Saturday, May 1, 2010

I am a parenting expert

Hold on, hold, I know, that's funny. Come on...stop laughing. Deep breaths...there you go. Ok, so it was a hilarious and utterly ridiculously inaccurate title. I just thought we could all use a good laugh.

What I really wanted to do was to bring up the entire concept of parenting experts. Because, let's face it, it's ludicrous. I don't care if you are the Duggars or have a PhD, I don't think anyone can accurately call themselves an expert in parenting. Maybe there are some people who have some good ideas. And there are some people who definitely have more experience than others. But an expert? Really? I don't see it.

Ok, so I am only slightly under 3 years into this whole parenting thing, and most certainly don't know as much as many other parents, but I can tell you this: these kids, they can't be predicted or figured out. And if you think you've got their number, well, I can tell you that you're in for a surprise. Every kid is different, and every kid is different on every different day. This is what kids do - they keep us guessing. I think much of the parenting "expertise" out there comes from hindsight, which is all well and good, and nice that they want to pass it on, but it doesn't always apply to all kids.

The main problem I have with the parenting "experts" is that those of us who are still struggling to figure it out and do the right thing at any given moment are made to feel like idiots when the expert solutions don't seem to work. Are we doing something wrong? Is there something wrong with our kids?

And then, there's the issue of all the experts who can't seem to agree. On the subject of sleep alone there are literally dozens of experts who claim to have the one and only solution. How can it be? How can they all be experts and all be right when they disagree on the most fundamental aspects of child rearing? How can one expert say "cry it out" and another say "never let a baby cry" and both claim to be experts? And how on earth are we mere mortals in the parenting trenches supposed to know the difference?

So, I am throwing out the experts as of today. I'm sticking with friends, family, and my gut for advice, but mainly going with what seems to make the most sense at any given time. As far as I can tell, the experts are just as confused as the rest of us, so I am not going to let them make me feel like I don't know what I am doing anymore. So it's true, I am pretty clueless. But I think I am in good company, right?

1 comment:

  1. In my expert opinion, going with what seems to make the most sense at any given time sounds like a pretty good strategy to me.