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Advice: Nobody Can Tell Me Nothin’

2012 December 18

Everyone has an almost equal measure of their own advice to give and an aversion to taking it from others. Advice can often be thinly disguised bragging, or delivered in such an overbearing manner without consideration of your particular circumstance that it rightly goes unheeded.

I experienced the latter at a business lunch several months ago when I was deluged with parenting advice from a father of two young boys. They are three and six, I think; I wasn’t really listening.

 

“Never Alone” by Emiliano Spada

I remember thinking, “He has no idea what I’m dealing with or how much of what he’s saying simply wouldn’t work in our situation.”

That doesn’t mean I don’t take advice, or criticism for that matter; I just don’t take it randomly.

But there are sources that work!

Our parenting classes, on the other hand, were packed with advice and instruction on what we could expect and actual case studies of what other foster parents did that worked.

People you know who have or still do foster parenting are a great source of information and advice. Once we committed to our call to foster parenting I interviewed several people who had already been there. If you don’t know anyone, ask at your place of employment and your church; somebody you know knows someone who is fostering and they (the foster parent) will be more than happy to speak with you.

Friends who have adopted kids are good people from whom to seek advice. I had occasion to seek out advice this last spring from my friend Curt when I was considering holding one of my boys out of baseball due to a behavioral issue.

My son had a great first year of baseball, gaining skill on top of his natural abilities. He even pitched. None of that would have happened had I not (1) gone to my friend and talked to him and (2) took his advice and let my son play.

If you have a foster child then you have a kid in therapy. Their therapist is also there for you and his or her advice can be depended on.

Your kid’s therapist can either affirm your approach to a particular problem or set of problems; or she can let you know that what you are doing isn’t going to work with this particular child.

The keys to all of this are being open to good advice from the right sources, and your willingness to listen to others who may, in fact, know better than you.

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