Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back In My Day.....Paaaleeeze!

Anyone with kids will understand that it is super annoying when someone without kids gives you unsolicited parenting advice. Lately my neighbor has been full of tidbits for me. Quite frankly I am tired of it! And in a moment of aggravation I finally told her a thing or two. Here's how it went down.

I call her basically daily. I have learned that if I get to her before she gets to me I can control the situation a bit better. And I am a control freak. Now that I know her pretty well I can manage things where she gets her needed amount of attention well at least a reasonable amount and I can still get things done and not get wrapped into hours of conversation at the most inopportune times. So I was giving her my daily call. ( and this, by the way Peg, is why I can never call you) On my way home is my only peaceful time to reach her and I use that to the fullest. I have grown fond of her in a lot of ways. So I also want to check in on her. Anyhoo, I was pulling up to my home and couldn't seem to wrap the convo up. I entered my home still chatting on the phone with her and discovered things were not as clean as I like. I said a few words to my kids (while I was still on the phone) and they began to explain. Then during the convo I had to interrupt her several times to redirect or instruct my kids. 
I hate when I am on the phone with someone and they spend the majority of the convo yelling or even talking to the kids so I try not to do that to people. But if you don't let me hang up then I guess you are along for the ride. 
I would be in convo with her and then say things to the kids like. 
"you're room is not clean"
"pick that up"
"stop jumping on the couch"
"give that back"
"get your homework out"
"because I said so"  etc., etc
She then said to  me "that is ridiculous how much you have to remind them"
"yup" I said a bit annoyed. Because if I could hang up I could handle that.
When the kids would reply she would say "What's gotten into them? Why are they talking back?" (talking back was saying can't I do my homework after I go outside?)
I would say " well, they are teens."
"Do you want me to come over there and straighten them out?" she asked
I LOL-ed seriously. My kids would eat her up and spit her out. Have you met their mother?
I declined her "help" but was almost willing to have her come over and show me how to do it.
She then went on an rant about kids nowadays and she would not put up with what I put up with and blah blah blah. She then went on to share  a story of her daddy from when she was 3 years old and she wanted to play horsey with her dad but he was reading the paper. She smacked the paper to get his attention and his glasses fell off his face and broke. 

Okay lets take a minute and picture the scene:
3 year old girl waiting to see daddy, whose been at work all day. Wants to play with daddy. Daddy ignores lil Princess bc he is reading the paper. 3 year old hits the paper to get his attention. Daddy's glasses accidentally fall and break. 

Don't know about you guys, but given the age and circumstances,  I didn't see anything too bad.
Well she explained that "daddy" got a switch and "tore her hide up for days". I can't ever imagine whipping a three year old so much that she is sore for days.
I told her that although I'm all about a beat down when necessary I thought that was too harsh.
Well that's how we did it back in my day she replied. And then she went into a whole "back in my day" speech.
Okay I get the good ole days but I got her good when I said "Well, I bet back in your day said in a venomous tone your mom did not work, rather stayed home with you all day?"
"Yes" she said
"And I'll bet back in your day kids did not come home alone to an empty house because mom was at work."
"Oh and I bet back in your day, your dad paid most if not all the bills so mommy's main and only focus was on raising the kids"
"Yes" she said
"And I bet back in your day there was not sex, and violence and bad language in every damn show, song, and schoolyard. As a matter of fact was there even TV period?! Back in your day that is. And are all those past beatings and constant attention why you are so needy now? Huh? Is it damn it!
So here is a lil something to know about me. I can take constructive criticism about my parenting. And I have. From someone who I admire for being a strong parent. But if you cannot get your dog to behave and you do not work or do anything for that matter than DO NOT give me effing parenting advice!! Especially the kind of advice where you can do it better.  I have four kids; two teens, one preteen and a preschooler. They have great attendance, decent grades, they do chores daily, they do not smoke, screw, or drink (not that they never will). They are a great help to me and they listen to me. No they are not perfect and I am far from a perfect parent but I am one of the best I know and so are my kids. 

Have you ever had someone give you parenting advice? Did you get offended?
Or please tell me if you have no kids and give out kid advice, what compels you to do so?


  1. I just *love* when I get free advice.

    I once had an old lady tell me in a super nasty tone, it was too cold to have my children out--we were going to the MD for appts. I looked her square in the face and said it was probably too cold for the elderly and in-firmed to be out as well.

  2. What did she say after you said that to her???

  3. I have no kids, but I wouldn't hesitate to give advice if I thought it could be helpful. I don't think that you have to have birthed a baby to know right from wrong or how to communicate with children.

    I don't hesitate to say something to parents who are letting their kids run wild in public. If it seems to me that you can't control your kids to the extent that they are bothering me or going to hurt themselves, then I will say something. Just yesterday I was at the ball field watching my friend's son play tball and a woman had a child tied in a stroller who was clearly too big for the stroller. He had a toy in his hand and dropped it. He leaned forward to try to pick it up and the stroller started to fall forward with him. I got up, picked up the toy and gave it back to him. His mother was talking with the other mother's and didn't notice what happened. The next time he dropped the toy, I got up again and handed him the toy and said to the mom, "Excuse me, but he is making me nervous. He is leaning forward and he is topple over." The mother gave me the stink eye, but she pulled her kid closer to her and the kid didn't get hurt.

    I'd rather say my piece and have the mother offended, then not say anything and have something bad happen.

  4. The parenting advice that I get from parents with no kids usually ends when I offer to give my kids to them for a week.

    Having 5 kids, one of which is completely autistic with no speech capabilities, usually shuts people up quick.

    Yeah, I know...I'm a sadistic bastard but we all knew that...

  5. I totally agree with you that your neighbor has no business poking her nose where it doesn't belong. Especially if she is coming across as a know-it-all. But I also have to agree with what Karen is saying. Too often I see kids running amock or screaming loudly while their parents are just standing around totally clueless. Kids will be kids, but it's the parents' responsibility to discipline their children, especially when they are in public. Just this past Saturday, I went to a violin recital and what do I see - clueless stupid parents bringing their toddlers who are totally out of control. WTF! Who brings a toddler to a violin recital? Don't these parents have an effin' clue?

  6. Gladys Kravitz give me major wood!
    Not da second one, but da original. Oh Baby.


  7. Lizbeth- I love that response. Hope you stop back by and answer Carolyn's question.

    Karen- Ok, I get that and a very good point you made in your first paragraph. That situation is a bit different. I would have welcomed that advice, heck it keeps your child safe. And I do not mind when someone tells me they see my kids doing something that concerns them. I welcome that too.

    Joker- maybe you can lend my neighbor your kids?

    Sundar- I agree with that as well. Let me play devils advocate...although parents that bring the little ones to functions where they wreak havoc on the whole place grind my nerves too. I try to understand. Maybe it is a single mom with a baby and a school ager that she needs to be there to support but has no one to watch the little one. That happens a lot. And I would rather she come than not show period. But I think that if your little one is going insane or is crying etc you exit the venue until the baby is calmed down.

    Wally- That is too funny.

  8. ANYONE giving you advice on how to run your family needs a punch in the face, but yeah, when the advice comes from someone WITHOUT kids, then they need a double punch..


    p.s. when is blogger going to fix this issue where some people cant log in to comment on some blogs...

  9. I do not give parenting advice to someone unless they ask for it. Until you have taken even one step in another persons shoes you have no idea what's happening in their life. That child who is out of control in public could be a spoiled brat or they could be Autistic. That mother who may seem as though she's busy talking and isn't paying attention to her kid probably knows whats going on but has chosen not to indulge her kid by jumping up every time they throw their toy on the floor.

    I do agree with what Sundar said too though, I always tell my kids that we're not the only one's here and the only impact we should have on those around us is a positive one. Now, if only they actually listened when I said that.

  10. Sorry, it's been a while!!! Old lady didn't say anything. Just stared at me like I was a heathen. I think she was one of my husband's patients! HA HA!