Stop giving unsolicited parenting advice

Not too long ago, I was chatting with a sister-in-law about the concept of parenting, and how it varies from family to family. Parenting in itself is universal in the sense that it aims to successfully raise children, but there are a variety of ways to do it, some more aggressive and disciplined than others.

My sister-in-law was telling me that a little while ago she was out getting groceries with her kids. One of her children wanted a treat, but she said no on that particular day. Naturally, her child decided to throw a full-out tantrum.

My sister-in-law told me that when this child throws tantrums, she finds the most effective way to address this behaviour is to ignore it entirely. In choosing to pay no attention to her child throwing a tantrum, the child comes to the realization that their drastic behaviour will not change the outcome of the situation, nor will it all of a sudden enable them to actually get the treat they wanted.

She explained that this tantrum occurred when they were in the check-out line, waiting to pay for their groceries. She was carrying on, ignoring her screaming and flailing child, when the woman behind her in line deemed it appropriate to inform her that had the child been hers, she would have whooped their ass right then and there. My sister-in-law tried to shrug off the exchange and continue with her groceries, except this woman continued to provide her with unsolicited parenting advice, to the point my sister-in-law was getting irritated and explained to this stranger that she doesn’t discipline her kids the same way she would have.

Why the hell do we assume it is appropriate to offer unsolicited parenting advice? No one asked, and no one cares to listen to a random stranger telling them they’re raising their children incorrectly simply because their parenting style differs in nature. It isn’t appreciated, wanted, or necessary.

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