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Offering Parents Advice

Mommy Dearest: When Is It OK to Offer Advice?

Mommy Dearest –

We recently attended one of my son's classmate's birthday party at the local firehouse. As part of the celebration, the firemen gave a demonstration of what to do in case of an emergency. During the lesson, one child began getting antsy because he wanted to climb on the firetrucks. Then he melted down completely and had an all-out tantrum on the floor. The mother kept shushing him and asking him to listen. After bringing the party to a halt for five minutes (with no signs that the tantrum was going to end), I suggested that she may want to take her son into another room until he calmed down. She quickly shot back that I should save my parenting advice for my own child. Was I wrong to interfere in this situation?

– Just Trying to Help Mommy

To see the response from Mommy Dearest,

.

Dear Just Trying to Help Mommy –

We've all been in situations where our lil ones misbehaved. Childhood meltdowns always do seem to come at the most inopportune times – and when everyone is watching us. While I normally would tell you to mind your own business, this particular situation was affecting everyone else at the party. If the party was indeed drawn to a halt while everyone waited for the mother to gain control of her child, I think you were fine to make the suggestion.

— Mommy Dearest

Submit a question for this series at the Mommy Dearest Group on our new community page.

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snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 6 years
oh gosh in my old age i am mixing up the 3 to's and the three there's so often
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 6 years
agree that its not parenting advice as much as 'you're being really rude please stop making us all suffer, lady' social advice. however parenting wise it is also not a bad idea for her son to be removed and think about whats going on. she's wrong for not doing it earlier. i wouldn't do what you did but if i saw someone do it really politely and not look like a total bitch, id think, wow she has guts. anyways i feel bad for that mom too....she was probably to frustrated and flustered to think what to do. and she probably didnt want to take the fun from her son
jenni5 jenni5 6 years
Agree with amandachalyn. This woman should have had some common courtesy and removed her child from the party. But then none of us were there and we don't know exactly how or what you said to her (and in what tone). But I would have said something too.
amandachalynn amandachalynn 6 years
I would have said something. Just as I would have taken my kid into another room so he wouldn't ruin the party for the other kids. It was wrong of that mother to let him carry on like that, because it was ruining a birthday party. I wouldn't have wanted to cry if someone said this to me, nor would I snap at them, because they're right!
Abilew Abilew 6 years
I'm actually not sure I agree. We're all trying our best - for the most part - right? Who among us hasn't been in a similar situation where it was our kid who was doing the flipping out? Certainly, I wouldn't have snapped at you for offering your advice, but as I dragged my kid away from the party, I might have rolled my eyes and whispered angry things under my breath - I might have even wanted to cry a little. That said, I would have probably wanted the mom with the upset toddler to take him outside for a bit, too. I just wouldn't have said anything. Rather, I'd probably just stand there and feel terrible for the mother while simultaneously thanking my lucky stars it wasn't me...yet.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
i agree, this wasn't unsolicited advice, it was informing her politely that her child was being a major disruption and asking her to deal with it in a way that might actually work so i don't blame you for this, but generally, unsolicited advice is annoying
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
I agree with normally minding your own business. While I personally wouldn't have said anything, I don't think this is really parenting advice.. this is more of a we've been sitting here for 5 minutes unable to continue an event/function/whatever because he was disrupting it maybe you should remove him so it can continue type thing. Kind of like asking someone who continually lets their cell phone ring or answers it during a movie to step out until they can turn it off/finish what they are doing. so, in short, i wouldn't have said anything, though i would have stared at her in disbelief, and I think it was incredibly rude of her, I don't really think this was that big of a deal. She should have taken him out long before he actually halted the situation. Tantrums are nothing new or out there with kids, but its rude to subject others to them. I always take my daughter outside if she's having a hard time.
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