I was a bit surprised that parenting posts came up popular in our recent poll. Maybe I shouldn’t have been ‘cuz I kind of like our parenting posts. But that’s not true of all parenting advice out there in the world. In fact, I tend to actively dislike a lot it. And not just the, “they’re (not) doing it the way I do it” kind of dislike– something even more general than that.
I cogitated really hard on what I like and dislike.
I realized that I do like tips and tricks. I love varied answers to parenting questions that people have (especially when some of the answers note that something worked for one kid but not another, especially those that try to make connections about why). I think of them as potential tools in a parenting toolbox. Some will work for just the right job, some jobs can be fixed with different tools, and some tools are just useless for any job.
Essentially, I like when people say, “here’s a bunch of things we’ve tried that worked for us, YMMV.” I like seeing lots of variety because different things do work for different children– even having just two kids, I see that one size does not fit all.
I don’t like it when they say, “Here’s the one true way and if you don’t do it this way you’re doing it wrong and you’re a horrible mother (it’s always mother) and you’re scarring your children for life.” I hate it when they say, “here’s a problem you didn’t even think of that you’re causing by not doing the (sometimes horrible) thing we recommend.”
So I don’t like most parenting books because they’re selling the One True Way with a side-order of mommy guilt. But I do like being able to google a question and finding a forum that provides lots of recommendations from when someone else asked the same question about hir own kid.
Do you like parenting advice? What kind?