How Do You Handle Unwanted Parenting Advice?

Reading a post titled, “Feelings of Inadequacy,” reminded me of how the words of random strangers about our parenting choices can affect us so much. With the writer of the post, the seemingly simple question “Aren’t you nursing?” left her feeling hurt and inadequate as a mother. These three words made her question her choices, her capacities and whether she was being a good mom to her kid. It made me think about how I’ve handled stuff like this in the past. How do you handle unwanted parenting advice?

Have you ever experienced anything like this? Personally, I have had a few experiences with hurtful words of judgmental strangers and condescending unsolicited parenting advice–especially when I first became a mom. While I have always tried to accept them with a positive spirit, most of them just make me feel hurt, frustrated and yes, INADEQUATE.

But over the years, I have learned to take snide comments and unsolicited remarks more gracefully and casually. Although I take the time to listen to whatever someone has to say and sometimes even consider their ideas, I am certain in my heart and mind that I am the only person who knows the best way to raise my children.

How about you? How do you handle unwanted parenting advice?

Teaching Your Child to Pick Up on Social Cues

A child’s first teacher is their parents. Parents teach children how to walk, talk, and feed themselves. There are also many other things that children pick up from their parents just by watching them. This refers to sayings, body language, and facial expressions. Children have to learn over time to read social cues. Social cues are verbal or non-verbal actions that guide conversation or behavior. It is awkward when somebody does not understand social cues, but the only way to learn them is to be exposed to them.

Teaching your child how to read social cues might be pretty difficult because the best experience is learning from real life situations. I read an article about how to teach your child social cues on The Family Coach that I thought was interesting. The article suggests that you try things such as role playing and practicing at home.

Have you tried teaching your child social cues? How have you been successful or unsuccessful in your attempts?

Taking Good Advice (From Yourself): A Life Lesson

“Do as I say, not as I do”, is a saying everybody has heard throughout their life. Following your own good advice can be a really hard thing to do. It is easy to give advice to other people, but when it comes to helping yourself it is a lot harder to actually do something about it.

Recently on Catholic Mom, Theresa Ceniccola blogged about How to Follow your Own Advice. Theresa gave some pretty insightful tips on how to accomplish this difficult task. Theresa suggests creating a catchy mantra that you can repeat to yourself and make a part of your every day life. If your advice is working for other people there is no reason it won’t work for you if you just give it a chance. Another tip that I personally liked was writing down what you need to accomplish. If you write down the advice you should be taking it might help you if you are a visual person like I am. Finding a friend or family member to hold you accountable if you are not taking your own advice is also a smart way to enforce behavior.

Taking your own advice might not come naturally to you if you have been avoiding doing it for your entire life. However, if you know that you’re giving people good advice then you need to start taking it yourself.

Pope Benedict XVI Reminds Children to Make Quality Life Goals

The Pope spoke to children today in Britain and sent them a very positive message. The article below from EWTN.com tells all about that great message given by Pope Benedict. The message of searching for what makes you happy in life, while still remaining in touch with your religion and its faith and morals is obviously a wonderful message to be giving to young children. If kept at heart those words can really mean a lot and lead to a successful and religiously sound life style for young people.

“Today the Holy Father encouraged schoolchildren in the U.K. to aim high and “not to be content with second-best.” Seeking holiness and “true happiness” in their lives, he said, will lead them to sainthood.

An estimated 4,000 children were in attendance from all over Great Britain for the event, which was held on the sports field at St. Mary’s University College campus in London. The encounter was broadcast to all the Catholic schools in Scotland, England and Wales.

Observing that it is rare that a Pope, or anyone at all, has the opportunity to speak to all of the Catholic schoolchildren in the U.K. at the same time, he said he had something he wanted to tell them.

“I hope,” he said, “that among those of you istening to me today there are some of the future saints of the 21st century. What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy.”

“He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.”

He told the children to think about what kind of people they would like to be, and in doing so, he asked them “not to be content with second best … not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others.”

One of “the great tragedies” in the world, he said, is that people never find happiness. It is not to be found in money or fame, but the “key to true happiness,” said the Pope, “is to be found in God.

“God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue.”

And, in doing so, they will begin to avoid selfishness and greed, to feel greater compassion and to act with charity, empathy, kindness and generosity, he told them, and they will be “well on their way to becoming saints.”

Urging them to maintain sight of the “bigger picture” in their studies, he turned to educational institutions. “A good school provides a rounded education for the whole person,” he said. “And a good Catholic school, over and above this, should help all its students to become saints.”” – “Benedict XVI Urges Children to Pursue Sainthood”, EWTN

Advice from Pope Benedict XVI

“At the closing of a summer seminar for his former students, the Holy Father urged gratitude for the Eucharist, remarking that the Sacrament shows how “God’s style” is different than man’s, given the human tendency to give “only to those who will give us something back.”

The Pope’s former students gathered in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo between Aug. 27-30 for their annual seminar, which is often referred to as the “Ratzinger Schulerkreis.” According to Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano (LOR), the theme of this year’s encounter focused on the Second Vatican Council. This year’s gathering drew the participation of 40 priests, professors, religious and lay people.

LOR reported that the topic of the four-day seminar was chosen by the Pope himself from among several options proposed by the association of his former theology students. Also selected by the Pope was the main speaker, Archbishop Kurt Koch, the recently appointed replacement for Cardinal Walter Kasper as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Archbishop Koch’s addresses to the group examined “The Second Vatican Council between tradition and innovation” and “Sacrosanctum concilium and the post-Conciliar reform of the liturgy.”

Pope Benedict was present at the meeting hall, located near the Castel Gandolfo town center, for several events on the schedule. After Archbishop Koch’s Friday and Saturday sessions, the Pope participated in discussions. On Sunday morning, he presided over Mass for his former students and joined them for breakfast.

“At the end of today’s Gospel,” the Pope said during his homily on Sunday, “the Lord makes us see how, in reality, we continue to live like the pagans do. We extend invitations only to those who can invite us. We give only to those who can give back.”

“But God’s style is different,” he said, adding that “we experience it in the Eucharist.”

“He invites us to His table, us, who have nothing to give Him,” the Holy Father continued. “During this event of the Eucharist, let’s let ourselves be touched above all by gratitude for the fact that God exists, that, despite our having nothing to give Him and being full of sins, He invites us to His table and wants to sit with us.”

“But,” the Pontiff noted, “we also want to be touched by guilt for being so slightly detached from the pagan style, for living so slightly the newness, God’s style.”

“And because of this,” the Holy Father concluded, “let’s start Mass by asking for forgiveness: a forgiveness that will change us, that will really make us similar to God, in His resemblance.”” – “Holy Father Closes ‘Summer School’ Urging Gratitude for God’s Forgiveness”, EWTN

It is good to see Pope Benedict teaching groups of mixed audiences about how to become closer with God. He has students, priests, bishops, and lay people all listening to him as equals. This is a beautiful thing and I am glad to see it happening. His main point of God giving to those who have nothing to return is an extremely valuable lesson that people should really take to heart more often. After reading it I know that I certainly am going to try to be more generous to others today.