This past week, I was given some unsolicited parenting advice from someone that I do not know well.
Now you may think that this post is going to be about my response to this person. And in years past that may have been the case.
Not this time…
What surprised and delighted me was that I didn't respond. Rather, I just smiled and went on my way to deal with my daughter.
Now I am not being smug about this. It is not that I don't relish opportunities to improve my parenting. It is not that I don't think other people have valuable advice. It just happens that in this particular case, I knew in my heart and in my head what was best for my daughter.
So, my response was simply, "hmmm… "
Be Clear in Your Heart and Your Head
Knowing what to do in the moment and making choices that work for you is easier when you follow these steps.
1. Be clear on your values and objectives.
In the above instance, my daughter was not behaving in what I considered an appropriate manner for the activity.
My objectives were to
- make my expectations clear to her.
- get her to stop doing what she was doing.
- be respectful toward her and not cause her any embarrassment.
- continue enjoying the activity.
I was not seeking to alter the behavior of the other kids. I was also not judging the kids or their parents.
2. Acting in a way that supports your values and objectives.
In this case I quietly made my expectations clear to my daughter. And I made it clear that we could talk about this at greater length at home, but now was not the time.
I did not speak to the other kids or their parents about the kid's behavior.
3. Being ok with any "fallout" that may come from standing firm and acting on your values.
Now this is the hardest part for many! How many times have you ruminated and second guessed yourself?
As much as I am confident that I made the right choice in the moment, this incident is still lingering for me.
So, what do I do?
- With time, the thoughts just dissipate.
- When they do come up, I try to focus on something else.
- And I continually I remind myself of my values
ADDed Perspective Bottom Line
Stand firm in your values. At least one person will be pleased by your choice. You, of course.
Is there a place that you need to take a stand today?