my son! LOL Honestly, only about 1/4 of my ideas are still the same - it's so true that you really don't know what you're in for until you are actually in the situation. NOW - those same friends, who very lovingly ignored my ignorance, are happy to guide me and give advise when I ask. And those same friends have long already forgiven my as I've acknowledged to them that I didn't know what in the heavens I was talking about! LOL
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Sep 10
Everything definitely changes when you have your own child that's for sure. If my brother and his wife were to apologize, or at least acknowledge that they overstepped and came to me for advice then sure I would definitely help them out. BUT I don't think it's fair to demand, and boss me and my kid around and not say anything about it. They were pretty rude about it at the best of times. The most recent one being that my brother's wife wanted to take a picture of my brother with my youngest (now 11 months) and my 4 year old went and stood beside my brother and she said, "Move Angelina, I just want Uncle Steve and Chloe in this picture get out of the way!" That of course hurt Angelina's feelings a great deal and she asked me later why she didn't like her, was being mean, etc. When I later explained this to my brother he said "Oh sorry about that but we don't have much experience with kids!" Then I said honestly she was being rude, it didn't have much to do with your kid experience BUT if you know you have no experience with kids, but know you want one of your own one day why don't you ask the friends of yours that have kids to hang out? Or get some books in parenting, take a course, and that their are great resources out there! then not even 3 months later she found out she was pregnant!
• United States
8 Sep 10
Wow, yeah, you're right - your SIL was being rude! Using the fact that they are inexperienced with children was lame, no doubt! She could have at least said, "Angelina, I'm taking a special pic of Uncle and Chloe first, then it will be your turn for a special pic" or something like that! When I found out I was expecting, I DIGESTED any/all books/mags I could find... I joined online mommy sites... all in a effort to find out what I didn't know... only to find out there's only SO much information you can be fed and most of it will be redundant by the time you deliver because every mom is different and every baby is different and what may work for some, may not work for others... Take solace in knowing that brother and SIL will soon realize they KNEW nothing and will learn something new everyday about THEMSELVES - and hoping they realize that they did overstep boundaries and made assumptions that they shouldn't have. And you know, there's nothing wrong with using the very first time she askes for your advice to drop in a nudge for her to realize her mistep: "Sure, of course you can aske me anything! All new/first time mothers realize at some point that what you thought about children/parenting before you had them and facing reality after you have them is often not even close to being the same!" Best of luck!
1 person likes this
@shaggin (36924)
• United States
5 Sep 10
WOW! Raising kids sure is difficult. Thats nuts. You should be like hey take my kids for a week then tell me its not difficult. Nothing in parenting is straight out of a book. Just because a book says what to do doesnt mean that when you do that with your child that it will work. Some things might some might not. I actually was telling my male friend that my daughter sleeps in my bed and he told me that I need to get her out of my bed thats shes to old. I said dont tell me how to parent my children. He never wants kids and I was just kind of ticked when he said that. He apologized though when I said that to him.
5 Sep 10
How old is your daughter? My kids still get in my bed occasionally, particularly my son who is 3 and a half, and sometimes I have to allow it just to get a decent night's sleep or he'll cry all night. I don't know why this is, as he slept in his own room from 8 weeks old and was fine. My mum tells me not to let him sleep in with me, but its not often, and he gets himself in such a state, its not worth arguing about!
1 person likes this
@bellis716 (4806)
• United States
6 Sep 10
Anyone who says that raising kids isn't hard deserves to have at least three dumped on her to care for 24 hours a day for at least 2 weeks. On second thought,that wouldn't be fair to the kids. Anyone who thinks one should shout at their children routinely doesn't know anything about raising well mannered children. Signed, Mother of two, grandmother of 5
1 person likes this
@Shellyann36 (9886)
• United States
5 Sep 10
marianne87 that is so funny to me. I am sure that the situation did not strike your funny bone but for me I kinda got a chuckle. I think what you should do is get your children hyped up on something sweet and ask her to babysit for you for a bit......just long enough to go to the store of something like that. I bet when you come back she might have a different opinion on the "raising kids isn't difficult" remark. I do get irritated when someone who is childless has the nerve to tell me what I might be doing wrong.... How do they know?
• United States
5 Sep 10
Yes, and it does get irritating, but so are grandparents who go against your wishes and do everything the opposite of what you are trying to instill in your children. The best thing to do in both cases is tell them exactly how you feel about their interference. Do not, however, expect them to be smiling or thank you when you've finished. A simple, "Thank you for your concern. I have my own way of raising my children and am comfortable with it. When you have children of your own, come back to me in five years and tell me if you still feel the same as you do now. If so, maybe then I will consider your advice." or with grandparents: "You did such a great job of raising me (or us), and Bob and I are trying to instill the same values in our children. We find it difficult to get them to follow our rules,if you don't have the same ones at your house. I know you want them to grow up as healthy and happy as we did."
1 person likes this
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
5 Sep 10
As much as possible, I don't give my opinion on how my friends' raise their kids because this is, in my opinion, to each his own. We have all been raised differently and so I cannot impose how I was raised to other people. I don't have kids yet but I have an idea on how I would raise them. But this doesn't mean that I would want everyone else to raise their children in the manner that I am thinking of.
@sender621 (14956)
• United States
4 Sep 10
It is irritating how someone with no children thinks they are a big authority on how you should raise your kids. They have no idea how you are feeling but they think they know better than you how to handle any situations with your children. i think if someone needs to give parenting advice they ought to at least have been in your shoes before.
@liquorice (3901)
5 Sep 10
Yes, this has happened to us too. One friend commented on my child having tantrums (she was 2 or 3 a the time), as well as the fact that her friends all had tantrums too. Her view was that a child who has tantrums must be spoilt, and doesn't get told "no" enough. Well, I tried to enlighten her about the terrible two's, and how it's normal for kids to have tantrums at this age, but I could tell that she didn't believe me. Well now she has her own child, and she's not finding it easy. She's shocked that her one-year old fusses so much for no apparent reason. And in a year's time she will be two, and I'll be interested to see how my friend copes...
@liquorice (3901)
9 Sep 10
Thank you for best response!
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
16 Sep 10
I don't have any friends like this, but I think that the reason that I've never been in this situation is because of the fact that since I've had my children I've surrounded myself with friends that are also children. However, I must admit that I might have once been the person that told parents how to raise their children. The reason that I did this was because I had this friend that had three sons and she really wasn't a good parent to the boys. Of course, she was very young when her sons were born.
@atv818 (1988)
• United Arab Emirates
8 Sep 10
Always remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and suggestion. Should you receive one, whether you approve of it or not, better listen and just thank them for it. You are not required to follow if it is not to your liking. Besides, you are the parent and you have the right to decide on how to raise your kids. Arguing with them will simply put you in the bad light.
• United States
7 Sep 10
i have a friend like that. She even has a child but he has never lived with her. I just tell her if she doesnt like me just call me at night when they are sleeping. I do not yell or punish them for every little thing that they do. I pick and choose my battles and if my friends dont like it then oh well. At the end of the day they are my kids and I have to deal with them. They are kids and will do what children do. I teach my children respect for others and how to behave when out, or at school and church and how to speak to their elders. However when they are at home I let them be kids and make noise and play and run. There is nothing wrong with that. People with out kids dont usually understand. I have a sister that has no kids and when she comes over she always jokes about how much noise there is and she couldnt do that on a daily basis. I guess it is something us mommies get used to....My saying is if I dont hear running, laughing talking or playing, then I better go see what they are up to, since they are probably doing something they should not! :)
@pastigger (618)
• United States
6 Sep 10
I would tell her until she had her own not to judge. No one understands how hard it can be to care for a child until they have their own. Every child is different and so is every parent. Shouting just puts more noise in the room, I will admit I am guilty of doing it from time to time. But some kids just know how to push your buttons and some do it. I know mine does sometimes. I feel really lucky because I know she is a good girl, most of the time, but she has my stuborness and my temper, it is a dangerous combination to have two of us the same in the house. But it is also good because I know how to deal with her better because she is so much like me. I would just let it go and wait till she has her own, we all have to learn to laugh at ourselfs and relize that everything always looks easier from the outside. I have had a few and I have even been that person in the past, but I have been humbled now. If that dosen't work ask her if she wants to take your kids for the night and give them cookies before they go, oh and crayons too, then see how easy she thinks parenting is LOL.
@sublime03 (1811)
• Philippines
6 Sep 10
There are a lot of these kind of people who dictate things on how to raise your child. Usually they say things just as if it was that easy when we all (mothers) know that one way or the other, raising a child is difficult. Since we all know where we stand on how to raise our own children, you should just ignore what they have to say. Act like you are listening or you may point out your reasons then leave them at that. Parents should never explain themselves to others on how they raise their children because they can never understand.
@jugsjugs (13045)
5 Sep 10
I have 6 children,noone has ever said anything to me about the way i bring my children up,only that i am and have been doing a good job.I think that people that do not have children should keep their mouths shut,as they have not got a clue what they are talking about.
@Cutie18f (9563)
• Philippines
5 Sep 10
She must have gotten her info from books or observation. It is hard when you are in the situation. She can say anything now because she is not in the same situation. Parenting is hard business.
• United States
5 Sep 10
I have a neighbor that is like this. She thinks that I don't know how to parent my children properly and so she has to butt in, behind my back no less, and lecture my children when she thinks they have done something bad. She does not personally have any children and she will take the opportuniy to lecture my kids whenever she sees them and I am not around. This actually was very upsetting to my children, because most of the stuff she accused them of, they didn't do. To me this is crossing a fine line and she has crossed it to far. So I went to have the nicest (and I stress nicest lightly) chat I could have with her and simply told her that these were my children and I did not see her in the delivery room when they were born. So it might be in her best interest to find some other children to raise,maybe somewhere where her services will be accepted.
• Canada
5 Sep 10
I agree. They probably thought its that easy.Tell the kids this and that, sit down and be quite etc. Easier said but never happen. Lets wait till they have one...
@carrine (2749)
• Philippines
4 Sep 10
absolutely! my sister is really like that. she thinks shes that good in all means, that shes knows everything in the world. yes i am irritated already, and shes annoys me honestly. but i dont want to argue with her either. sometimes i will not answer back on her or i will just ignore her.