Author Topic: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation  (Read 7250 times)

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Mikayla

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #30 on: November 14, 2012, 02:16:55 PM »
This is one of those issues where I have one set of rules for those absolutely closest to me (can count on one hand with fingers left over) and then everyone else.  For those closest, I'd say something, only because I'd want to be told if the roles were reversed.

Everyone else needs to find their own path without my input.

Deetee

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #31 on: November 14, 2012, 03:27:58 PM »
Like everyone else, I would stay way, way out of it. I will double down on staying way, way out of it because I AGREE with the mom that he is not ready for potty training based on his behaviour.

Or more correctly, if that was my child, I wouldn't start potty training yet.

My potty training philosophy was "Wait until the kid is ready". We had some very, very gentle exposure to the potty before we trained. But we waited until I thought she was ready. Then we spent a week (on vacation so we could spend the time) training and that was pretty much it. Another month or so of reinforcement where we sent her in pull-ups to daycare but took her out at home. It was pretty quick and painless.

I will not mention the age of my daughter when she was trained because it was when she demonstarted she was ready.

I have friends who started when the kid was 6 months. That's also great (for them, not for me)

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #32 on: November 14, 2012, 04:12:53 PM »
In short, she does not want to put in any effort.  Everything she said last night left me really twitchy.  Things like - he can't (or won't) take off his diaper on his own, doesn't wipe himself, takes more than 5 minutes to go, will get so engrossed in his play that he forgets to tell her. 

All of the these are things my pediatrician told me were signs that a child isn't ready to potty train.  It's not parental laziness, but it is allowing the child to take the lead on potty training, which is a valid approach to potty training IMO.

Don't offer unsolicited advice.  And try to recognize that every child is different, and what worked for you is not necessarily going to work on someone else's child.

My best friend is amazing when it comes to parental advice.  She never offers advice unless I ask for it.  She's never judgmental, and since she has three kids she understands that every child is different.  She offers advice, but if I don't take it she doesn't take it personally.  She also listens to my concerns to make sure that her advice works with what the pediatrician advises and what works for me and my husband as parents.  She's seriously the best resource I've had as a first-time parent.

dawbs

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #33 on: November 14, 2012, 04:21:33 PM »
with this topic in particular there's a difference between looking for a solution and an expression of 'wow, I wish I had that'

I mean, I had a child w/ major sleep issues.  When I did 'kid talk' with people, someone would always talk about a 5 week od/6 month old/whatever that was sleeping through the night without any work, blah blah blah.  I'd say I was looking forward to that, possibly express some Jealousy, and maybe say what we'd been doing to work on sleep issues.
That was 'making conversation' and 'talking about where we are currently'--it wasn't that I expected them to give me the magic key to sleeping.

Same with potty training--my 2 year old is nowhere near potty training readiness.  I know people with fully trained 18 month olds.  If I say "wow, that's gotta be so nice!  I'm jealous, I wish we were there" it means I wish we were there and that i wasn't changing diapers still...but I"m not looking for advice; I'm talking about where we are. 

learningtofly

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #34 on: November 14, 2012, 08:04:51 PM »
It amazes me how different every kid is and how stressful potty training is on parents.  We tried with DD a few times and stopped when it became clear she wasn't ready.  The third time she wanted to because her friends had big girl underwear and it was like someone else said, like a switch had been flipped.  Within five days she was trained and it was her decision.  She she became potty trained we had to train ourselves to ask her if she has to go or remind her to go before we leave the house.  I can also find the restrooms in most grocery stores and big box stores  :)

The mother of DD's friend was stressing about her daughter still being in diapers while a younger child wasn't.  She already knew what we had done for DD, so she didn't need advice.  I just reminded her that DD was older than her child and that her child was not behind, but right on time for their age.  Sure enough, her child potty trained at the same age DD trained.

kareng57

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2012, 09:32:53 PM »
It amazes me how different every kid is and how stressful potty training is on parents.  We tried with DD a few times and stopped when it became clear she wasn't ready.  The third time she wanted to because her friends had big girl underwear and it was like someone else said, like a switch had been flipped.  Within five days she was trained and it was her decision.  She she became potty trained we had to train ourselves to ask her if she has to go or remind her to go before we leave the house.  I can also find the restrooms in most grocery stores and big box stores  :)

The mother of DD's friend was stressing about her daughter still being in diapers while a younger child wasn't.  She already knew what we had done for DD, so she didn't need advice.  I just reminded her that DD was older than her child and that her child was not behind, but right on time for their age.  Sure enough, her child potty trained at the same age DD trained.


I think it was Vicki Lansky (author of some popular parenting books in the 1980s) who said something along the lines of "a few years after your child is trained, you'll wonder why it seemed like such a big deal".  So true!

Re the cloth-diaper recommendation - my sons both used cloth diapers/cotton training pants and were not trained until about 2 1/2 years.  That might not be considered "late"  but it's not early, either. 

OP, I really agree with PPs here.  You need to understand that having had one child who trained early does not make you an expert, and the other mother is doing exactly what some qualified experts recommend.

Knitterly

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #36 on: November 14, 2012, 10:04:29 PM »
It amazes me how different every kid is and how stressful potty training is on parents.  We tried with DD a few times and stopped when it became clear she wasn't ready.  The third time she wanted to because her friends had big girl underwear and it was like someone else said, like a switch had been flipped.  Within five days she was trained and it was her decision.  She she became potty trained we had to train ourselves to ask her if she has to go or remind her to go before we leave the house.  I can also find the restrooms in most grocery stores and big box stores  :)

The mother of DD's friend was stressing about her daughter still being in diapers while a younger child wasn't.  She already knew what we had done for DD, so she didn't need advice.  I just reminded her that DD was older than her child and that her child was not behind, but right on time for their age.  Sure enough, her child potty trained at the same age DD trained.


I think it was Vicki Lansky (author of some popular parenting books in the 1980s) who said something along the lines of "a few years after your child is trained, you'll wonder why it seemed like such a big deal".  So true!

Re the cloth-diaper recommendation - my sons both used cloth diapers/cotton training pants and were not trained until about 2 1/2 years.  That might not be considered "late"  but it's not early, either. 

OP, I really agree with PPs here.  You need to understand that having had one child who trained early does not make you an expert, and the other mother is doing exactly what some qualified experts recommend.

I am trying very hard not to take offense to that.  I never claimed to be an expert.  Please read what I wrote before making such a statement.  I never claimed to be an expert.  In fact, I do believe I specifically stated
Quote
It's not that her son is late or my daughter is early, it's just one of those milestones that every child hits eventually and doesn't really reflect on the child's intelligence.
which is exactly what several others have said, too.  Just different kids hitting milestones at different times.   

This acquaintance spent a fair amount of the evening whining and complaining about how her son wasn't potty trained (almost an hour in fact).  I did not want to be a "knowitall" as I stated in my first post. 
Quote
because this is a milestone that LK is hitting early, I was biting my tongue to avoid coming across like a knowitall.  I didn't want to be pushy.
  I kept my mouth shut precisely because I knew that anything I might say in that moment would come across absolutely wrong, no matter how well meant. 
I just don't think it's fair on her son to expect him to hit this all on his own and then whine when he doesn't hit it "early" or on the timetable she wants for him.  If she wants him trained at a particular age, she does need to actually take action. 
But because this was something that was so clearly upsetting her, I asked about it because I wondered if it might be taken well later.  Wondering that doesn't make me a knowitall.  I am sorry if that was ever communicated.  I wondered if it would be overstepping (and rude) or if it might be helpful.  Obviously it is overstepping and rude.  Ergo, Miss Knitterly's mouth stays shut and her email silent.

I totally get that leaving your kid to figure it out on their own is a valid parenting technique.  That's not what is happening.  She is expecting him to figure it out on his own on her timetable.  And THAT is what does not work.  Ever.  Show me a toddler who decided to train themselves because their diapers irritated their parent and I will eat my words (and a slice of humble pie).  I don't think it's arrogant to say that, either.  Most kids don't go "gee, my diapers bug my mom, I'd better sort this potty thing out pronto."

And a side note re the cloth diaper thing - that's why I said "what I've read" and "average age".  Those are pretty important qualifiers.  LKs age is actually a pretty common one among my local cloth diaper exchange.  That's why I don't feel it's any big deal or that she's necessarily early.  Different from a different kid, but not early - no more than my acquaintances son is late. 

(edited to add:  I also recognize as I re-read this that it may seem like I am contradicting myself when I say that LK is early and not early in the same breath.  She's earlier than the typical - that doesn't make it a remarkable thing, which is why I also say she's not early.  She's right for herself.  My friend's kid is right for himself.  But my friend thinks he ought to be doing things on a particular timetable and... see above about wanting him trained now on her timetable but with him doing all the work.  I really hope that clarifies a bit.)

As to the etiquette issue of would it be overstepping to send an email along the lines of "Hey, do you think this would work?" the consensus seems pretty clear on an answer of "don't do it."
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 10:11:49 PM by Knitterly »

Sharnita

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #37 on: November 14, 2012, 10:24:57 PM »
OP, your frustration is understandable. If she seemed happy with her choice/system that would be one thing but hearing her complain makes it tougher to withhold comment.

kareng57

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #38 on: November 14, 2012, 10:39:54 PM »
It amazes me how different every kid is and how stressful potty training is on parents.  We tried with DD a few times and stopped when it became clear she wasn't ready.  The third time she wanted to because her friends had big girl underwear and it was like someone else said, like a switch had been flipped.  Within five days she was trained and it was her decision.  She she became potty trained we had to train ourselves to ask her if she has to go or remind her to go before we leave the house.  I can also find the restrooms in most grocery stores and big box stores  :)

The mother of DD's friend was stressing about her daughter still being in diapers while a younger child wasn't.  She already knew what we had done for DD, so she didn't need advice.  I just reminded her that DD was older than her child and that her child was not behind, but right on time for their age.  Sure enough, her child potty trained at the same age DD trained.


I think it was Vicki Lansky (author of some popular parenting books in the 1980s) who said something along the lines of "a few years after your child is trained, you'll wonder why it seemed like such a big deal".  So true!

Re the cloth-diaper recommendation - my sons both used cloth diapers/cotton training pants and were not trained until about 2 1/2 years.  That might not be considered "late"  but it's not early, either. 

OP, I really agree with PPs here.  You need to understand that having had one child who trained early does not make you an expert, and the other mother is doing exactly what some qualified experts recommend.

I am trying very hard not to take offense to that.  I never claimed to be an expert.  Please read what I wrote before making such a statement.  I never claimed to be an expert.  In fact, I do believe I specifically stated
Quote
It's not that her son is late or my daughter is early, it's just one of those milestones that every child hits eventually and doesn't really reflect on the child's intelligence.
which is exactly what several others have said, too.  Just different kids hitting milestones at different times.   

This acquaintance spent a fair amount of the evening whining and complaining about how her son wasn't potty trained (almost an hour in fact).  I did not want to be a "knowitall" as I stated in my first post. 
Quote
because this is a milestone that LK is hitting early, I was biting my tongue to avoid coming across like a knowitall.  I didn't want to be pushy.
  I kept my mouth shut precisely because I knew that anything I might say in that moment would come across absolutely wrong, no matter how well meant. 
I just don't think it's fair on her son to expect him to hit this all on his own and then whine when he doesn't hit it "early" or on the timetable she wants for him.  If she wants him trained at a particular age, she does need to actually take action. 
But because this was something that was so clearly upsetting her, I asked about it because I wondered if it might be taken well later.  Wondering that doesn't make me a knowitall.  I am sorry if that was ever communicated.  I wondered if it would be overstepping (and rude) or if it might be helpful.  Obviously it is overstepping and rude.  Ergo, Miss Knitterly's mouth stays shut and her email silent.

I totally get that leaving your kid to figure it out on their own is a valid parenting technique.  That's not what is happening.  She is expecting him to figure it out on his own on her timetable.  And THAT is what does not work.  Ever.  Show me a toddler who decided to train themselves because their diapers irritated their parent and I will eat my words (and a slice of humble pie).  I don't think it's arrogant to say that, either.  Most kids don't go "gee, my diapers bug my mom, I'd better sort this potty thing out pronto."

And a side note re the cloth diaper thing - that's why I said "what I've read" and "average age".  Those are pretty important qualifiers.  LKs age is actually a pretty common one among my local cloth diaper exchange.  That's why I don't feel it's any big deal or that she's necessarily early.  Different from a different kid, but not early - no more than my acquaintances son is late. 

(edited to add:  I also recognize as I re-read this that it may seem like I am contradicting myself when I say that LK is early and not early in the same breath.  She's earlier than the typical - that doesn't make it a remarkable thing, which is why I also say she's not early.  She's right for herself.  My friend's kid is right for himself.  But my friend thinks he ought to be doing things on a particular timetable and... see above about wanting him trained now on her timetable but with him doing all the work.  I really hope that clarifies a bit.)

As to the etiquette issue of would it be overstepping to send an email along the lines of "Hey, do you think this would work?" the consensus seems pretty clear on an answer of "don't do it."


I did not say that you claimed to be an expert, but your posts really are full of contradictions.  You truly are not in a position to figure out what Other Mom is doing "wrong".

Deetee

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #39 on: November 14, 2012, 11:00:01 PM »
With your additional information, the mom sounds silly and really annoying. Why would anyone talk about potty training for an hour?

But the advice is the same. If she won't listen to the doctor she won't listen to you and it still not your place. There is sooo much information available for thems that want it.

kareng57

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #40 on: November 14, 2012, 11:01:47 PM »
You need to understand that having had one child who trained early does not make you an expert, and the other mother is doing exactly what some qualified experts recommend.
I did not say that you claimed to be an expert, but your posts really are full of contradictions.  You truly are not in a position to figure out what Other Mom is doing "wrong".

I acknowledged the contradiction.  I only see the one.  I am reading and re-reading.  I still only see the one, which I acknowledged.

You don't think it's wrong or unfair of her (unfair to her son, I mean) to expect him to train himself on her timetable because she wants him trained?  Does that work?  Can I really will my child to learn skills because I want her to learn them?  I don't think it takes an expert to say that idea doesn't work.  It doesn't take an expert to say that your child will learn because they dislike the feeling of grossness on their body and/pr because of peer pressure and/or because of another reason.


I'll repeat what I said in my last post about what is wrong with the picture.  I totally get that leaving your kid to figure it out on their own is a valid parenting technique.  That's not what is happening.  She is expecting him to figure it out on his own on her timetable

But anyway, that isn't the etiquette issue.  And you did strongly imply that I believe myself to be some sort of expert.  I'm not.  I've said I don't think I am.  You can think what you want about me, but I don't think I am any sort of expert.  I just think she's setting herself up for disappointment in comparing her kid to other kids and expecting them to magically reach certain milestones on her timetable.

I saw my original thought as being analogous to a mom who wants her kid to walk because he or she is just so close, etc, and me going "Hey, I have this great walking harness at home that I bought for LK.  Didn't work for her, but maybe you'll have better luck with it.  Do you want it?"
Obviously it's not as this is clearly a bit of an emotional minefield.

I will honestly admit that I don't understand why it is.  Maybe I just don't get people very well.



Again - unless you spend a number of hours a day in this other mom's household - you really can't judge.  You say you are not doing that, but it's clearly coming across in your posts that it's exactly what you are doing.

Toilet-training should not be an emotional minefield but unfortunately it often is.

Knitterly

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #41 on: November 14, 2012, 11:12:45 PM »
kareng, I deleted the post you quoted because I truly don't wish to get into a back and forth on how wrong and judgey I am when I've made it as clear as possible that it is not my intent to be so - at least not in terms of her child's skill level.  In terms of her unreasonable expectations, maybe I'm a little judgey.  It's hard not to be when someone's expectations feel so off base.  This doesn't actually speak to the etiquette question I have asked, though. 

I wanted to know if I could be helpful.  I can't be.  So I am not going to touch the issue with her further.  She can vent if she needs to.  I have decided not to respond in the moment or later other than a sympathetic "I'm sorry to hear it's not going as you expected," or something to that effect.

Her wrongness comes from the unfair expectations she has.  She can leave her son to train himself until she's blue in the face.  Other posters have had the experience that this works.  But expecting him to train himself NOW because that's what SHE wants just isn't going to work.  THAT is the part that's wrong.  Not that she wants him to train himself, that she wants him to do it NOW because SHE wants him to do it now.  Young children rarely do things to make their parents lives easier.  Everything from sleeping through the night to potty training happens when they are personally ready, not when they decide it would be nice for their parents if they did it (and when it happens on the parents timetable, it is often because the parents have instigated a certain training routine).

I just think it's a rare kid who thinks "I'd better start using the potty so I don't inconvenience mama anymore."  And I am not thinking myself an expert in thinking that.

With your additional information, the mom sounds silly and really annoying. Why would anyone talk about potty training for an hour?

But the advice is the same. If she won't listen to the doctor she won't listen to you and it still not your place. There is sooo much information available for thems that want it.
She's not well loved in the group and it did put a damper on the evening, sadly.  I was not able to tune her out as well as some of the other members of the group. 
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 11:17:28 PM by Knitterly »

O'Dell

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #42 on: November 14, 2012, 11:41:13 PM »
I totally get that leaving your kid to figure it out on their own is a valid parenting technique.  That's not what is happening.  She is expecting him to figure it out on his own on her timetable.  And THAT is what does not work.  Ever.  Show me a toddler who decided to train themselves because their diapers irritated their parent and I will eat my words (and a slice of humble pie).  I don't think it's arrogant to say that, either.  Most kids don't go "gee, my diapers bug my mom, I'd better sort this potty thing out pronto."

Now see that is the sort of thing I think you can point out and have a shot at being helpful. Don't give her hints and tips and suggestions. Point out the flaw in her reasoning. And do it when the 2 of you can have a long relaxed chat in person...not in email.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

MommyPenguin

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2012, 11:51:45 PM »
Yeah, I agree with O'Dell, you could *maybe* point out what you said in that quote, but only if it comes up again naturally when you're talking in person.  Emailing her after the fact gives it too much focus.

Of course, I'm saying this as a person who believes in early potty training (in theory, at least, although in reality I'm too lazy to start as early as I'd like to), and yet was peed on by her mostly-trained 2-year-old today.  <sigh>  Yes, peed *on*.

kareng57

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Re: Overstepping vs. offering advice after the conversation
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2012, 01:15:31 AM »
kareng, I deleted the post you quoted because I truly don't wish to get into a back and forth on how wrong and judgey I am when I've made it as clear as possible that it is not my intent to be so - at least not in terms of her child's skill level.  In terms of her unreasonable expectations, maybe I'm a little judgey.  It's hard not to be when someone's expectations feel so off base.  This doesn't actually speak to the etiquette question I have asked, though. 

I wanted to know if I could be helpful.  I can't be.  So I am not going to touch the issue with her further.  She can vent if she needs to.  I have decided not to respond in the moment or later other than a sympathetic "I'm sorry to hear it's not going as you expected," or something to that effect.

Her wrongness comes from the unfair expectations she has.  She can leave her son to train himself until she's blue in the face.  Other posters have had the experience that this works.  But expecting him to train himself NOW because that's what SHE wants just isn't going to work.  THAT is the part that's wrong.  Not that she wants him to train himself, that she wants him to do it NOW because SHE wants him to do it now.  Young children rarely do things to make their parents lives easier.  Everything from sleeping through the night to potty training happens when they are personally ready, not when they decide it would be nice for their parents if they did it (and when it happens on the parents timetable, it is often because the parents have instigated a certain training routine).

I just think it's a rare kid who thinks "I'd better start using the potty so I don't inconvenience mama anymore."  And I am not thinking myself an expert in thinking that.

With your additional information, the mom sounds silly and really annoying. Why would anyone talk about potty training for an hour?

But the advice is the same. If she won't listen to the doctor she won't listen to you and it still not your place. There is sooo much information available for thems that want it.
She's not well loved in the group and it did put a damper on the evening, sadly.  I was not able to tune her out as well as some of the other members of the group.


In the end I agree.  You were not in a medical-advice group, and if there is no more keeping this other-Mom as a friend - then why not just drop it?