Don’t Tell Others How To…

Don’t Tell Others How To…

One of the biggest pet peeves of any parent is having someone tell them how to raise their children…so why do people do it?! Parents should know better!

I am bewildered by the nerve of people.

Parenting and money are hard without people trying to tell you what to do. Here some stories about when others thought they were helping.

The Impressionable

Around the time little Mini Donut was 6 months old I was shopping at Target, like you do, in the baby aisle,a parents favorite location, surveying all the gross sounding food combinations I could buy. I was interrupted from my trance by a couple who…were new parents… (that’s a nice way of saying they looked tired and had baby drool marks on their clothes.)

The woman started asking me all these questions about what food to buy to get their few week old to gain more weight. This was never a problem for Mini Donut (he likes his food).

I told her some tricks I had heard others doing but if she was really concerned that is something to talk to the pediatrician about.

Come to find out that it was comments made by other people so I took another look at the healthy baby and started trying to calm them down.

Here was a young family doing just fine, scared to death that they were doing everything wrong. All parents want to do is protect their young and others were capitalizing on this fear to control this couple. We parted ways and there was a slight look of relief on their faces.

Personal is Personal

Personal finance is exactly that, personal. What works for some may not work for others. Maybe that’s why I have problems with the all or nothing approach of some radio personalities in the PF community. There are many ways to get yourself out of debt the right way.

I find a full budget as a great tool to track spending. I know many that thrive with zero sum budgets or use a two checking system and don’t need a budget.

Which brings me to last Sunday, I sat in the living room with my sister and mother-in-law.

The Joys of Family

My mother-in-law was telling everyone about how she was sending my 2.5 year old money is the mail to teach him about money. I looked at her and asked, “that’s what you are doing? I thought it was just something fun for you two?” (Kids love getting mail) Apparently not. She said she wanted him to learn about coins and how money works. “By giving it to him for nothing?” I replied.

It made me frustrated that someone was taking it upon themselves to teach my kid about money. I stated how we don’t know exactly what we are going to do about allowance but we will do research and make our own decisions. For now he is fine with the current system.

That’s what peaked my sister’s attention. She had just finished up talking about all the injustices she faced because I got more for an allowance than she did. Never mind I am significantly younger and our parents didn’t have two pennies to rub together while she was growing up but they were much better off while I was growing up.

Doing Our Own Thing

What system?” She asked. I outlined that Mini Donut gets $10 a month put in his savings and we use that to pay for his clothes, toys, and whatever else.

I cut her off right before her tirade explaining Ms Blue Ribbon and I get $15 for the same thing.

My sister was confused how we could buy so much stuff with so little money and the conversation ended.

In the end people are happy to tell you what you are doing wrong especially when they “are doing everything perfect.” I want you to learn for yourself. You aren’t going to know what works best for you unless you see what the different options are and make them your own.

Ok parents, let’s hear those stories of people trying to parent your kids!

Ok money people, let’s hear the stories about people judging you for your money habits!

19 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Others How To…

  1. Oh dear. I don’t have kids, so no unwelcome parent advice, and I don’t have all that much in the way of unwelcome financial advice either… maybe I’m the unwelcome advice giver!! I do try not to be this person, and if you’re conscious of it, this gets easier as you get older. It comes from a position of caring, but isn’t always how its perceived or relevant to someone. Now, unless someone asks directly for help, if I think I know about something others might be interested in, I’ll start with a ‘Hey, has anyone heard about this…’ and see where the conversation leads. An adult discussion that people choose to participate in is way better than stomping about preaching at people. This way, the ‘advice giver’ has a chance to learn something too! 🙂

  2. Definitely agree. Sometimes it depends on cultures too with different backgrounds and such. With my family and extended family people like to give advice (re: food choices, medicine, ancient tricks to get rid of coughs, stuffy nose etc.) especially elders. We just listen to them as a sign of respect and if it makes sense in today’s environment, we’ll do it. Otherwise we’ll research and see if there is something better.

    1. True there is a difference between family and strangers but also people you respect and expect their opinion and those you don’t.

      Either way it can be harmful if the opinion is thrusted apon someone or causes them stress.
      Thank you for bringing your perspective!

  3. I have bad habit chiming in when I hear someone complaining about a bratty kid or being “broke” right after I watch them reinforce their kids’ poor behavior or buy another brand new financed car.
    The moment they complain about something within their control (to at least some extent) I can get preachy. It is also coming from a good place, but I’m sure it’s probably annoying. Whatever. Haha.

    1. “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink.” People have to find their own way to the right answer.

      It sucks when people are doing stupid things but I know someone is judging you for something.

  4. My wife and I are the “oddballs”. We try to budget, spend below our means, etc. One of our biggest pet peeves is gifts/toys that our mothers buy our little guy. I know their heart is in the right place but 1) our little guy has WAY too much STUFF and 2) neither of them have a savings account. We have tried for the last couple years to gently let them know that we appreciate it, but there are other ways to show their love. Unfortunately it has not worked.

  5. That is so true. Don’t give unsolicited advice. My good friends just had their first baby. I am not a father, so I don’t have the experience to give advice. The same is true with money. Unless they ask, don’t tell people how to manage their money.

  6. Bawahaha this is funny. Everyone’s too quick to judge these days. Cindy Crawford said after she had her first son, she didn’t take the mountains of advice offered but used her own judgement. Crawford is no dumb cookie, and that was 18 years ago. Her children are well behaved and leveled for Hollywood kids.

  7. The best baby advice I ever got was a coworker telling me that he couldn’t give me any baby advice!! Haha- he told me that he could tell me what worked for them, how their kids acted/reacted, etc, but he could not tell us how to do anything because we had a situation unique and different from their situation (and every other situation).

    I found my coworkers words very helpful as I received a barrage of “you SHOULD try this” or “you MUST do that” suggestions from others. I would listen to each suggestion, maybe try a few, but I also tried not to stress when things didn’t work for us.

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