“They” don’t know your child

"they" don't know your child

People tell you lots of stuff when you are a parent. Often unsolicited and based on what the magical “they” say. Some of it you believe, because you desperately want or need it to be true. But the thing is, “they” don’t know your child. Absolutely nothing is certain in this parenting gig. I’ve had blind faith in at least three things “they” told me. Only to be bitter and twisted when those things didn’t eventuate.

“They” don’t know your child – Exhibit A

You’re baby will sleep better when he starts solids “they” said. Wrong! Some babies, perhaps. But not mine. Introducing solids made not an ounce of difference to any of my boy’s night wakings. Or day sleeps! Turns out my boys probably won’t (aren’t!) waking from hunger but because they wanted to use me as a human dummy the comfort of their mummy.

“They” don’t know your child, or your body, – Exhibit B

Second labours are always shorter, half the length, “they” said. Wrong again, darn it! “They” didn’t factor in things like a much bigger second baby (700 grams bigger) who has got himself stuck in an awkward position. 17+ hours of labour round 1 and round 2. I felt especially ripped off about this.

“They” don’t know your child – Exhibit C

Kindy will make your child tired, dog tired. Really? He will nap after school, “they” said. Umm, wrong. So, so wrong. He’s mentally tired, sure. But his body has energy to burn. He is like a puppy that needs to be taken for a decent run each day. Apparently kindy kids have been nodding off by 7. Ha! 8.30 and he’s still awake in his room, rearranging his books to open a book shop. Of all the things “they” told me, why, oh why, did my child have to ignore that one?

The moral of this story is simple. “They” don’t know your child. “They” might get it right for some kids. Hey, “they” might even be right about the majority of kids. But there is always a kid or two who will fail to conform. Despite the conventional wisdom “they”, those who dish out the parenting advice, don’t know your kid. Remember, take any advice that begins with “they say” with a massive chunk of salt. From experience, believing what that “they say” can sometimes lead to heartache. Or a really grouchy Mummy.

Any parenting advice that “they” have given you that simply hasn’t been right for your child?

24 thoughts on ““They” don’t know your child

  1. Oh it’s so true. I learned early on to smile and nod and completely disregard (or usually) whatever advice came my way. I guess it was handy to build up a backlist of possibilities but that’s all they are – just options which your child may or may not conform to. My second labour was so fast that I couldn’t have the drugs I had absolutely set my heart on, grrr. But I didn’t expect it to be because everything else about the pregnancy had been so unexpected, why should that have gone typically! Oh well. My biggest grrr advice was the people who kept telling me I should be over my morning sickness by now because I was into my second/third trimester. As if I should buck up and smile to please them when all I wanted to do was hide under the covers and groan. Sigh, still it’s over now thank goodness!

  2. Exhibit C is my child! He’s out cold by 7pm on kindy nights! Sorry! Haha. Mine didn’t listen to the ‘they’ll eat when they’re hungry’ advice. No, they will not eat vegetables just because they’re hungry, they’d rather just stay hungry!

    1. What I wouldn’t give to have a child that crashes out by 7pm! Oh yes, mine pay no regard to the ‘they will eat when they are hungry’ theory either!

  3. Maybe I seem a bit unapproachable (LOL) but people don’t tend to give me parenting advice!! I hear you though… People seem to think there is a one-size fits all approach to kids but every situation is so different.

  4. One size fits all….ha! I hear you on these things about ‘your child’. I am someone who writes advice for families with kids starting school and have added the one about how tired out the kids can get..and I can also see that school’s rules could also be making those who have had to sit and listen for much of their day want to burn off that ‘retained energy. I will remember this for next time I advise! Cheers, Denyse. #teamIBOT

    1. Oh thanks Denyse, no doubt the kids being exhausted at the end of a school day is true for many, many, children. It’s such a pity that it just isn’t true for my eldest son!

  5. A lot of rules around sleep aren’t true for my son either. It takes a lot of restraint for me to not tell people to bugger off when they offer advice now. Especially the people who say that they’d never *let* their child not sleep. You know because the dark circles under my eyes and cranky mood are obvious indicators that I love that my child thinks sleep is for the weak.

  6. I think that it’s nice that people try to be reassuring and put forward some advice but yes, I wouldn’t stand by it 100% at all because all children are different and what may work for the masses won’t necessarily work for us/our little ones. X

    1. Oh I certainly don’t begrudge the offering of advice, I just wish it’d apply to my kids every now and then!

  7. The solids one makes me laugh- the first foods like veggie puree etc usually have far less calories than the breastmilk or formula they live off and they start with such small amounts! Sleep more, yeah right LOL

  8. So true Claire! “They” told me that my daughter would grow out of her difficulties with other children – one year later still waiting! I haven’t had a relaxing play date with friends in one whole year!!

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