Peachy’s Advice on Offering Advice

Being little isn’t easy. I may not have a cranky boss to answer to, laundry to fold, or a mortgage to pay, but that doesn’t mean being a baby doesn’t have its own challenges. It’s not as easy as it looks and some days it’s downright hard.

When you’re little, nobody listens to you. Yesterday when mommy disappeared into the kitchen to make my afternoon snack it took a whole 3 minutes of my best car alarm impersonation before she came back. If I was bigger, I’m sure it would take no more than half that time.

Being small makes it hard to reach things. The other day daddy left the remote on the couch when he left the room. I stood on the very tips of my toes, and stretched my arms as far as possible. I could touch that remote, but I just couldn’t get my fingers around it. It was so frustrating that I almost cried. So close and yet not close enough!

Being new often means that I struggle with things that most people seem to have no trouble with. Other people walk around like it’s easy, but I find it very difficult and scary. When I try to eat with a spoon the majority of my food falls off before I get it in my mouth, but others operate that spoon like it’s an extension of their arm.

Worst of all, when you’re little people are always telling you what to do and how to do it. Don’t shove mommy’s cell phone under the couch. Food goes in the mouth and not on the floor. Stop taking your diaper off. Get that giraffe’s foot out of your ear. Do this and don’t do that all day long.

Just because I’m little doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing. I may not have mastered walking and eating with a spoon but I’m not incompetent. Maybe there’s a reason why I have that giraffe’s foot in my ear. Perhaps I simply have a different way of doing things and there is nothing wrong with that.

I know that all the unsolicited advice isn’t malicious. I understand that the intention is to help, but sometimes it’s better to let an individual figure things out on their own. People need to be given the freedom to find their own path. Even if the path they find doesn’t run entirely parallel to the path taken by most people.

baby surrounded by toys and stuffed animals

I’m an individual

It is much more helpful to be supportive without smothering a person’s sense of self. The temptation to offer advice is strong but doing so might undermine a person and shatter their confidence and self-esteem. Everyone needs the freedom to go their own way without fear of judgment, reprimand, or a big ugly “I told you so”.

I’m not saying that we should never share the knowledge that we have or help other people. What I am saying is that understanding when to intervene is just as important as the intervention itself. So how do we know the difference? As far as I can tell, there are two main guiding factors in determining how unsolicited advice is likely to be received.

  1. The nature of the problem we’re trying to help with. It is best to avoid unsolicited aid in matters that are highly personal, subjective, prone to emotional attachment, or likely to cause the person to feel self-conscious about their abilities.
  2. How involved we have taken it upon ourselves to become. A quick and simple tip is generally easy to accept. Nagging is annoying. Helping to the point of taking over someone’s project is not very helpful at all.

The most obvious time to offer our assistance or insight is when someone asks for it. Another good time to spring into actions would be if someone is in imminent danger of serious harm. If other people are having an open debate on a subject, it’s probably safe to join in with a bit of our own insight. There is also the option to simply ask if assistance is required.

If you find yourself to be the kind of person that can’t bottle up thoughts and opinions, then I suggest you start yourself a blog. You can scream your advice into the blogosphere and see who shows up to listen. If people find your advice less than helpful they can, and probably will, click the button in the top right corner marked with the X.

So if you see me struggling to shove a giraffe’s foot in my ear, just leave me be. It might look like I need help, but I don’t. Perhaps you think it’s a bad idea, but it’s not your foot or your ear. You may be sure that it won’t fit, but this is something I need to discover for myself.

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29 thoughts on “Peachy’s Advice on Offering Advice

  1. Very sweet. Babies are so little but so determined. I love the way you are trying to see everything through her eyes.
    #Blogstravaganza

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  2. As soon as I found I was pregnant with my first people started throwing advice at me from all angles. I’m quite good at deflecting said advice, but truthfully it gets a little much after a while! Great advice Peachy! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza, hope to see you again next week xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some people become fountains of advice when a baby is near, even if that baby hasn’t even been born yet. When I was in mommy’s tummy people were always trying to give us advice too. I think the covered everything from my birth to when I learn to drive. Thanks for visiting.

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  3. 20 years ago when my 1st was tiny I took her to a store in mid July with no socks and was scolded by an elderly woman. I felt like such a horrible mother and my poor child spent the next week wearing socks in the summer…. until someone else asked me what I was doing leaving her in socks when it was so hot. That was the moment that pleasing other people isn’t even on the radar when it comes to raising your children. I was doing just fine without any unasked for advice.

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  4. Oh I loved reading this. Peachy has some sound advice there. Sometimes you just want to be able to figure something out for yourself without someone else trying to help. I like the advice to start a blog if you can’t help yourself when it comes to giving out advice! 🙂 #ablogginggoodtime

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    • Thank you. As a mom I often get unsolicited parenting advice that I would rather not get. It got me thinking about Peachy and how much advice she gets every day. She is very independent and often makes it clear that she would rather figure things out on her own. I could relate to that. Thanks for reading.

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    • Thanks, but it doesn’t just apply to the little ones. We could probably all use a bit less advice sometimes. Everyone likes to tell mommies what to do. Thanks for reading.

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  5. Such a cute post as ever with some very thoughtful insight! I love experiencing the world through her eyes. So if you see me struggling to shove a giraffe’s foot in my ear, just leave me be….that line had me in hysterics! Thank you for linking to #stayclassymama xx

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    • I’m happy to hear that. Peachy is quite the character. The other day she was walking around with a blanket over her head and deliberately bumping into things. She got furious with me for taking the blanket away so I had to give it back and let her continue. Thanks for reading.

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