Funny, isn’t it, that I should write an observational advice blog on parenting and then give advice on avoiding advice?
Seriously though, advice is a very powerful thing and should be taken carefully and with great forethought. Does it really fit your style and your child’s personality? Is it appropriate for where you are in your child’s development or time of life? Do you trust the advice giver’s credibility or do you just think it’s an interesting idea?
That is totally okay, you know. You can take wisdom or usable techniques where you find them without particularly thinking that the person you have heard it from has done a great job of applying it themselves.
After all, think about all of the mediocre managers you have had in your professional career who somehow managed to impart just one nugget of usable information that helped you do your job more efficiently or to understand a difficult concept more clearly.
As I have gone through both professional and parenting careers, I have learned to pan for gold in the most unexpected places.
It starts with pregnancy. Have you ever noticed that once you start to show, everyone you meet who has ever had a child wants to share their birth experience or experiences with you? And maybe it was just me, but it seemed like the more frightening the tale, the greater relish they took in sharing them. I got to the point with Daughter 2 where I would cut the reminiscences off at the pass with an, “Oh that sounds just fascinating and I would love to hear about it sometime soon, but right now that just makes me so queasy…” 🙂 Amazingly effective. Continue reading