Advice not to give the mother of a wounded child.

I don't think I've ever met someone who enjoyed getting parenting advice in the grocery store line. It's funny how people like to be an expert on parenting other people's children, especially when they don't have a clue about the other family's social dynamics.

So here are some of the finer solutions that people have offered me as my wounded child is trying really hard to keep his act together in public, and how I generally respond.

That child is really too big for you to be carrying him.
My choices are carry him or listen to him scream. Trust me, you don't want me to put him down.

Just ignore him, he'll stop.
Ignoring a neglected child DOESN'T WORK. Infact it makes him worse. Far worse.

Have you tried the sticker chart?
It might work if my child had a desire to please me and avoid negative consequences. Neither of which holds any desire in his little heart. He doesn't recognize my authority as his parent, and I'm pretty sure bribing him with stickers isn't going to change that fact.

Just give that kid a swat. He'll stop.
Um, so this kid was probably a victim of abuse, so not only can we not "just give him a swat" but we really can't give our other children swats in front of him anymore either. Besides, I'm never going to give him the type of beating he's recieved before, so my little butterfly swats generally would fall under the category of "you really think that's painful? You really have no idea, do you lady" and therefor not be a deterrant anyway.

and my personal favorite:

That one looks like he needs to have his video games taken away when you get home.
Lets just talk about all the things that life has already taken away from this child. His biological parents, his siblings, his culture, a climate that he's used to, his native language, his best friend Igor, all of his toys, clothes and other belongings - including the shirt off his back, do I need to go on?
I'm thinking losing the ipod for 20 minutes isn't really going to inflict a great sense of loss or deprivation on this kid.

Any other "tips" out there that I've missed? Help me out fellow Mamas who've heard it all...


TC Avey said...

All I will say is God bless you and take it one day at a time!

And while I don't know what you're going through, I do know some well meaning people have infuriated me over my kiddo.

I absolutely cringe when I hear of "sleep training". I honestly think the people who managed to "get" their baby to sleep through the night just happen to have a baby who has a nature for sleeping. I'm not trying to take away from their efforts in getting their child to sleep through the night, just saying they shouldn't condemn others who aren't as blessed.
I've had people say I'm not trying hard enough. YEAH RIGHT! You spend a week listening to him cry. He doesn't wear out or stop like other kids.
The day he was born he stayed awake for HOURS! He has never been a typical baby regarding sleep, so all the sleep training books just don't apply to him.

My heart goes out to you. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
God bless. You're doing a wonderful job.

Ed and Carrie said...

These comments infuriate me! I hope I can come up with one of your responses when this happens to me. ( In my head, of course, but maybe not). ;)


Maria Mitchell said...

Unsolicited advice from people who don't know what's going on is frustrating. Just try to remember that they don't know what has gone on in his life - they think he's just a typical, spoiled American kid. :)


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