How do respond to rude people who say, since you dont have children how can you possibly know how to raise a child??

User - posted on 02/28/2012 ( 84 moms have responded )

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I work with children and everyday i have a rude parent say to me that i cannot possibly know how to understand chidlren becasue i dont have any. Or a parent will rudely ask me why dont you have any children--what is your story?

I have worked with children for the last 25 years and studied child development in college.

I am so tired of the rudeness and the judgement of people!

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Kaitlin - posted on 02/28/2012

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That is rude of people to say to you. However, it holds truth. Just because you work and study children, and may understand behaviors, there is no way to truly understand how to be a parent and the relationship a child has with a parent without being one. Perhaps these parents feel attacked by your education or experience as a child care provider, and are feeling judged by someone who can't possibly understand their own position. I don't think it's right for people to ever be rude to another, but perhaps the fear of judgement is a two way street here.

Mary - posted on 02/29/2012

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Little Miss, perhaps were are different, because in general, I just don't limit myself to only taking the advice of others who have the exact same life situations or experiences that I have.



Someone doesn't always need to have "walked in my shoes" in order to be able to offer suggestions or insight that have value or merit. To simply dismiss the validity of another's viewpoint just because they aren't in my exact same circumstance is pretty limiting, and a bit foolish.



As well - being a parent does not guarantee that the advice or insight being given is valid, or even worthwhile. Just read a few of the posts on this page...these are mothers here - and half of them offer suggestions that are complete and utter idiocy.

Kate CP - posted on 02/28/2012

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Yea, it's rude to say it that way but...really, unless you have kids of your own it's a completely different world. You get to go home every day and be child-less. Parents are never child-less.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/28/2012

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Yes, it's rude, and could be expressed in a more appropriate manner.



However, I agree with Kaitlin and Joy. there are just some things that, unless you ARE a parent, and HAVE experienced it first hand, you cannot fully understand, nor relate to, no matter how much time you have "in the field".



To be quite honest, I find most people who say "I've studied child development in college" to be very rude, judgmental people towards those parents who are simply parents, and don't have an upper level degree.



I'm not saying that you may not have something to input on a subject, but perhaps it's your approach to the parents? We do tend to be pretty proud of ourselves for being parents, and advice, no matter how well meant, or accurate, can be taken the wrong way if couched in the wrong terms.



For example, my grandmother (a nurse), made me feel like the lowest scum one day, simply by one statement: "What did YOU do to make the baby sick enough to be in the hospital?". that's NOT what she meant to say, but that's how it came out, and how I interpreted it. Was I upset? Yes! Offended! Perhaps, when you're making your suggestions to parents, it's not the suggestion itself, but how it's phrased.

Janice - posted on 02/29/2012

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I worked in daycare for 5 years and I have my BS in early childhood education. I know a lot about children and I'm sure you do too. I'm sure there are times when parents should listen to your advice.

However, now that I am a mom and can 100% say it is very different. was lucky that the parents I worked with were (overall) nice and respectful and did ask my advice. But I'm sure there were times they knew my advice just wouldn't fly in the home environment.



I'm sorry the parents of your students are rude that really isn't fair to you, but being a parent is completely different from working with children,

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Jodi - posted on 03/02/2012

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I think, given the OP has not returned to the thread to clarify, and it is getting a little heated, we should lock it, as it is merely speculation. If she wishes to return and provide her input, she can unlock.



Thank you, ladies, for your responses.



Jodi

WtCoM Moderator

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/02/2012

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Kandie, first of all no one is bad mouthing her, so back off. Secondly, she has not come back to this thread to answer anyones questions or discuss things further to explain circumstances. This thread has taken on a life of its own. No one said she cannot be a fantastic teacher/day care provider. It is more about mothers saying if you don't have kids, you cannot know what it is to be a parent to said child.

Kandie - posted on 03/02/2012

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This woman never said she understood parenting or being a parent, she said she understood children!! She never said she gave any advice at all! ANYONE can understand children if they are willing to listen!!!!! And this woman who has spent 25 years with children probably has a heck of a lot more insight into children than a mother who has only been a parent for a few years. Any mother who thinks she knows all or "can't be wrong" is insane!! I've spent the last 7 years being a mother, and my third child teaches me as much as my first did. I listen to the advice of my children's teachers wholeheartedly because they have been around kids a lot longer than me!! I am also around other children that I care for as well, no I may not love them as much as I love my own, but that doesn't mean I don't understand them. All the women badmouthing the original poster need to learn to read.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/02/2012

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jennifer, i fully disagree. "Caring for and loving a child is parenting. Anyone that says differently never cared for a child before becoming a parent"



Just because someone cares for your child while being paid does not make them a parent, or make it them parenting your child. I used to baby sit. I was not a parent. My sisters had kids that I was unfortunately to far away to see often, but when I would be able to, and watch them, I was not a parent, nor was I parenting. When my son has play dates, and I am in charge of the kids, i am not automatically that kids parent.....even though I am a parent.

Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2012

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When a person says they don't know what it is like to be a parent to someone caring for their children they are just plain rude. Caring for and loving a child is parenting. Anyone that says differently never cared for a child before becoming a parent. I knew with the children in my care whether they were cranky tired or cranky hungry. It comes from being with the child for long periods of time on a regular basis. Caregivers are the closest things to parents without having children. I was a caregiver, became a mom, and now work in the school system with all age. No matter your profession when it comes to children you eventually know certain things instinctively.

Barbara - posted on 03/02/2012

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After raising my four children, and assisted in raising eleven others, I went to college, studied child development and became a social worker in the field. There are MANY things I wish I had known while raising the children I was responsible for bringing up. But, there is an unmistakable bond between parent and child that NEEDS to be recognized.

No matter what the child has done or is doing, the parent is protective of their child to the nth degree. In almost all circumstances, no matter what the parent may have done, the child still loves their parents, and wants their love and acceptance. This is a lifelong bond that exists, no matter what.

As a professional, understanding the dynamics is the most important introduction or preface into any discussion with parent or child. I don't think you must have children to understand these important dynamics, but to communicate respect, and ask the parents or child for their solution ideas before beginning to express any advice or solutions you may have thought of. Generally speaking, most parents will have knowledge of the issues that need addressing, and some great ideas on what they use at home that works already. We can all learn from each other, and respectful communication is the key to success for every child.

Lisa - posted on 03/02/2012

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I agree that IS rude. Some people have no filter.

But I can say from personal experience that there is some truth to it for me. I studied Early Childhood Studies in college, I too have worked with kids for 30 yrs. I was a nanny, teacher, program director for a daycare center, parent educator with Parents as Teachers and then finally at 31 a mother. When I was pregnant everyone thought I would be a natural because of my education and experience but boy were they wrong! I was anxious and the adjustment to my lifestyle was a rude awakening!

It did help me as a teacher/childcare provider that I was able to witness and experience first hand a child from the moment their eyes open to the moment they close and all that happens in between.It helped me understand so much more about how kids work and the nature versus nurture theory! It also helped me to have more empathy for the parents as well.

But that said... your love for children is probably what keeps you doing what you do. Being a parent is not in the job description! So keep up the good work and just smile and nod at the people who feel the need to ruin your day.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/02/2012

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Perhaps, with all of the debate occurring, the original poster, Peggy, could explain whether she's referring to solicited or unsolicited advice.



Because, honestly, there is a difference. My answer was aimed at someone offering unsolicited advice, which is almost NEVER welcome.



However, if it IS in a capacity where you are being asked, (paid, or just simply someone asking "what do you think") that's different. If they ASK for your advice and then make that statement, they are out of line. (then again asking a professional to give his "opinion" without scheduling a visit or appointment is also quite rude and unacceptable behavior)



So, I direct this at Peggy, the original poster: Do you OFFER the advice, or are you being ASKED? Please clarify.

Lesley - posted on 03/02/2012

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u dont have to have children to understand them! look at super nannie she'd kick anyones ass in understanding kids!!

Jessica - posted on 03/02/2012

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Peggy, I think what you can say to these people to diffuse that kind of attack is actually to agree with them. Tell them that of course no-one can ever have the intimate bond with their child that parents do, or know him/her as well as they do, but that all children show different facets of their personality when removed from the home/parental setting, and that is where you come in. Tell them that part of your job as an experienced childcare provider is to help them get to know how their child behaves when Mommy/Daddy isn't around, and how they as a parent can help from home by reinforcing daycare rules and showing their child that Mommy, Daddy, and Miss Peggy are all on the same team, and supporting each others positions.



Approaching it this way will smooth down the parent hackles by letting them know that YOU know they are FIRST in their childs life, while following it up with a white flag of peace - lets be on the same team - and a reality check "Oh maybe I should be working WITH her rather than AGAINST her" and it subtly implies that her negative comments toward you could be lending to how the child treats you in class.



Parents are possessive creatures when it comes to their children. I know I am. Having worked in childcare settings and also having been in the parents position of having to leave my little girl to go work, I can tell you for a fact that these parents you're talking to are already dealing with guilty feelings they cannot reason away. They feel like they're abandoning their child every day, and from this grows a certain defensiveness. They feel guilty so they react very STRONGLY to any intimation that there is something amiss with either them or their child, and you as the childcare provider become the prime target because deep down they are JEALOUS of you for getting to spend that time with their child when they can't. Understanding these feelings is key. At the risk of sounding Freudian, it's very much like the way you would feel toward a pretty woman that your boyfriend spent all day around when you were not home, and that your boyfriend comes home and talks about all day afterwards. Said pretty woman might be taking very good care of him, and has done nothing wrong - but you still have that constant feeling of jealousy.



If you can try to understand these underlying feelings that parents go through when putting their child into a childcare setting, it will give you a better frame of mind to approach their rudeness from, and turn it around into a partnership that will benefit the child best.

Gemma - posted on 03/02/2012

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lol had to laugh at this one as i am both i am a mother to 4 children and have worked in childcare for over 10 years and yes it is true that children are not text book and not all children fit the mould BUT you do not need to be a parent to be good at looking after children i know many many nannies and childminders ect who arnt parents and who do a wonderfull caring job based not just om the knowledge they learnt at collage ect but after many years of caring for many different children

Of course it is hard to understand the parent child bond if you have not experienved it but just because your a parent doesnt mean your right....sadly

The mother is bang out of order and i would tell her so... but the truth is parents are defensive i think its in biult even if you know the advice is right you still wouldnt want to admit that..even us childcare workers



My job yes is to care for other peoples children but i would definatly say if i thought something could be done differently...not better if the parent choses to ignore that then fine, because it is after all the parent that has to live with a child if they and being little buggers

Margot - posted on 03/02/2012

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Wow what a debate you have started Peggy.



My opinion is that it is a shame parents do this to you. And being a working mother myself of 2 boys I rely very much on day care. As much as I would like to stay home with the kids I can't. In saying that my leaders at day care are my 2nd most important people in my world as I need them to look after my most important people. I would never dream of being rude or condescending towards them.



And maybe some parents are not going to like this but let's get realistic we are sometimes blinded by our own children. Because they are the most perfect creatures in out emotions. It does not mean they are in working reality always. Do we maybe lose perspective? Some of the best advice and encouragement I have gotten as a working mother was from my day-care women.



Some of the most amazing CHILDREN people I know don't have kids themselves. But if you were to understand what it is like to be a mother to my children then you would be. I think that is my job not yours to understand. And let's not forget all of us probably have different roles and ideas of parenting, so it is a very broad statement to make.



I guess for me the parents that do that to you maybe feel guilty that they can't be there for their children (if you are a day care worker). Take it with a grain of salt, and try not to let it get to you. It is not worth it and their own inadequate feelings that are being taken out on you.



good luck

Rabaab - posted on 03/02/2012

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Hi, there are two points here.

I agree that you are a teacher since 25 years and you do have experience with kids, so on purposes of teaching you are right. But remember the parents know more about there kids. In my experience I know more about my child then the teacher.

[deleted account]

Are you still reading Peggy? I am wondering what you are thinking of the many differing opinions that have been expressed in response to your question. I hope we haven't scared you off. :-)

Rebecca - posted on 03/02/2012

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You need a perfect one-liner come back to use each and every time that will stop them in their tracks and make them think! Maybe "No I don't have children, Yes I have worked with children for 25 years". No other words, buts or explanations as you do not have to give any. Its your business only - you know you're well-qualified.

Aleks - posted on 03/01/2012

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Some of the respondees are assuming a lot of things.



The poster, Peggy Wehr, may not be a teacher, a kinder teacher or a child care worker.

She could be a psychologist!!! or Counsellor (spell?). Or better yet, in Child protection.

Also when one works children being told that she "cannot possibly know how to understand children becasue she doesnt have any". THAT IS STUPID and RUDE statment.



Not having any children does not mean one cannot understand children.

These parents are rude probably because they know what you said was the truth and truth hurts, they got defensive, because they know better but for whatever reason they sometime don't do better and that is what makes them feel quilty. So when things get put out in front of them they get defensive and rude. However, I must say, thats probably also because these are the kind of people that probably NEVER would admit to making a mistake, ever! Nor are they cabable of appologising to someone else when they themselves are wrong. Basically, just typically not nice people.

However, in their defence (and any parents') it is also a matter of how information regarding children is delivered. Like someone earlier said... if things are phrased in a harsh manner or if things are delivered at the wrong time... yeah... I guess may be anybody can get caught of guard and react not in the best of ways.



As for asking why you don't have children.... I guess its totally ignorant of people. Full stop. Its not just parents you may come in contact. I bet many a stranger may do the same if told you do not have kids. I thinks its just people being unthoughtful full stop.

Kate CP - posted on 03/01/2012

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I have to point out here that nobody has said that step-parents or adoptive parents don't count because they didn't give birth to the kid. To be a parent means you have children: whether biologically or not is immaterial.



To put it simply: if you do not live with a child and have a special bond with that one child and watch them grow and develop and become a person, you can't possibly know what is means to be a parent. Does that mean you can't be a teacher or a child care provider? Nope! It just means you don't know what it's like to be a parent.



There are some things as moms (step moms, adoptive moms, birth moms...whatever) we just know instinctively that we couldn't have known before we had children. I mean things like what a tired cry versus an angry or hungry cry sounds like. Or when we just know something is off with the way a kid is feeling or acting before they even get sick. It's a "mom thing". Always has been, always will be.



That doesn't mean a person who isn't a parent can't be a good (or great) teacher or care provider! And it doesn't give people the right to be rude. But when a person says "You don't know what it's like to be a parent" to a person who doesn't have children...they're right!

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2012

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I have to agree with Lynn on this subject. I am a mom now, but worked with children for many years prior to be a mommy. It was much easier taking care of other peoples children because you did not have the expectations that a parent has on a child. There was the rules of the class and there were punishments and rewards for breaking or following them. I can honestly say in my many years of working with a variety of children and parents that some parents are all thumbs. We love them anyway. But, I recently have come across a couple mom's that without a doubt do not deserve the right to wear that title. Too horrible to even go there right now. But just know it is all perspective. If you are a parent and rudely think your child care provider is not qualified to take care of your kid(s) because the provider does not have her own children then let me ask you this. Why do you keep taking your child back to them? Evidently they are doing something lovingly right with your kid(s). So, just becausesomeone doesn't have their own children does not disqualify them from having knowledge. There is plenty of parents out there who have no knowledge of being a parent and are messing their children up by raising children they know nothing about. You have a problem with this then try putting the other shoe on. Go to a foster facility/home and see the children that have been put out or forgotten because a parent thought they knew more than others. I have a foster child now that is so damaged by a rude parent that I am afraid he will flounder in the real world. He is completely unarmed for the reality of life. I just found out today that his little sister is headed in the same direction. So, let the rude parent ask and tell the rude parent you are there to help them raise your child to be healthy strong and selfsufficient. This is the job they are paying you to do and it would be nice if they let you do it. For the woman who wrote unsolicited advice is criticism. Well, so is the rude remarks or questions.

Kandie - posted on 03/01/2012

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I'd say just because I'm not an egg donor, doesn't mean I don't know how to love!!

Kimberly - posted on 03/01/2012

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It is very rude HOWEVER as a mommy of 2 I have to agree with the first 2 ladies. No one can understand the bond between a mother and her child unless she is a mother herself. Nor to truly understand certain behaviors of a child unless they are a mother. It took my 8 1/2 years of tears and lots of prayer to have my first baby girl and when I did I finally seen what people were talking about.

Pamela - posted on 03/01/2012

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When people make these comments to you the first thing you must do is to NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY!!!!!!! After all it's their opinion which makes it about them and not about you.



Secondly, smile and say, "I have worked with numerous children professionally for 25 years. I have the experience of being in a parental type roll to hundreds of children, not just a few, how about you? How many children do you have experience with?" If that doesn't make them stop and think nothing will.



Just remember that if you take it personally then you have accepted their poison. When you don't take it personally their [poison remains their own because you refuse to accept it.

Alexandra - posted on 03/01/2012

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Well, I would just say "that's rude what you just said. Shame on you!" and I would walk away after that.

Tricia - posted on 03/01/2012

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I used to work as a preschool teacher until I had to quit to have my two children (4 yrs old and a baby) and although I admit that there were a lot of things that started to make sense after having kids that puzzled me as a preschool teacher I still believe it would not have made a difference in my skills as a teacher whether I had kids or not.

This mother you are talking about is definitely rude, but it is important to acknowledge that she knows her own child the most - or at least that she cares for him the most.

I don't know what your job is that is related to working with children but I would say this as a preschool teache:

"Please rest assured that I know and understand children and that I have - not only studied hard but I also have a lot of experience having touched the lives of many and all kinds of children. But what I cannot possibly know is what it is like to be your child's mother. That is why it is important that you teach me everything you know and think about your child and we can work together to oversee her growth and maturity. And perhaps you can feel you can trust me to do what's best for you child. "

Jodi - posted on 03/01/2012

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I was only asking because I do think there is a big difference between advice that has been asked for and unsolicited advice. I can't imagine anyone being rude about someone not being a parent if they have specifically asked for advice.

Lynn - posted on 03/01/2012

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Of course not! I get ASKED all the time! And, when asked, I tell their parents what I think, and make suggestions. I spend more time on a daily basis with these kids than their parents do! After two or three years, yes, I do know them pretty well!



For example, I have a mom who sometimes has to drag her son out of the car because he wants to stay home with her. She has to go to work, and has told me many times how out of control he is at home, and how her parents, in-laws and brother can't stand her child because of his behavior. I only occasionally have to EVER discipline him because he knows my rules, and just doesn't act that way here.



So, then she comes in, and he has a sucker in his mouth, and she tells me she HAD to BRIBE him to get him in the car. She looks at me and says "I don't know why he doesn't listen to me." Hmm, maybe giving him a sucker when he's defying you isn't the right way to handle that! You don't have to be a parent to know what advice to give on that one!!!!!



I never said I know these kids better than their parents. I said that sometimes they're too close to the situation to see what is obvious to someone else, and can give another perspective. They take my advice all the time, and tell me they're grateful for the help.

Jodi - posted on 03/01/2012

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Lynn, do you go around giving unsolicited parenting advice to the parents of those pre-schoolers? And pretend you know THAT particular pre-school better than the child's mother?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/01/2012

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Nope. They grow up. That is all in the process of raising a child. They get older, so do you, and you grow and learn together.

Lynn - posted on 03/01/2012

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And how many priests and ministers give relationship, marital and parenting advice, when they have not experienced any of those things? Sometimes, it helps to have a neutral party look at a situation from a different perspective, and common sense really goes a long way!



I have been working with preschoolers for 25 years, far longer than ANY of their parents!!!



Have any of you had preschoolers for 25 years???????

Lynn - posted on 03/01/2012

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I'm so sorry that people are so rude to you! I've worked with kids for 25 years, too, and my oldest child is only ten. I started babysitting when I was 12, and stopped at 17, when I got my first full-time job (in fast food). After two years, I got my first job in a preschool, working with the preschoolers in the mornings, then the after-schoolers when they came in the afternoons. I worked there for several years, and became a YMCA site director when I was 23, while studying child development in college. Five years later, I moved to AZ and opened my home preschool. I took care of young preschoolers in my home for five years before my son was born.



My point is, I had a LOT of experience before I had my first child! I used to tell people that I waited, because I knew how much work and expense they are! I did have a few people who asked me why I wanted to stay at home, taking care of kids when I didn't have any. I told them it was career CHOICE, not just something I did out of convenience while my kids were young. Some people even thought it was better that I wasn't divided, taking care of their kids, and my own. I had seven kids, most of them in diapers, for years before I had my own.



Here's what I learned: you don't have to have your own kids, to know how to take care of them. I had people asking me for advice all the time about how to potty-train, deal with behavior issues, getting them to nap, and all kinds of things. Just because you don't have kids doesn't mean you have no common sense or know what to do in certain situations.



Having kids is different in that you have the expenses, nightime feedings and illnesses, constant messy house, and the responsibilities of caring for every need they have.



People who don't have their own kids are likely to be a lot more PATIENT because they're not annoyed with every little question, can really have fun with the kids because they're not making dinner, trying to clean the house, and rest after a long day at work.



Just tell people that you have 25 years of experience, and school and practical knowledge. You have more experience than most of the parents judging you! Tell them you have CHOSEN to work with kids, and that you love your job. Try not to let it get to you.

Kandi - posted on 03/01/2012

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Parents are a funny breed I think, and I have found the more children I have (I have four) the less I know, as they are all different and what works for one wont necessarily work for another. I take my hat off to teachers and child carers for the work they do, My sister has no children of her own and is a great teacher, My midwife for my fourth child had no children of her own yet but was absolutely wonderful to me and my son, and on the other side even though I am a mum to 4 great kids, I know I would be a terrible teacher and have no desire to work with other peoples kids!. Keep your chin up and keep up the good work.

Stephanie - posted on 03/01/2012

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Well I wuld simply say to those rude ignorant people that..the only qualification you need is the fact you used to be a child yourself? Just because you carried a baby for 9 months doesnt make them any more qualified because they too had to learn to deal with their own child and just like most children a stranger will know a child better than the parent. Because its with a stranger a child will be them self and its. Around parents that children put up a front. If a parent is rude to you the care taker of the child what does that say of the parent who is leaving their child with a person they dont trust or deem qualified!

Emily - posted on 03/01/2012

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I had worked with children for about 10 years before having my own and while there is a difference in working with children and having children, I feel that I am a better parent for having worked with children for so long. But a lot of what my children do I already have an answer or solution for.

That being said I would simply state that I have worked with a multitude of children intimately for over 25 years. How could I not understand children? What I don't understand is parents and what it is like being a parent.

Niele - posted on 03/01/2012

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There is no need for the rudeness, and very inappropriate for a parent to say things like that, but on the other side of the scale I think it is very different having your own, no one will ever know your child better than you do, and they are all so very different. While your years of experience and education do stand for something, there is not a book or manual that can explain a child. There are always too many variations as to why a child behaves a certian way, and so differently in different environments. I have found that the Childcare centre my youngest attends, tends to "over react" to simple things that are easily explained and while they have a duty to re

Annie - posted on 03/01/2012

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I usually say something along the lines of "Your doctor does not have to have Cancer to know how to treat it." People see what they want to see. Their silly words don't take away from who you are, they are just silly words. Be confident in yourself.

Vonnie - posted on 03/01/2012

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You know not everyone wants kids. There is nothing wronge with that & if you cant have children it's none of their business. You don't owe anyone an explination..

Neetu - posted on 03/01/2012

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I don't understand where this is coming from, it's your profession and why do people mix personal life into it. It's like we ask a divorce lawyer, how can you solve my case when you are yourself not divorced?



And the parents do KNOW that you are either child minding or taking care of them and not replacing mothers so why do you have to be a mother for raising a child, they are their kids and you are responsible that's it! Peggy make them clear that you are doing a beautiful job with beautiful human beings - kids and I believe you must be good at it that. does a teacher get to be asked that they need to be parents first to be a teacher, they all are doing their WORK that's it !



Their concerns or comments may seem rude to you but perhaps they are coming straight from heart, my son's nanny is not a mother and she is knows and raises my son much much better way than my own family , it's about the person and the PASSION for their work . Don't take their comments personal but try to show them your passionate side and they will understand soon , good luck!

Dottie - posted on 03/01/2012

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When they say, "Why don't you have any children?" just answer with, "I was busy learning good manners"...LOL

Sarah - posted on 03/01/2012

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I think a lot of parents feel this way because the truth is, until you are with a child 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, a true "understanding" of what it is like to be a parent can not be acquired. I too work with children and have for years, was very empathetic to parents and families, and believed I understood what it was like. There is a difference though in believing you know something through research and actually understanding it through experience. I had a huge eye opener after I had children and a lot of my views have since changed. I'm sure you're very knowledgeable and competent at your job, but parenthood is one of those things that can't be experienced through reading about it. I do think that it's really nobody's business however what "your story" is. I would just tell them that your personal life is not up for discussion.

Michelle - posted on 03/01/2012

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No offense, but.....Honestly, you can study all day, everyday, and there are still some things that you will not understand, until you have a child of your own. I experienced this first hand. I did not have a baby until I was almost 35.

Brianna - posted on 03/01/2012

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i think u can have study kids in school all u want but until ur a parent u dont truely no what its like.. sorry but i agree with those parents. it always makes me really angry when someone without kids trys to tell me what its like to have kids and how to deal with them.. honestly i simply laugh at them and tell them just wait they will learn how it actually is to be a parent one day.

Veronika - posted on 03/01/2012

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It is rude to say that to you like that...BUT... I have also worked with children for years. I am a licensed guidance counselor for children under 14 years of age and have a psychology degree as well (with many courses in child growth & development). However, although knowledge is important, the experience of parenting children is not something you can gain from books or as a teacher or counselor. I am sure you are a great and knowledgeable professional, but please do not mistake that knowledge for the experience and knowledge of parenthood.

Of course when dealing with special education population (which I have extensively) the educator has knowledge and understanding of the disorder that a parent frequently does not. But even here the educator cannot comprehend the day to day, minute to minute difficulties and joys of parenting such a child.

Kary - posted on 03/01/2012

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As a parent and as a previous daycare teacher you may not have the knowledge that a parent has about there child but you have the knowledge of a teacher and it is extremely rude for them to say such things...Yes I have both and yes I may have the knowledge of being a parent but it doesnt mean I know everything about my kids...When you leave your children at school or daycare the teachers spend more time with them that people may realize I know I certainly did when I worked there and I know at school my kids teachers know more about my kids because if you think about it your child only spends time at home on the weekends while during the week they are at school or day...And as far as them asking you why you dont have kids nicely say you dont really want to discuss it end of story

Karen - posted on 03/01/2012

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Man, there are a lot of judgemental people on this board...and HOW did y'all come up the OP thinking her advice was "golden"?? She NEVER ONCE mentioned advice or anything like that!! Apparently y'all read it, then added your own stuff? I'll bet she's sorry she posted...and I know I'LL never post for advice or to just vent here. GEESH!! I thought this was a board for help, not rudeness! I see a lot of Moms with small minds here and I'm out of here!!

Karen - posted on 03/01/2012

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That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. My daughter works with autistic children and she has no children, yet she understands those kids better than half the parents. SHE knows what will set off a behavior and avoid it, then have watch a parent do EXACTLY the wrong thing.

And as far as not "understanding the relationship"..bull. My daughter has a bond with her niece MUCH BETTER and more sincere than the child's mother.

The heart of a child and an adult does NOT have to be biological...that "point" would leave out a lot of loving step-parents and adoptive parents. It's not right...and certainly not fair.

As for how to respond to such rude people I would just look at them and not say a word. If they pushed, I'd simply say "Why would you want to know such a thing about someone you barely know?" If THAT doesn't do it, then speak to a supervisor and ask them to pull that parent aside and have a talk about boundaries. And don't share personal information with the clients.

Sally - posted on 03/01/2012

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I'm sorry, but it's true! You have to have one of your own to completely see the Big picture!

Trish - posted on 03/01/2012

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As a parent and teacher, I think many people hete are being rude too! Before I had kids I was, and still am, very close to my siblings kids. My sister always said if anything ever happened to her and her husband I could step in and take over because of the closeness. You dont have to be a parent to get the relationship, 3 of the best teachers I have ever known did not have kids. As teachers we see such a different side of the kids and many parents could not handle an hour in the clasroom (they openly tell me that!) I had aparent one year tell me that I couldnt possibly understand her daughter because she is so bright and my kids are obviously not as bright....really?! Parents assume because our job is to give feedback and support to their kids that they can do the same to our personal lives. I hope that the parents give you the respect that you deserve soon. My response to them would be the truth...it miht shut them up. (I chose not to or itjust didnt happen for me.) Or just smile and say everyones home lives are different! Good luck!

[deleted account]

To get back to the original OP (and I'm not sure if she is even still reading), if the advice you are giving is in a professional capacity and part of your job then there is no need for rudeness at all. It is no-one's business why you don't have children and is actually irrelevant to you doing your job. I have no advice how you could handle the rudeness except to say that if you are asked about why you don't have kids you could either say "why do you need to know?" or simply say "It hasn't happened yet". But parents will always be a little apprehensive about taking parenting advice from a child-less woman, it's just human nature.

Ileana - posted on 02/29/2012

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And sometimes knowing a child very well is what warrants the advise, not any criticism or opinions about their home life. Some times I would pick up on things that the parents missed, and they would be grateful, not berate me for not being a parent. Honestly, if you are spending up to 7 hours a day, 5 days a week with a group of children, you are going to learn things about them in an educational/therapeutic environment that a parent may not see at home. Like an other post said, if a parent is being sensitive it's their problem, not yours and if they have a problem with you because you are not a parent, maybe they should seek another place for their child where they feel the people understand more. Parents are going to do what they feel is best for their child (one would hope) and if this parent(s) continues to say "you can't understand a child because you're not a parent" and isn't removing them from your care, they are just being a stick in the mud and trying to ruin your day

Ileana - posted on 02/29/2012

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I completely understand how you feel. Parents assume that because you don't have children, that you can't possibly understand the unconditional love that they have for them. I find that's simply not true. I have worked with children since I was a teen, and I have cared for every child in my charge like they were my own. When one of my student's parents were getting divorced, I cried because I knew that she was hurting and couldn't fully understand why her mom and dad weren't together anymore. I also knew that some parents were in denial, or misguided in there impressions of their children because they were one way at home and completely different at school. When I leave from work, my students are still on my mind. "How can I help them more? What am I doing wrong or should change for their benefit?" These are questions that I ask myself as a educational professional And as a parent, because I am one as well. So I think it is wrong for a parent to judge you, you are not an unfeeling robot that as soon as they pick up their child you shut down for the night. And I don't think that you would be working with children for so many years if you didn't have some insight, or care about your student. Hope that helps.

Medic - posted on 02/29/2012

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You know thats like my OB's PA, man did she piss me off, she had NEVER been pregnant didn't have kids that that stupid bitch wanted to tell me the pain was not that bad and to just deal with it. F her......I don't care that she had read books and went threw school, she discounted what I was going threw because the books told her differently.

That is how I feel when people try to tell me how to parent when they either A: don't have kids or B: their kids are younger. I am 100 times more likely to listen and be interested in advice given from a mother of children who are older than mine. I like been there done that advice. Not what books freaking say advice.

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