This is a society where we believe “it takes a community to raise a child”. Therefore, we are automatically entitled to giving parenting advice to others- bad enough before they ask for it, and worse still in the face of a child that is not well behaved.
Well, just in case you did not realise, these are the assumptions you may have consciously or unconsciously made about the recipient of your advice:
1. That they need it
2. That they don’t already know about it
3. That they have not tried it before
4. That they are not doing a great job at parenting
A badly behaved child is not always a result of bad parenting. Some children genuinely struggle with appropriate behaviour.
That child who just can’t sit in one place or follow instructions might have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
That other child who keeps making that “weird noise” might have Tourettes syndrome.
Oh! and that child who had a meltdown at the hairdresser’s might have SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder).
That child who can’t wait their turn and keeps crying might have AUTISM.
And that child that seems very violent, temperamental and disruptive might have ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder).
So when you feel the urge to dole out that unsolicited parenting advice, or cast that judgemental look or murmur “na wa oh!”, how about trying EMPATHY. It is understanding what someone else is going through by putting yourself in their shoes. If you have not parented a special needs child, you don’t know what it takes to parent a special needs child.
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