Complete. Child. Expert.
(Um...ya...I was a little arrogant about it. ;)
I do have a lot of experience (7-8 years and a bachelor's degree) educating and caring for other people's children. But when I became a Mother a year and a half ago...the child rearing professional in me suddenly disappeared.
|My daughter and I.|
Every once in a while, I have someone who knows a little bit about my education background who asks me a question. Aaaaaannnd....Either I don't want to come across sounding like a know-it-all or I have just plain forgotten. Not everything, but most things that I know, would probably help them. If I happen to have an answer come to me off the top of my head (rare), I try to share it but still feel scared. (Yes, fear...I know.)
You see...it's kind of like a nurse or doctor coming across a car accident. They have the training, they see the situation, and they are obligated to stop. They may not know exactly what to do right away, but they know that they have the training and they should use it when a medical need arises. If they were to drive right past, nobody would be the wiser. But they would know they passed up the opportunity to help.
For me, I see a situation where a Mom is struggling... not just a random situation on a bad day....but perhaps a friend who is having trouble with a certain child behavior. Maybe they are refusing to potty-train. Maybe they are showing aggression. Maybe they won't pick up their toys when you ask them to. The parents are concerned with the situation and they talk about it.
It's funny, I'm around other Mom's quite a bit and we talk about certain behaviors and situations with our kids and how to handle them. Some people give advice. Some people give LOTS (to much) advice. Some people sit back and listen. Some people have a great heap of good advice but don't give it...
When I was a student studying early-childhood education, I vowed that I would be an advocate for parents and children. And here's me...I admit...sometimes I drive right past. Because I'm fearful...I pass up an opportunity to help. I'm scared that I might not know exactly what to do, or even worse... what if I'm wrong... what if my suggestion doesn't work?!?
I can usually figure out the main problem behind the situation, I know where to find good information and how to implement help in a successful way. I know I have resources that can help... but, I just don't want to give unsolicited advice. (That can be really annoying.)
With children, each day presents itself with a new or reoccurring problem or situation that has to be worked out. Most of the time the behavior or problem requires a parents help to fix it.
So answer me this: Do I help??? Do I give advice??? What do I do???