One of the favourite things parents like to do is tell other parents how to parent.
It’s all part of something I call Parent Entitlement Syndrome. Once somebody procreates, they become an instant expert on the best ways to parent and under no circumstances will they keep those opinions to themselves – no matter how insufferable they become in the process.
I’ve heard a lot of parenting theories over the years, from the “evils” of vaccinations to the benefits of throwing chicken pox parties to how to train a child to use the right side of their brain more than their left.
I can always tell when an unsolicited parenting opinion is about to be launched because the person will see somebody else’s child do something in front of them and get this look of constipated paralysis on their face. Then they roll their eyes, take a deep breath and unleash their genius on whoever is within earshot.
It’s quite breathtaking to see just how entitled some people are tell others how to parent their children.
“Oh…you do that with your child?” they’ll ask, the words drenched with all the indignity they can muster. “Hmmmm.”
After a short pause, they will duty-bound to set you straight on what you are doing wrong and how much damage you are doing to your child. Seriously, your child’s entire future rests on this advice, so listen closely.
One area I hear about regularly is the subject of tattoos. My daughter Emily is 19 and has a few tattoos. Some of them she’s even done herself because she’s an artist and her body is a canvas.
It’s not what I would do, but it’s not my body. As long as she’s not physically harming herself, I stay out of it. We’ve discussed the consequences of having something that permanent on your body, and she’s identified certain parts of herself she will avoid inking, such as the face.
But, as I said, it’s her body, her choice. So to all the parents who see my daughter’s tattoos and feel the need to lecture me about her being too young, just go away.
I don’t care what your opinion is. It’s meaningless to me. Worry about your own perfect child.
Even if I did care, it’s a moot point because Emily is 19 and it’s her body. I have no say over it, nor should I.
The worst part is when somebody gives me their unwanted negative opinion of tattoos while my daughter is in the same room. She’s too kind to ever say anything, but it hurts when a so-called grownup tries to say that having tattoos is somehow bad.
The fact is, these loudmouth parents don’t know anything about parenting. They’re making it up as they go along, just like the rest of us.
Some of us just choose to keep quiet about it.