A word of parental advice…

More than once in the last week I’ve heard/seen a parents use some variation of this phrase with very small (as in TWO YEARS OLD) children:

“You’re not making good choices.”

I have one thing to say to these parents (actually I have a whole lot of things to say to these parents, but this one is at the top of the list):

medium_8849491767Two-year-olds do not make choices.

Two-year-olds act purely on desire. Their number one job in life is to do stupid things that will a) make a mess, b) put their lives in danger, and/or c) help them learn something by trying it.

I figure these misguided parents are either completely uneducated about child psychological development or trying way too hard to make the people around them think they’re great parents. All they’re actually doing is frustrating themselves, teaching their children nothing, and making me want to throw the red penalty flag:  Illegal Procedure! Give that child back until you learn enough to be his/her parent!

Truthfully, I feel sad for these parents. They’re unknowingly trying to rush their children’s development, and in the meantime missing out on how fascinating and entertaining the condition of being two years old can be.

These parents, not their kids, are the ones who are not making good choices.

photo credit: cacaye via photopin cc

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12 thoughts on “A word of parental advice…

  1. OMG soooo true. As a childcare provider for over 20 years and a parent myself, I want to say THANK YOU for having the guts to post this!!!

    I can only hope every single parent reads this. Especially the line that states they are reading toooo many books!!! Stop reading books and the internet and actually be a parent.

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  2. Well, that is absolutely hilarious. There are few situations where those three words would be particularly helpful. Unless your ball bounces in front of a cattle-carrying semi.

    You’ve pointed out another parenting catch phrase that people use inappropriately all the time. I don’t think I’ve ever heard “use your words” bring about an improved response, but people say it all the time. These parenting catch phrases are just as upsetting as the pop psychology catch phrases people spout without knowing what they’re talking about.

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  3. The sad thing is that a number of phrases sound like such good parenting to people who don’t realize what a child is developmentally capable of. It reminds me of when someone was encouraging my then-toddler son to “use your words” rather than grabbing for something. At the time, my son’s entire spoken vocabulary consisted of “truck,” “ball,” and “moo” — none of which could be applied to the situation at hand.

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  4. I remember how wonderful it was to watch them explore new things. Like walking barefoot in the grass. Yeah, they kind of do their own thing, and if the mom stresses over trying to teach their 2 year old to make choices is a downhill ride. They don’t understand too many complex tasks or understanding the consequences of their actions. To tell them that they made a poor choice….? I may be standing all on my own, but a mom will know when their child is comprehending their *poor choices*, and it isn’t at 2 years old.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right. I think it’s a phrase parents pick up because it sounds like it came straight out of a “how to be a good parent” book and it makes them feel all warm and fuzzy about their parenting skills.It’s sad. And I hear it ALL THE TIME.

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