I'm a first time mom, obviously, and when you're knocked up you go into it all thinking of ways you want to raise your kid. For example, I was adament about toy boxes - I didn't want toys all over my house, they needed to be cleaned up, for the most part tidy. Did that happen? Hell no. I've got toys all over my house- granted I do have toy boxes, and we clean up every night, but that's just the smidge of OCD I have going on. I also didnt' want to co-sleep, which we don't unless B is super sick, otherwise HE pushes us out of his room, off his bed, etc, he doesn't want anything to do with it.
But, after your kid is finally born, you realize as they're getting older that the idea of how you'd parent them has to change. That you can't be so dead-set on what you're wanting, you have to let them guide you. We're ok with that, we let B "tell" us what he's thinking or how he's reacting to things - take potty training for instance (which is a whole other big post), we're going through it now, and we let him "tell" us when he was ready. We'd put undies on him about once a month and see how he reacted, and up until this month, he didn't care. He let us know by getting excited when he went on the potty. Which leads to tons of positive reenforcement, B does better when you tell him what he's done good at, he's more inclinded to keep doing the action. So does that mean he gets a ticker-tape parade for putting his dirty plate on the kitchen cabinet after breakfast? Hell yes.
Yesterday evening we went to af riends house for a little gathering, and we knew it was going to be a bit difficult to take B with us because those terrible two's have reared it's horribly ugly head. He can be defiant, he can be overly excited and lovey, he's just being two.
Well when we got there we were the only ones with a kid, which was cool, B was more mellow, he walked around and did stuff, "talked" to people, whatever. Then a guy Rich works with came in with three kids (7, 5 and 10 months) and it went downhill quick. B wanted to play with and talk with the other kids, so he tried staying near them. B stole a chip off the girls plate, we reprimanded him, and moved on. B wanted to move and interact, and the person hosting the party didn't care, he'd talk to him adn play with him (he has two kids of his own, but they live with their mother) so everything was ok. But, the guy with the kids was a douche. Brax scooped up some dip with achip - which he hadn't put in his mouth, so it was double-dipping, and Rich held his hand when he did it so his fingers didn't get on the food. No big deal to us, or to anyone else that Rich saw, but it irked that guy I guess. He then asked Rich if he'd read any books about "strong willed kids" - he was insulting us, our kid and parenting.
I will be the first to admit that right now, yes, B can be a handful, but he's normally not that way - and that guy didn't know that, he'd just met me and B for the first time, but he felt the need to open his mouth and give parenting advice. I'm not one for unwarranted advice, I think if someone asks your opinion, that's one thing, but damn sure don't give it to me if I didn't ask for it.
So my evening had me in super-angry-tears after Rich told me, he was didn't tell me til after we'd left, which was nice because I don't know what I wouldn't said.
I have friends that I don't personally agree with their parenting style all the time, and I'm ok with that - as long as their kid is happy and healthy, it's not my place to give un-solicited advicet ot them, it's rude, and obviously not needed. We can all parent our children the way that we see fit, but something has shifted in our society, and we think that everyone is stupid, that they don't know what they're doing and how you're a better parent than they are.
I may be a first time parent who's doing it with no help whatsoever from family/friends, we're seriously winging it, and guess what? My kid is fucking awesome. So far int he short two+ years of his life, I'm liking who he is - he loves to give sugars and hugs all day, sure he may knock you over in the proces, but he'll help you up and say "sowwy! Ew-k?" He'll carry a bag of grocceries in for you, he'll bring you random tokens he finds in the yard, he'll hold your hand or rub your hair while watching tv. Sure there are moments when he grabs the light sabers and wants to duel to your knuckles bleed, or spray you with the cold water hose, or "dead man" you when you try to pick him up after he's gotten in trouble. Sure, that all happens too, and sometimes all in one hour. But that doesn't make him a horrible kid, or my parenting technique bad either.
So for the love of all things holy, please stop with the advice, unless you want the southern belle to come out in me and tell you that from where I'm from, if you don't have something nice (or productive!) to say, then say nothing at all, and bless you're heart for not having the manners to do so.