Backseat parenting?

Discuss the March 2016 Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.

(Note, Carrie Rubin's previous book The Seneca Scourge was book of the month in December 2012. :) )
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Scott
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Backseat parenting?

Post by Scott »

[This is a discussion topic for the March 2016 book of the month Eating Bull by Carrie Rubin.]


Do you think it’s unfair to do backseat parenting? Why or why not?


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Post by gali »

I think it is unfair to do backseat parenting, and don't do it to others. People should mind their own business, and should not try to educate others. Their way isn't necessary superior, or the right one, for other people. It's easy to be critical to others, but one doesn't always aware of the whole situation. If people want advices, they will ask for it.
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Post by nkkimble1 »

I say it isn't fair to do backseat parenting, i've personally been through this and it's just an added stress. We live life to learn and to grow by backseat parenting you might mean well, but your in a sense saying " your not doing enough" when in fact you don't know all the details you just see just a little part of whats going on.
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Post by TeaAndSpooks »

I think it depends on the parents. If there is any kind of verbal, sexual or physical abuse of the child, then I do think that things need to be said, people need to be called, etc. The child needs to be in a good, healthy, loving environment. Some people are just not cut out to be parents.
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Post by gali »

TeaAndSpooks wrote:I think it depends on the parents. If there is any kind of verbal, sexual or physical abuse of the child, then I do think that things need to be said, people need to be called, etc. The child needs to be in a good, healthy, loving environment. Some people are just not cut out to be parents.
I agree with you about that.
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Post by Shelle »

TeaAndSpooks wrote:I think it depends on the parents. If there is any kind of verbal, sexual or physical abuse of the child, then I do think that things need to be said, people need to be called, etc. The child needs to be in a good, healthy, loving environment. Some people are just not cut out to be parents.
Yep. This.
If a child is in immediate danger or you are witnessing physical harm, then yes. By all means, do what you can to protect the child. But for the most part, believing that most parents are genuinely doing the best they have with the resources available, is usually true.
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Post by KAV »

Shelle wrote:
TeaAndSpooks wrote:I think it depends on the parents. If there is any kind of verbal, sexual or physical abuse of the child, then I do think that things need to be said, people need to be called, etc. The child needs to be in a good, healthy, loving environment. Some people are just not cut out to be parents.
Yep. This.
If a child is in immediate danger or you are witnessing physical harm, then yes. By all means, do what you can to protect the child. But for the most part, believing that most parents are genuinely doing the best they have with the resources available, is usually true.
This might be a little off topic but (with what you guys are saying) do you agree with the case of taking the overweight six year old child away from her parents?
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Post by MsMartha »

Wasn't there an actual case a few years ago when a child was taken from parents because of obesity? As a parent myself, I think that removing a child from family is something that should only be done if there is nothing else that can resolve the problem. Ideally, the overweight child AND her parents would have been helped!
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Post by chytach18- »

TeaAndSpooks wrote:I think it depends on the parents. If there is any kind of verbal, sexual or physical abuse of the child, then I do think that things need to be said, people need to be called, etc. The child needs to be in a good, healthy, loving environment. Some people are just not cut out to be parents.
I agree that children needs to live in a healthy environment. In some countries it's the law. However, there are trained specialists who know how to asses the environment and child's well-being. Neighbours, friends or by-passers should not advise on the god or bad parenting. They might do more harm than good. I am against backseat parenting (I've got some professional knowledge on the subject).
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Post by PashaRu »

Helpful suggestions from family members or close friends (especially those who have experience in raising children) are fine, and should be accepted with graciousness, even if the parents don't agree. But if it comes in the form of criticism, uninvited counsel, or trying the force the parents to change their methods of parenting, that's a completely different story. In general, no one has the right to tell someone else how to raise his/her children.

However, as mentioned in some of the comments above, if the child or children are in danger or the parents are inflicting/allowing a seriously dangerous unhealthy lifestyle, then intervention may be needed. It's difficult to draw a clear line here, and I wouldn't pretend to be the one who knows where to draw it.
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Post by CataclysmicKnight »

This all depends on how far the backseat parenting goes. If it's suggestions out of earshot of the kids, that's perfectly fair if done respectfully. But NOTHING is worse than arguing and making the parents look inept in front of the child/children. The worst thing anyone can do is make the kids feel like there's a major discrepancy on what they can or can't do, or feeling like "well mommy doesn't want me to eat this candy but daddy says as long as mommy doesn't know, it's okay". Or, worse yet, "mommy and daddy don't want me watching this movie but my uncle/grandma/etc took me anyway!" I've been on both sides of this one, and in hindsight I see the damage I did when doing the backseat parenting myself. I've massively disagreed with another parent's parenting recently, but any sane adult knows the only way to change the situation is to respectfully approach that person privately and explain calmly. If that doesn't work, there's no point in pushing the issue :D
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Post by Momlovesbooks »

I agree if there is danger to the child, then some form of intervention is necessary. The child's well-being should come first. If close relatives or trusted friends are giving sincere advice, it should be treated with graciousness and the knowledge that's it's being done in love. On the other hand, someone who is not close to the family and unaware of the many intricacies of family life, should not be criticizing and giving unwanted advice.
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Post by Lovely_Loreley »

CataclysmicKnight wrote:This all depends on how far the backseat parenting goes. If it's suggestions out of earshot of the kids, that's perfectly fair if done respectfully. But NOTHING is worse than arguing and making the parents look inept in front of the child/children. The worst thing anyone can do is make the kids feel like there's a major discrepancy on what they can or can't do, or feeling like "well mommy doesn't want me to eat this candy but daddy says as long as mommy doesn't know, it's okay". Or, worse yet, "mommy and daddy don't want me watching this movie but my uncle/grandma/etc took me anyway!" I've been on both sides of this one, and in hindsight I see the damage I did when doing the backseat parenting myself. I've massively disagreed with another parent's parenting recently, but any sane adult knows the only way to change the situation is to respectfully approach that person privately and explain calmly. If that doesn't work, there's no point in pushing the issue :D
I totally agree. The effectiveness/need for backseat parenting depends on a lot of factors. I personally wouldn't do it with someone I don't really know, but when I'm with friends or other families where I know either the parent or the child personally, I have no problem saying things like "Hey, have you tried this?" or "I've found that your child responds really well to ___________". I'm saying this not as a parent but as a childcare professional (I work in day-cares and summer camps). Sometimes the parent isn't aware that certain methods work with a child's behavioural problem, or they hadn't even though of such and such an action to get a desired response from the child. So I think that if done respectfully for someone you know, backseat parenting suggestions can be helpful. But I completely agree that it shouldn't be done in front of the child (in case of confrontation), and under no circumstances would I allow a child to do something that the parent had forbidden. I always hate when parents become the "bad guy" because someone else let the child eat the sweets/see the movie/play the video game, etc.
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Post by hsimone »

TeaAndSpooks wrote:I think it depends on the parents. If there is any kind of verbal, sexual or physical abuse of the child, then I do think that things need to be said, people need to be called, etc. The child needs to be in a good, healthy, loving environment. Some people are just not cut out to be parents.
I have the same thoughts. Unfortunately, some people might not see what they are doing is wrong for their child. Someone needs to see it and speak up for the sake of the child.

-- 16 Mar 2016, 11:51 --
CataclysmicKnight wrote:This all depends on how far the backseat parenting goes. If it's suggestions out of earshot of the kids, that's perfectly fair if done respectfully. But NOTHING is worse than arguing and making the parents look inept in front of the child/children. The worst thing anyone can do is make the kids feel like there's a major discrepancy on what they can or can't do, or feeling like "well mommy doesn't want me to eat this candy but daddy says as long as mommy doesn't know, it's okay". Or, worse yet, "mommy and daddy don't want me watching this movie but my uncle/grandma/etc took me anyway!" I've been on both sides of this one, and in hindsight I see the damage I did when doing the backseat parenting myself. I've massively disagreed with another parent's parenting recently, but any sane adult knows the only way to change the situation is to respectfully approach that person privately and explain calmly. If that doesn't work, there's no point in pushing the issue :D
I agree with this as well. When talking about what is right/wrong for the child, it should be done in private. Good point!
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Post by LivreAmour217 »

PashaRu wrote:Helpful suggestions from family members or close friends (especially those who have experience in raising children) are fine, and should be accepted with graciousness, even if the parents don't agree. But if it comes in the form of criticism, uninvited counsel, or trying the force the parents to change their methods of parenting, that's a completely different story. In general, no one has the right to tell someone else how to raise his/her children.

However, as mentioned in some of the comments above, if the child or children are in danger or the parents are inflicting/allowing a seriously dangerous unhealthy lifestyle, then intervention may be needed. It's difficult to draw a clear line here, and I wouldn't pretend to be the one who knows where to draw it.
Well said! I completely agree!
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