Post # 1
A friend posted this on Facebook, and I thought it was an interesting thing to think about. Yeah, non-parents can have opinions, but her tone is a little too judgmental for my taste. And, honestly, my opinions towards children and parenting have changed dramatically since having a child of my own. I’m curious of the thoughts of others, parents and non-parents, on this topic.
Post # 2
hahah, that woman is hilarious! I’m not a parent yet and i dont plan to be anytime soon, but I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Maybe I’m a little biased because I totally agree with her method of getting the kid to take their medicine, but everyone deserves to put their two cents in, regardless of whether they are a parent or not.
Post # 3
I think non-parents can have opinions on parenting. We all have opinions on things that we might not have a full grasp of or experience with.
That said, I think she’s painting all parents in one color though, much like some parents can paint CBC couples as selfish and self-absorbed.
Post # 4
Non-parent here, but I am married and planning on becoming a parent at some future point.
I think it’s a lighthearted and funny way to make her point. My Darling Husband and I always hate when people say that we don’t understand because we don’t have kids. Not that we’re dishing out unwanted advice, because we definitely have never told any our friends with children what they should be doing. Not our place, but I see the authors point.
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
I think the judgmental nature is meant to be funny (or at least that’s how I read it!) I don’t think she was serious.
I acutally lost a job once becuase of this exact issue. I worked at a preschool and had worked with babies/toddlers for several years and had learned some tricks. For example, if you’re having trouble getting your 3 year old to bed at night and he’s up past midnight, then sleeps until 10am, stop putting him down for a 2-5pm nap! Or at least shorten it just for a few days, to reset his schedule, sure, he’ll be a cranky terror for a few nights, but then he’ll crash at 7-8pm and you can get a diecent night’s sleep and the next morning, he’ll wake up on time for school. The mother I’d made this recommendatio to complained about me so much I got fired over it. Obviously, I was a lot more polite to her about this and made it as a suggestion after she’d spent 20 minutes telling me how she was at the end of her rope struggling with getting him to sleep and awake when she wanted. But, I was just some unmarried childless girl telling HER advice on how to parent which apparently is a fireable offense.
Post # 6
CherryA: Everyone is entitled to an opinion. What’s annoying is when someone who has never been there says, with conviction and judgement, “well, THIS is what I would do…” or “I would never do THAT!” Yeah, that’s what we all thought, and then we had kids and reality set in. A poster last week said something like, when she has kids, if her 1 year old throws a tantrum at bedtime, she will calmly discuss with the child why sleep is important. That’s when I roll my eyes and say “sure thing pumpkin, tell me how that works out.”
Post # 7
CherryA: Yeah I saw this, she’s a comedian from Australia. I think it was meant to be somewhat tongue in cheek, so don’t take it too seriously.
I believe everyone has a right to have an opinion on parenting in general, as they do on everything. I have opinions on all sorts of things: politics, the environment, this article. I have a right to be heard on those opinions but others don’t have to agree with me of course. What I prefer though, is that if someone disagree with me they do so in a way that explains why, their opinion and why they have it. Not just a simple “Well, you’re not a politician so you wouldn’t know”. I feel the same goes for parenting. We saw it happen on the Bee with the “attachment parenting” thread recently, where the OP was patronised a bit because she is “not a parent” yet. I don’t think it’s fair to use “not a parent” to shut people down.
Having said that, I don’t think it’s okay to judge other parents (which Kitty did to her friends a little bit in the article). Have an opinion on parenting overall, but not on the parenting choices others make.
Post # 8
I’m a parent. I agree non parents can have an opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, of course. However like you said, my thoughts and opinions have changed a lot since actually becoming a parent. As with anything. You can have all the opinions you wish, but you really don’t know how you’ll handle situations until you are actually in them. Also every family and every child is different. What works for some may not work for others. You don’t really know what works and what doesn’t until you’re in it. I would never disregard someone’s opinion about parenting simply because they aren’t a parent though.
What I dislike are the non parents that think and act like they are experts because they’ve taken child development courses or because they work at a daycare, nanny, or babysit a lot. Therefore they know better than you. I don’t care how many children you work with…you still don’t know what it’s like to raise a child and be responsible for molding the type of person they become, and you’re not with them and parenting 24/7.
Post # 9
The thing is, all children are different. What worked for my older daughter doesn’t work for the younger one. So parent or non-parent- you can offer your opinion. But what worked with that one child you raised, knew well, or sat next to on the bus- may not mean anything for each individual child.
I will never forget the two worst people offering me parenting advice when I was pregnant were a childless gay man and a childless old spinster. After listening to them for months I got to the point where I was like “Please! What do you know about it?”
Post # 10
Non parents have every right to their opinion and some of my childless friends have given me great, useful advice as they have a different perspective. I’m only 11 months into my parenting journey but very little has changed in My parenting opinions I held before having a baby versus after.
I have seen some pretty awful parenting advice coming from parents themselves.
Post # 11
I’m not a parent, but I’m a teacher so there are definitely some areas where I think my opinion can be valuable, and some where I am clueless. Want to know how do potty train your kid? Don’t ask me! Want advice for getting your kid to do their homework? Sure, I’ll weigh in there.
Post # 12
CherryA: I don’t have kids. Fiance and I are childfree by choice so we don’t ever want them.
Honestly, I think parenting looks difficult and exhausting, I can’t imagine taking that on so I don’t really feel qualified to lecture anyone. I think there are shitty parents in the world, but I think most parents probably do their best most of the time.
I do find it annoying when children are allowed to run wild in places like stores or restaurants, and I suppose it makes me think the parents aren’t very respectful of other people or their surroundings. But I would think the same thing if I saw someone litter or let their dog take a crap on the sidewalk and not pick it up. So to me that’s not really a “parenting” issue.
I guess if a friend asked me for parenting advice I would give it and try to be honest and objective.
Post # 13
I thought it was very funny but then i’m not a parent and i have friends who are and are exactly as she described! I always think trying to persuade a young child to go to bed is a waste of words you tell them its bed time now and that’s it (i know i make that sound easy and it isn’t! But you know what i mean no long winded talks). If or when i have a child i will raise them in the same way i was raised. Bed time is when parents say so it is not open to debate. Tired children are never happy which makes for miserable parents and general strain on everyones relationship. Dinner is whats put on the table and if you don’t eat it you don’t get anything else. Sweets are a once a week treat on a friday after school, i still do this! Not after school obviously but friday is treat day the rest of the week i’m good.
I think most peoples opinions on parenting come from how they were raised and we were all bought up by someone so we will all have an opinion. I had an amazing childhood and i adore my parents my brother is the same and i hope my children would have the same.
Having said this i avoid offering an opinion on parenting to any of my friends as we have very very different views on parenting. I don’t find it hard to keep my mouth shut though and it preserves the friendship. The only thing i feel like saying is several have children who are almost or are three and still not potty trained even though they are showing signs of wanting to be, taking nappy off, sitting on the toilet ect and its the parents not allowing it to happen. I think they are trying to hold on to their “baby” i can’t imagine changing a nappy for three years!
Post # 14
While I can see how she comes off as judgmental, being that I was childless until just recently I do relate to the obnoxious “you must not have kids” type attitude that many parents tend to have, for example.
Post # 15
I’m not a parent but I am a teacher so I’ve seen quite a lot when it comes to different parenting styles. I totally agree with the author – just because you don’t have children doesn’t mean you cannot have a completely valid and informed opinion. In some ways I think I have a much better perspective than parents, who sometimes can’t see the broader picture when it comes to their own kids, and in other ways I can appreciate that some things are a little less black and white when the kids are your own.
Interesting fact on today’s parent though – this generation of children among the unhealthiest ever in terms of coping and mental health. It mainly has to do with over-parenting (the helicopter parent). As a teacher, I’ve been to scores of lectures on research in this area and although well-established, it’s one of the biggest obstacles I face in educating youth today.