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. :) )
User avatar
HalcyonFlower
Posts: 179
Joined: 22 May 2014, 19:45
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Currently Reading: Hearts In Atlantis
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-halcyonflower.html
Latest Review: "Not a Blueprint: It's the Shoe Prints That Matter" by Nina Norstrom, Author
Publishing Contest Votes: 2

Re: Backseat parenting?

Post by HalcyonFlower » 26 Apr 2016, 21:20

Definitely cultural differences in many regards - in many, a generation acts as the parent to the next, not necessarily caring whose kid is whose. This is something I grew up with and has its ups and downs. My cousins and I talked about this and came to this conclusion: if the kid is being a little jerk, we can discipline each other's kids. But for the most part, we leave it up to the parent in question. If it comes from a place of love, I see nothing wrong with it but if it comes from a malicious, selfish, competing, etc. lens, then there's a major problem.
Latest Review: "Not a Blueprint: It's the Shoe Prints That Matter" by Nina Norstrom, Author

L_Therese
Posts: 585
Joined: 25 Sep 2013, 05:21
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 30
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Currently Reading: American Psycho
Bookshelf Size: 1975
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-l-therese.html
Latest Review: Dido: The Tragedy of a Woman by David Lane

Post by L_Therese » 26 Apr 2016, 22:06

HalcyonFlower wrote:Definitely cultural differences in many regards - in many, a generation acts as the parent to the next, not necessarily caring whose kid is whose. This is something I grew up with and has its ups and downs. My cousins and I talked about this and came to this conclusion: if the kid is being a little jerk, we can discipline each other's kids. But for the most part, we leave it up to the parent in question. If it comes from a place of love, I see nothing wrong with it but if it comes from a malicious, selfish, competing, etc. lens, then there's a major problem.
I saw this a lot when I lived overseas. In my village, raising children was largely communal. Teachers, extended family, and neighbors all exercised authority over all the kids and helped raise them. It was different than anything I had seen before, but my students were nearly all respectful, pleasant, and diligent teenagers. Clearly, there is merit in the idea of group parenting when an entire culture or subculture embraces it.

User avatar
Rhoe_Marrow
Posts: 50
Joined: 26 Apr 2016, 10:47
2017 Reading Goal: 20
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Bookshelf Size: 21
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rhoe-marrow.html
Latest Review: Audible Book of your Choice by Amazon

Post by Rhoe_Marrow » 27 Apr 2016, 09:57

Backseat parenting is a "please God no" in my opinion because it suggests that the person giving the advice is on the same level of the parent being given the advice. Every parent should not be belittled just because their parenting style is different from another parents style.
Now if two good friends decided to "compare notes" on how they each handle their own kids, in order to educate themselves on alternatives to parenting, then that is fine. However I would not call that "backseat parenting"

User avatar
Veda
Posts: 21
Joined: 26 Apr 2016, 11:56
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-veda.html
Latest Review: "Antique Mirror" by D.F.Jones

Post by Veda » 27 Apr 2016, 11:21

I come from a family where my extended family used to live with us or near us for most of my childhood. During my teenage years, the one thing I hated the most was when my aunts and uncles would criticize my mom for something that I did or was my choice. They would blame it on her bad parenting. As a teen, I got mad when they criticized her but now looking back, I truly appreciate what my mother did for me because she understood exactly when I needed discipline and when I just needed to make my own choices. I am now successful in my career despite many personal obstacles and I attribute that totally to my mom and how she raised me.
Latest Review: "Antique Mirror" by D.F.Jones

User avatar
HalcyonFlower
Posts: 179
Joined: 22 May 2014, 19:45
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 4
Currently Reading: Hearts In Atlantis
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-halcyonflower.html
Latest Review: "Not a Blueprint: It's the Shoe Prints That Matter" by Nina Norstrom, Author
Publishing Contest Votes: 2

Post by HalcyonFlower » 27 Apr 2016, 20:06

I saw this a lot when I lived overseas. In my village, raising children was largely communal. Teachers, extended family, and neighbors all exercised authority over all the kids and helped raise them. It was different than anything I had seen before, but my students were nearly all respectful, pleasant, and diligent teenagers. Clearly, there is merit in the idea of group parenting when an entire culture or subculture embraces it.
I feel the keyword is 'entire' there. In these cultures, people generally just want the kids to be good people instead of leaving it to one person. But when there's a diverse environment, a lot of things get mixed about. I'm constantly in debates with people about raising children and methods of discipline. Where I am right now, I'm seeing a lot of children being a reflection of parent's ego instead of being seen as they are.

I also feel that if people don't like others parenting their kids, have a talk to the other person about it. Can't guarantee it'd be well and good after but seriously, better out than in. Or even have a chat with the kids about it if the suggestion was made in public (because kids are darn smart when it comes to power dynamics).

Just my two cents. I'm sure others will have other thoughts on it.
Latest Review: "Not a Blueprint: It's the Shoe Prints That Matter" by Nina Norstrom, Author

User avatar
Paliden
Posts: 459
Joined: 17 Sep 2013, 15:38
2017 Reading Goal: 100
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: White Cargo
Bookshelf Size: 1030
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-paliden.html
Latest Review: "Justified Anger" by Jennifer Colne

Post by Paliden » 03 May 2016, 16:50

It's definitely unfair. And it's very stressful, both for the parent and the child. Seriously, if someone doesn't ask your opinion, don't give it.
Latest Review: "Justified Anger" by Jennifer Colne

User avatar
H0LD0Nthere
Posts: 444
Joined: 18 Jan 2014, 23:04
Favorite Book: Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis
Bookshelf Size: 52
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-h0ld0nthere.html
Latest Review: "Adventures in space & fiction fantasy" by Robin G Howard

Post by H0LD0Nthere » 25 May 2016, 21:52

Two different issues here.

1/ Unsolicited advice/criticism.
Coming from someone who knows the family well, it may be JUST what the parent needs to hear. But it will still be VERY difficult for them to receive it. We care so much about being good parents that being criticized over THAT, is pretty painful, and you should expect some initial defensiveness. But if it is an important issue that may affect the child long-term (I'm not talking about giving juice instead of water), then it might be worth the strain on the relationship, to speak up.

Coming from someone who sees the family only occasionally, or is seeing them again after a long time, or even from a stranger, this kind of thing is basically worthless. Yes, you can tell a lot about family dynamics just from watching a family for 10 minutes. Agreed. At the same time, there is SO MUCH you don't know. If you saw them in a public place, especially late in the day or at a mealtime, you may have just witnessed the most stressful 10 minutes of that day. (This goes double if they are traveling.) In all likelihood, the parent knows they just screwed up and they are just as upset about it as you are.

Also, some kids are just much more spirited/stubborn/sensitive than others. You can't conclude "bad parent" solely because a parent doesn't have a magic button that calms their young child down in 30 seconds or less.

Unfortunately, judging parents has become a popular indoor sport. I've been guilty of it, myself, especially before I was a parent (thinking my experience as a child was enough to go on ... it's not). It's been made worse lately, fanned on by TV shows like Nanny 911 and What Would You Do?, in which basically, The Right Thing to Do always means meddling in strangers' business. Our standards for how children should be treated have gone up a lot in a generation or two - which is mostly a good thing - but ever-increased Parent Judging is one of the costs.

On to the second issue ...

2/ Removing the child from the home.

Seriously, for physical or sexual abuse ONLY.

Although it would be nice to wave a wand and have a child be magically relocated to a much more loving home, in practice, removal always starts with an investigation which is hugely stressful on the family. This stress may exacerbate problems that were minor before (making removal more likely), may create new problems, may even lead to the family breaking up. Its initial effects will NOT make life better for the child. So, please think carefully before initiating one of these.

Now about what to remove for.

If you remove for obesity, where will you stop? Preservatives in the diet? Bedtimes too late? Watching too much TV, or the wrong kinds? Playing outside unsupervised, or its opposite, not getting enough exercise?
Who will set these standards? Who will check up to make sure they are being followed?
What about parents who are barely making ends meet ... will those families be punished because they can't afford sports lessons and organic food for their kids? Some people feel that teaching a child religion is abusive. What if your religion gets put on the bad list? There are just so many black holes here, the mind boggles.

Like all of you, I too would like to guarantee every kid a safe, enriched, happy, healthy childhood ... but attempts to create utopia always end up creating its opposite.
Latest Review: "Adventures in space & fiction fantasy" by Robin G Howard

AuthoressofMystery
Posts: 61
Joined: 12 Aug 2016, 20:36
2017 Reading Goal: 123
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: Finding Poe
Bookshelf Size: 348
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-authoressofmystery.html
Latest Review: "Learn English, Spanish, French, German, Turkish and Persian - Vocabulary Book Series" by Vahid Asghari
Reading Device: 1400697484

Post by AuthoressofMystery » 30 Aug 2016, 17:49

Having been subjected to backseat parenting, I would say I am against it. I am not saying that I am against receiving occasional advice from an elder, more experienced individual. As my dad told me after I had my son, "Everyone will have an opinion about how to raise your child better than you already are. They will think they know more than you do, and feel it their duty to point out what you are doing wrong and give their opinion on how do things their way. But it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks as long as you are following your intuition."
Since I had so many well meaning people giving me advice, I started researching things that addressed issues I was dealing with so that I could either agree or disagree with the "advice" being thrown at me and have solid reasons to back up my own opinions which generally quelled their arguments. Mainly because I actually had science to back up my opinions with facts. They weren't just thoughts I had on a subject unlike most of the backseat parents I was dealing with.
While I don't agree with backseat parenting, there are ways to help without offending. Opening a discussion about a recently read article or book helps, as does staying open to what the other's opinions are about the subject.
Doing so much deep research has come in handy. If anyone has a problem, they know that they can come to me, because I know what I am talking about. But my dad's advice can be seen both ways. I don't like other people to criticize my parenting, so why would they appreciate mine?

As for child mistreatment, I feel that in this discussion the point is moot. If a child is being neglected, then advice is probably too late and hopefully an intervention can halt any negative issues brought on by bad eating habits. Again, parental education is very important. Aside from the feeding of a child, anything else is rather off topic. :-)
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Edmond Burke
Latest Review: "Learn English, Spanish, French, German, Turkish and Persian - Vocabulary Book Series" by Vahid Asghari

Post Reply

Return to “"Eating Bull" by Carrie Rubin”