Unwanted Parenting Advice Stories

Lindsey LaGrou

Unwanted Parenting Advice Stories – I will never understand why strangers in public places feel the need to offer up unwanted, unwarranted  parenting advice. I’m sure many mean well, but there are the few others who come off as self-righteous. I welcome and appreciate the good heartedness of the helpful. After all, that is what my Oakland County Moms web site is all about – moms providing advice, experience, sharing knowledge etc. so other moms may benefit, learn, and feel comforted. But there is a difference with these offensive, self-righteous types. It goes beyond being helpful and giving advice and reaches the point of criticism. It’s almost as if they want to point out your “flaw” to make themselves feel better. It’s funny how no one seems to criticize fathers. It’s probably no coincidence either that no one has ever offered up any unwanted parenting advice or pearls of wisdom when my husband is around either.


Unwanted Parenting Advice Stories

When my kids were younger, I was shopping at a grocery store. When I was done picking up the groceries, a woman completely lectured me about not holding my son’s hand as we exited the store. I guess it did not matter to her that I was pushing a cart full of groceries, had my daughter in the seated part, and my son walking closely nearby right in front of us as we exited the store. After about two seconds of me pondering what this woman said, I decided to pick up my kids and walk over to her car and tell her I felt her comments were out of line and unnecessary. After defending myself, the mom never apologized for interfering. Instead, she continued to fight and defend why she said what she said.

Unfortunately, I am not the only mom who has been subjected to outsider unwanted parenting advice. One OCM mom vented her experience to me. She had just picked up her kids from a play date at a neighborhood pool, when she decided to run into a nearby grocery store really quick because they needed some lunch meat for their dinner sandwiches. Her daughter was wearing her one-piece swimsuit and sandals. While nearby the deli counter, a woman approached her and said, “Excuse me miss, but don’t you think it’s a bit freaky that your daughter is wearing a bathing suit in a public place?” To which the mom replied, “Don’t you think it’s a bit freaky that you just said that to me?” The mom further defended herself by adding that pools are a public place and so are beaches. And then the woman went so far as to claim she’s a great mom, proud of herself for pointing out the mom’s flaw about the bathing suit, and a mother of two great kids.

I am totally taken aback by each of these situations. When I was approached by the one woman, I was so surprised that someone would even come to me with what I consider to be a pure and direct criticism to my parenting.  I would never even think to do such a thing to another mom. The only time I would offer up any input is if I see a child in danger, and the parent is unaware.

There’s a huge difference between giving advice and offensively doling out unwanted parenting advice. Moms have one of the toughest jobs around, and we work hard to keep our families happy, safe and healthy. I’m sure there are areas where we could all improve, and it is best to keep an open mind. But, how input from an outsider is conveyed and delivered is what makes it receptive or not.

Do you have any unwanted parenting advice stories?

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