Too tight jeans and a peek-a-boo blouse that might as well have said
“Hello, gentlemen of the world!Please look at my cleavage!”
That’s what my friend’s teen daughter was wearing. A whole hot under-aged mess was what I saw. But by my friend’s expression I could tell that she didn’t seem to have a problem with her daughter’s outfit at all. Did I dare say something to my girlfriend about her kid’s hoochie gear or did I just leave it alone?
Do you ever have the urge to give your friends unsolicited parenting advice? Perhaps you really want to tell them that their child needs a good spanking or that their kid needs to put on a coat. Or may you’re like me, and just bursting to say “Girl, are you really going to let your child wear that??”
The fact is that everyone has the right to parent their own child. Everyone leads different lifestyles and has differing opinions of what’s right and wrong. So as a good friend when should you step in to offer advice and when should you back away and just keep your mouth shut?
I’ve mulled it over and come to the conclusion that there are only two occasions when you should give friends parenting advice:
1) Give advice if you see behavior that poses potential harm to the child or parent. Examples of this would include seeing a friend’s child participate in risky behavior such as substance abuse. Or seeing the child do something that puts them in physical, emotional or psychological danger. The peek-a-boo blouse fit this scenario for me. In my opinion, an under-aged child in sexy, adult clothing could lead to big trouble.
2)Give advice when you friend asks for your advice. If they ask then you have an open invitation to share your opinion. If they don’t ask and you share your thoughts, don’t be surprised if your friend is offended or annoyed.
As much as we’d like to make everyone conform to our way of parenting, it’s not going to happen – nor should it. Parenting is an art with multiple choices and not an exact science with right and wrong answers. And we can all remember a time when were annoyed by unsolicited parenting advice from friends or family.
So maybe we should all think twice before we share our parenting opinions with our friends.
Do you give unsolicited parenting advice to your friends? What has their reaction been?
Words by Yolanda Darville
Yolanda Darville is a mom, writer, communications strategist and blogger focusing on philanthropy and empowering women. Learn more about her on her blog www.bahamamommyinc.com .