Momversation: When to Give Parenting Advice to Friends?

Is giving parental advice more tender than any other kind of advice? When Martin Luther King Jr. was told to slow down on integration and the civil rights of people of color, was that welcome advice? One can give advice and thankfully, one can always reject it.

Jessica Gottlieb asked the question. Me, Asha, and Maggie answer.

What do you do ?

3 thoughts on “Momversation: When to Give Parenting Advice to Friends?

  1. hey. I Totally agree. Telling your friend to quit her job is not a GOOD idea at all. Telling a friend who is struggling being at home w/ her kids and wants to get out and work (feeling guilty) to get a job, that WOULD be a good Idea…why? B/c if she changes her mind—she can quit. ~ no problem

    Daphe! I love your vlog! I gave you an award on my blog—check it out if you’d like =D You are definetely a COOL MOM.

  2. We are so vulnerable when it comes to parenting because there’s no handbook, the consequences of screwing it up are dire (and unknowable for years), and we are dealing with extensions of ourselves in every possible way…so it’s PERSONAL. Emotional minefield, indeed! That said, I totally will share anecdotal “I” stories (ie, never “you should do X” stuff) if I think it will either normalize what someone’s experiencing, or genuinely be helpful. Like I’ll say, ” I totally understand what you’re going through. X child did the same thing, and one thing we found helpful was to do Y and Z.” In general, that seems to work and I’ve never had problems with anyone. I think it depends whether you look at the situtation as an opportunity to dispense loving advice, or whether you are bringing your own unconscious insecurities to the table and inadvertently making someone feel crappy. But it’s not unlike relationship advice, in my opinion. You always need to tread carefully, because that “jerk” might just become her husband one day!! Or she might actually change her mind about divorcing that “cheater” of a husband. In these and similar matters, you have to have a gauge on your friend and the situation, and use lots of tact. Great topic!

  3. wow, I can’t say I agree with everyone here, I would be pissed if my friend acted so condescending to me when I was asking for advice. In fact just recently I vented to a friend about my two year old, she also has a two year old, I begged her for an idea or solution to my problem and her response was so diplomatic and non helpful I felt like I was talking to a robot. Listen, if your friendship could not stand up to something like this then is not a friendship worth saving. Unsolicited advice is different but to tell your friend oh I would do exactly as you are doing and offer her tea is so condescending and wrong. At lease act like you are trying to put some thought into it and offer to help her look for other mom advice online…anything! That is what friends do.

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