Can Childless Friends Give Good Parenting Advice?

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childless friends giving advice

Photo by AnaBaumgartner

CafeMom beckyr has a friend who can't have children due to medical reasons. So beckyr tries to involve her in her children's lives as much as possible.

But when beckyr says something like, "I have to go buy school supplies for my kids," the friend will reply:

"You know what you need to do. You need to make them go out and earn money for their own school supplies."

"WTF? LMAO," says beckyr. "Can you just imagine? 'Dear Chris's teacher: I'm sorry he doesn't have his binders and paper yet, but you see, he hasn't worked hard enough to earn them."

For years she's smiled and bore it, though lately she just wants to scream, "Stop telling me how to raise my kids!"

Then again, this advice can be just as annoying when it comes out of the mouths of people with children, too.

And as LKRA says, the street goes both ways:

"I am the last of my friends to have a child, so I get advice from all of them about what to do with my baby, from formula to car seats to CIO to solids to walking. I gave them advice when I was childless, and I'm sure it drove them crazy, but now they're getting their turn with me!"

How do you deal with childless friends giving you advice? Do you smile politely and just ignore it, or do you honestly tell them how ridiculous that suggestion is?

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