How can people without kids be parenting experts?

Why is it that people who aren’t parents seem to think they know how to raise children better than people with children? It always looks easier on the outside. Recently I talked to a young pregnant gal who has no children. She was quick to judge (black and white thinking) and thought some of my parenting techniques were not right. Instead of being curious and asking why I did or didn’t do something, she shook her head and said, “I would not have done that.” Maybe, maybe not. We will see after she has her baby.

Once you have kids, you find out they all have different personalities and interests. Some are a little more challenging to raise than others. My son was full of energy. My mother thought he was hyperactive when he was two but she wasn’t used to being around an active two-year-old boy. He loved life and was always looking for something new to explore. Our daughter was calmer when she was young but I knew she was going to be strong willed when I couldn’t distract her from getting into cupboards during the crawling stage. In elementary school we found out she has auditory dyslexia. I never tried to squelch her strong will because I knew it would help her when she grew up. I gave my kids lots of choices. Sometimes they would make a poor choice and I would correct them and help them learn by their mistake. There is a lot to consider in family dynamics and often those on the outside don’t understand much of it.

A friend in church today said that the most important thing is to just love your children. I agree that unconditional love is critical in raising kids. That doesn’t mean that you don’t discipline them. It does mean that you love them no matter what they do. Setting limits and being consistent are important for parents to do so their children feel secure and loved.

Have you had experience with people who do not have children looking at you like you don’t know what you are doing? Please share some comments about them.

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