Yes, we’ve all been subject to the annoying busy body who just can’t wait to tell us how we should parent or what we’re doing wrong. But occasionally, the unsolicited advisor has something really useful to share.
Over spring break, I started chatting with another mom who works as a guidance counselor for junior highs. She shared that in almost every instance when she talks to the parents of a child who is acting out and asks about their discipline approach in early childhood, in almost every case the parents were very permissive and employed minimal to no discipline. Her takeaway, which she shared with me, is that if you don’t impose discipline when they are young and you still have some authority, you will have problems as they get older.
That point was driven home to me last night while watching “High Society”, a new reality show about New York socialite Tinsley Mortimer and other socialites that she doesn’t appear to hang out with or even really like. It is a painful show to watch, mostly because of train-wreck Paul Johnson Calderon and his complete lack of self discipline. He is twenty something and still stealing things, breaking things and expecting his mother to fix it. This behavior is appropriate for a 2 year old, not a 20 year old. The most upsetting aspect is that his mother completely enables his behavior, wiring him tens of thousands of dollars and never letting him suffer the consequences of his own actions.
I would be mortified if my children turned out like that. Thanks to a little unsolicited advice from a stranger, they may be okay. Have you ever recieved helpful unsolicited advice?