Author Topic: I do not accept your endorsement!  (Read 9804 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: I do not accept your endorsement!
« Reply #75 on: October 08, 2012, 12:19:14 PM »
One of the OP (boynk)'s examples:

Quote
...The mom next to me turned to me and said, "You're handling this correctly!  That's the way to do it!"   I know she meant well, but I was irked....

I think she didn't mean well; I think she WAS thinking of herself as "the expert" and you as "the novice." Oh, yeah, she wanted to encourage you, but I think her desire to establish herself was asserting itself. Not the most evil thing, but definitely more self-centered than you-centered.

In *that* instance, I'd vote for a not-really-irritated "Yes, I know."

(And I actually do think it's not that polite for a stranger to comment on parenting--it's just sort of buttinski. I'll admit that I do it sometimes, and I mean well, but it's still putting myself into the position of commenting on someone else's life. And yes, judging them, as though I'm an audience they care about. It's much more so when it's parenting and not clothes, for example.)

(Miss Manners doesn't actually approve of compliments on clothing from strangers, though. "They didn't get dressed in order to please you," I think was her point. It's made me much less likely to randomly praise people.)


Giggity

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Re: I do not accept your endorsement!
« Reply #76 on: October 08, 2012, 12:31:34 PM »
I don't want to be judged by people, even if they've decided that I 'pass'.

Everyone judges everyone else, all the time. There's nothing wrong with judging. In most situations, it's called "discernment" and it's how we make decisions.
Words mean things.

Judah

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Re: I do not accept your endorsement!
« Reply #77 on: October 08, 2012, 12:37:42 PM »
I don't want to be judged by people, even if they've decided that I 'pass'.

Everyone judges everyone else, all the time. There's nothing wrong with judging. In most situations, it's called "discernment" and it's how we make decisions.

But we're supposed to keep our judgement to ourselves.

Fwiw, i see a world of difference between complimenting someone on their well behaved child and telling them that they are parenting "correctly".  For one thing, there is no one "correct" way to parent.  We all do our best to parent the way each individual child needs and it's not up to a stranger to determine if it's right or wrong. And it is very patronizing to tell a stranger that what they are doing meets your approval. Why would they even care if their parenting meets the approval of a stranger?
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turnip

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Re: I do not accept your endorsement!
« Reply #78 on: October 08, 2012, 01:52:59 PM »
I think we can all agree that statements like "You are so much better than those other Xs" are always going to be problematic, however you fill in the X.   ( Perhaps an exception can be made for something like prison populations - "Geez Bob, you are so nice for an arsonist!" - but let's exclude those. )

My feelings about someone complementing my parenting is to wonder if they've really gotten an idea of it.  If I'm out and my children are being charming and well-behaved generally acting like little rays of sunshine and someone says "You are doing a great job parenting!" - well, I'll accept it graciously because that's what I believe is appropriate, but really they haven't seen me parenting.  Hanging out with my kids when they are _good_ isn't parenting, it's a treat!

Now if DS is having a meltdown and DD is crying because he's scaring her and someone's diaper is leaking and I'm desperately trying to keep it all together - if _then_ someone came up and said "Hey, you're doing a great job" - I'd probably cry tears of real gratitude.  This is when I'm _parenting_, and this is when I am doing it as best as I can.   Of course, the reality is that this is when people are most likely to glare at me sideways while muttering to their companion "Geez, she needs to keep those kids under control."   

So you can complement me all you want, but really if you've decided that you can tell that I'm a good parent on Monday because my kids are behaving well, then I suspect you'll decide that you can tell that I'm a bad parent on Tuesday when they are just the opposite.

TootsNYC

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Re: I do not accept your endorsement!
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2012, 02:50:04 PM »
Actually, Onyx, that's exactly when I'm most likely to say something to another parent--Maybe not a compliment, but a friendly comment, or a smile directly at you. Or a friendly comment to your child. Something to let the parent know that someone walking past her/him during the meltdown has a friendly thought and warm wishes.