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The Time I Gave Really Bad Parenting Advice

The Time I Gave Really Bad Parenting Advice

By Rachel Meeks

I gave terrible advice to my coworker one time. It wasn’t general advice that I gave, it was parenting advice. Oh, and did I mention this was years ago, long before I had any children of my own?

I was so sure of myself. She was having trouble with her baby’s sleep situation, and I was glad to offer my advice. It didn’t concern me that I didn’t have firsthand experience; I was certain that in this case, I knew more than she did.

I had read about her problem in a book.

Wait, it probably wasn’t a book because I don’t think I had read any parenting books at the time. It might have been a magazine article, but whatever, everyone KNEW this was the RIGHT way, and if she didn’t follow this conventional wisdom, she would be sorry later.

I regretted it, especially later when I had a baby and faced the same situation.

Another time, more recently, a friend was trying to figure out a good fitness routine for herself. She was trying to get back into shape, and she wondered if she might be overdoing it?

I don’t know much of anything about getting into shape. The last time I remember doing a sit up was back in 2005. This time, I knew better than to offer my opinion when I didn’t have experience to back it up.

I can offer encouragement, in some special cases I can offer experience, and only when asked will I share an opinion. Most of the time I just try to give benefit of the doubt because that’s what I want.

I don’t really care about conventional wisdom any more. More parenting experience teaches me that every child is unique, and there is no formula.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Published January 17, 2012. Last updated March 23, 2012.
About the Author

Rachel Meeks

Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it’s so much easier to b...

Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it’s so much easier to be a parent when you’re not surrounded by a ton of stuff.)

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