Friday, May 23, 2014

"If That Child was Mine..."

Unsolicited advice comes aplenty when you have children. "You're feeding him cereal already?" "You're not feeding him cereal yet!?!?!" "She still in diapers?!?!," and so on and so forth. I think you have to take a lot of it with a grain of salt, and move on.

When my oldest was little, he was way too nice (as in saying, 'Excuse me' when he took a soccer ball from someone else on the soccer field). People in the family told me I needed to tell him not to be so nice. I didn't listen.

That's okay though, I didn't mind a bit then that he was nice, and I don't mind a bit now. He's grown into a fine young man, with a wife and child and he's one of the best (at both) that I've seen. And although he's now a big tough gym rat and military guy, he's still very, very nice.

When my second oldest was little, we were told not to let him make his own path so much. But I liked his fierce, but not disrespectful, independence.  "He'll grow up to be a rebel!" I was told.  Guess what? They were right. 

That's okay though, I didn't mind a bit then, and I don't mind a bit now. He forges his own path, in his quiet determined way, and he's still fiercely independent, but never disrespectful. And he's grown up to be a fine young man too, even if he does sometimes choose to go against what others want him to do. I say have at it! Life is for living, not for letting someone else live it for you.

When my daughter was little, one of her grandmother's told us we'd better not let her climb in bed with us at night or she'd be doing it until she was big. She was right!  That child is 15-yrs. old now and will still mosey on into my room and fall asleep next to me on the bed.

That's okay though, I didn't mind a bit then, and I don't mind a bit now. I know those times aren't going to last much longer at all, and I cherish every single time they do.

Now because my youngest is so nice and soft/kind-hearted, a well-meaning family member has told me I need to toughen him up or he's going to get hurt in life. I've been told it will be my fault when that happens for being too nice to him. That he'll takes things too hard when hard knocks come along later in life. 

Well you know what I think? Life has enough hard knocks in it for all of us, and he'll come across them no matter what I do. I'm not going to intentionally say or do little things to hurt his feelings (You need to holler at that boy once in awhile!") to try and toughen him up (just the thought of that is awful to me). And one day I hope he'll look back and think, 'You know what? My mom was always let me, be me. And that's okay. I appreciated it then, and I appreciate it now.'

Unsolicited advice is often from well meaning people who love our children too.  But that doesn't mean they're right with what they're saying.  Sometimes the best advice taken, is the advice you give to yourself (to ignore the unsolicited advice). 

80 comments:

  1. People seem to come out of the woodwork when they think you're doing something wrong as a parent. I always get defensive when that happens and try to steer clear for a while to avoid any more confrontations.

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  2. Armchair advice seems to come from every which way, I just nod, pretend to agree when really I'm thinking something to do with the f word lol people should be who they want to be and live how they want to live, crap is gonna happen no matter what. And as for many things best advice ever, never take advice from someone who hasn't been through what you've been through. As they are full of crap, usually lol

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  3. I have always been a firm believer that you should never tell anyone how to raise their children! In fact, you should never say anything (unless there's abuse or something going on of course). Sounds like you did a good job of not listening to their advice and it sounds like it paid off :)

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  4. What works for one doesn't work for all. I'll never understand why people get so darn judgmental about parenting! It's a very individual thing based on the child and parents involved!

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  5. GREAT post. I agree 100% -
    Although they may mean well, it might not be what you are wanting for your child...

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  6. I just enjoyed reading about your kids. You obviously raised your boys extremely well and didn't let other people dictate how it should be done. Your pride in them shines through in your writing. As far as your other two, that remains to be seen. lol! joking! :)

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  7. I always loved the advice I never asked for. You are so right - life has enough knocks, our job is to help our children learn to recover from them all the while knowing they have a safe loving home to come home to. Sounds like you did a great job!

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  8. Just having this conversation this morning with Kevin about our oldest who is very kind hearted and sometimes even a bit naive, but like you I said she will definitely learn and don't want to make her jaded too soon or quickly now, but will be there when she has to learn always.

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  9. I tell my kids we have to be Teflon at times and just let stuff roll off us. I don't have time to be upset all the time with others. You're doing great mama!

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  10. I think that this is one of the difficult facets of parenting. Some days I am better at letting these sort of things role off my shoulders than other days. You are right - the best advice we can give is to listen to ourselves!

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  11. My Mom does that all the time -or did when my friends children were young and her grandchildren were young-I always tried to tell her to stop it--leave the poor parents and kids alone! It sometimes worked--By the way-all those kids are just doing fine now as adults! (In spite of my Mom!)

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  12. I don't have kids, so trust me, I give no advice.
    People thought my cousin was raising his daughter to be a little princess. Now she's a teenager, and she's both beauty and brains, very outgoing, willing to try anything, and an amazing young lady. My cousin knew what he was doing.

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  13. People mean well I guess, but honestly they just need to mind their own business. There are plenty of parenting instances when someone, somewhere, is going to find your decisions controversial in some way. They should keep it to themselves! You're the parent, you know what's right for your kids.

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  14. You've let your kids be who they want to be not what someone else wants them to be. That's being a good parent. You have done very well ignoring those folks. Good for you.

    Have a fabulous day. :)

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  15. Thanks for your advice. Again i will let my kid what he is. I used to tell him always don't do this or that!

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  16. Ugh, I know exactly what you're talking about here - my husband and I get all kinds of unsolicited advice, constantly. It's so annoying. You just have to do what is best for your kids - the best that you can and ignore everyone else.

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  17. So many have their own opinion, but you know your child. You have their best learning experience and they will become the person they are to be.

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  18. Everyone seems to think they know the perfect way to parent at times. But no one knows your kids like you do, and YOU are the parent for a reason!

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  19. I sorta hate unsolicited advice! For the most part, I think every kid and situation is different.

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  20. I, too, have been inundated by unsolicited parenting 'tips' galore; it took a while, but I learned to ignore it. My daughter (and stepsons) have grown into wonderful, caring, responsible young adults; each with their own unique personality and gifts and I'm proud of them.
    Your love of your children shines through every time you mention them; relying on your own wisdom and intuition worked well for all of you!

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  21. The only advice I give is sleep when they are sleeping *if possible.

    If people ask about anything else, I'll tell them. Only if they ask though. I've had people ask me about potty training, breastfeeding, and getting them to go to bed. I struggled with breastfeeding, so my struggle is what I talk to them about. It does get better, easier over time. With potty training I tell them general tips I've learned, or heard about. I've always been told my kids go to bed very easy, so sometimes people will ask me what we do? Then I tell them.

    My co-workers were the worst with bad advice. They told me to spank my kids, set them in line. They are very old school. I don't think that kind of discipline works with our values as parents.

    My oldest sister has said some things that rubbed me the wrong way. I just vent, and go on. She's not horrible. My younger sister and I have kids the same ages, so we'd share what works, and what didn't.

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  22. Sometimes it's best just to hear the older generation. Just because we've birthed them doesn't mean that we're always right in how we raise them. There again, I'm not saying that we're always wrong either. But they have experience on their side. :-) (side note - however, you can't be giving me advice if your children are running amuck!) LOL!

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  23. I don't give advice. At all. That's the one think I really love about my mom and mother in law. They NEVER corrected my parenting skills. My mom always said I needed to figure out what works best because she already did her parenting. Now it's my turn to do mine. We all gotta learn what works best for us, not what worked for everyone else. I think you have it figured out pretty well. Your kids all seem like well rounded, respectful people!

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  24. I hate when other people give advice :) I don't give advice and I'm not great about receiving it. My oldest didn't speak until he was 4 and everyone thought he should go to speech therapy including his doctor. I put my food down and said no. He now is reading at a 6th grade level in second grade and has no speech problems. He spoke when he had something to say and not a moment sooner :) I think we know our kids best and even the best intended advice doesn't necessarily work for our kids or situation. I always go with my gut, I know what works best for my family and I am willing to live with whatever the outcome of my decisions are. Great post :)

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  25. Hear, hear. Unless safety is an issue advice should not be given until (and unless) it is asked for.
    And I love that you let your babies be themselves.

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  26. You have a beautiful mother touch to your kids. That's really nice that's why they respect you. Bonding is important.

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  27. I agree with you. When people try to give me advice on how to raise my kids I take it with a grain of salt. If I believe that I am doing the right thing and my kids are happy and healthy because of it I am going to stick to my guns and continue to parent them how I see is best. It sounds like you are a wonderful mom.

    Have a terrific weekend!

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  28. You need to tell them to mind their own business. Having raised two, almost three, you know what you're doing.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/

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  29. People always seem to have advice about other people's children! Like I always tell my daughter, I was the perfect parent... until I had kids. Now I know that there's no one right way to raise kids. Just keep doing what you're doing, I'm sure your kids are all wonderful people.

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  30. Unsolicited advice is soo unwanted. And yet, everybody wants to give it to you. I love getting it when I have four kids. Like I don't know what I'm doing.

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  31. Unsolicited advice is hard to take sometimes. But you have to live and learn your own lessons I guess. If you are happy, then you made the right choice.

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  32. I totally agree Rosey... I don't tell other people how to raise their children.. and I don't want anyone telling me how to raise mine.. My oldest was wickedly independent.. I had to let her go her own way, she turned out fabulous, she is married to the love of her life, has a beautiful little boy and a great career..

    The youngest soft spoken, I wanted her to be a child for as long as possible... you get to be an adult before too long ... so why push it..

    I don't let other people tell me and I agree with you:)

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  33. Great post - I am not a parent but I think it some ways it crosses many planes you do know what is best for those closest to you :)

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  34. Great post! We all have our own unique outlook on life and there is no certain way to do things. I know I get a lot of advice on all the things I am doing wrong, but then I see my children being kind, getting straight A's, being responsible, and I know I am doing things right.

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  35. Hi Rosey, it's easy for people to give advice when it's nit their own children. You sound like you have really nice kids. Your little one is so adorable and looks so sweet. Do what is best for you and your family is my moto. Take care and have a nice long Memorial Day weekend.
    Julie

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  36. I think you are a GREAT mom and you raised your kids just right. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

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  37. I do not like unsolicited advice either. My son is almost two and now I'm hearing all the good stuff... heh

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  38. Great post! I always just to try to smile and move on when people try to give me advice. What do they know anyway? And by the way, I would NEVER intentionally hurt my child's feelings to toughen him up. Um..what?!

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  39. I have never had that happen to me but I know of friends that have had unsolicited advice. The best tip is to just ingore it if you don't think it applies to you!

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  40. Every parent does something wrong in raising their kids, but that's okay! I have two kids that are completely opposite and I love that about both of them...I can't wait to see what kind of adults they grow up to be like....but for now I cherish the good and cherish the bad!

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  41. My son is super polite but I have set him down to explain that there is one thing to be nice and another to be a doormat and allow people to take advantage of you. We were recently at the fair and he allowed every single kid to cut in front of him so we had to teach him to learn how to stand his ground and that it wasn't that he needed to be mean but that sometimes you just don't allow people to treat you a certain way. He is working on it but sometimes needs a little motherly encouragement.

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  42. Amen to this! You're doing parenting RIGHT!!!

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  43. You know, what I think you should do is... never mind.

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  44. I believe that every parent has their own parenting style. What works for one person may not work for another...

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  45. I agree. No one needs to hear it and it only cause hurt feelings. You are the best judge for what is right for your child.

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  46. COuld not agree more! My respones is always "thats a really interesting idea"...then promptly forget what they said and do what I think is right LOL

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  47. YES! Having 6 little ones the things people say can be hilarious, I have recently started being not so nice back. Strangers need to have more of a filter when out in public especially when it comes to others and their families. It's no ones business.

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  48. I believe every child needs to be parented differently. By that, I mean, what works for my 6yo son is definitely NOT going to work with my 5yo daughter, and what works with either of them likely won't work with my 1yo daughter. I'm okay with that, because I love seeing their personalities flourish, and as long as they are kind to others and respectful, I think they'll turn out just fine. Even if one wears his heart on his sleeve and another has the determination of a pit bull with a new rope.

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  49. I try and ignore any comments like that now. We know our own children and we are the parents. When you described your two eldest, you could be describing my two boys. My 5 year old is polite and sensitive to others, my 22 month old is adventurous and independent! I love them dearly. : )

    www.lululovesfilms.wordpress.com

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  50. You are so right! Every one loves to offer their advice. Even people who have grown children that haven't turned out so great! I have found it freeing that I am ultimately responsible for my son and have to do what I feel is best for him regardless of what anyone else says.

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  51. When I was pregnant, I learned to say "That sounds like a great idea- I will have to ask my pediatrician!" It sucks to have to listen to what everyone thinks is right for your kids- but at the end of the day, they are trying to help- even if it is annoying:)

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  52. Sometimes, I think I am guilty of this - giving unsolicited advice to some moms. Thanks for this post. I now have a fresh insight on how parents may feel when you give them advice when you think you might know better. However, there’s really no danger of listening to advice from other people, especially if they are genuine and sound. Just listen to them and weigh the pros and cons. FINALLY, it is you who will make the decision and not them.

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  53. I try to never give advice unless someone asks for it. It drives me crazy when people give me unsolicited advice, especially considering it often comes from people who have no children, or who have children older than me, and can't seem to remember anything wrong their children ever did.

    In kindergarten we had several meetings that included phrases from the teacher like "he needs to give in and do what his friends want to do sometimes or no one will want to play with him." Another one she mentioned several times was that he needed to stop asking so many questions about the rules. My child followed the rules fine when he knew why they were rules and were important. And he still has plenty of friends, even though he doesn't ever play certain games with them. He's fine playing with a different group, or playing alone. I told his teacher then, and I still believe it, "he should never feel pressured by friends to do something he doesn't want to do...we want him to have the skill set to find something else to do, even if it's by himself. That will come in handy when someone wants him to drink or do drugs and he doesn't want to."

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  54. This is the best blog post I've read lately. The same is true for me. People telling me what I should and shouldn't be doing with my kids. They are all unique and I will let them be whatever they want to be. I love them all just the way they are

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  55. I 100% agree with you! I do think that most times it's either from someone who does want to help and keep you from having to go through what they went though, but then there are those who are just being judgemental.

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  56. Right on! The best advice I can sometimes give people is to learn how to politely let people know their advice is not being sought after.

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  57. I try to always be polite, I always say things like please, thank you, etc. These are important lessons to teach our children. - Jenn @ The Rebel Chick

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  58. Completely 100% agree with you! I don't have kids yet but if and when I do I'm sure I'll have quite a bit of unsolicited advice headed my way and you know what? I'm going to borrow your attitude on the matter :)

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  59. I love this post Rosey. I think it's a mother's instinct to know what's best for her children, even if that other parent has been through the same thing and thinks they have the best way for you to respond. I guess the grandparents mean well but geez.

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  60. I just love how you get it without having to worry about all the little warnings. More of us should have your confidence. Your children surely feel blessed for having you as their mother. Loved this post!

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  61. This is a great outlook to have! I try to keep in mind that even though I might have my opinions on something, it's best to keep them to myself sometimes!

    Just had to stop by and say hello today. I've been missing your blog! I hope you have a great weekend :)

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  62. Unless I think a child is in imminent danger, I keep the opinion to myself. If someone wants it, they will ask.

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  63. we've all heard the saying that opinions are like -------- and everybody's got one. i just wish they'd keep them to themselves!!

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  64. Only you know what's best for your child. And it sounds like all of your children have turned out more than OK. :-)

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  65. Moms know best...my son is very sweet and loving too. I don't see a thing wrong with it. Life IS hard enough. That's why it needs more kind people in it.

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  66. I could not agree with you any more!

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  67. Such a great post! May I comment that this is not only with children? (While I know it happens mostly with children, almost any life event will garner tons of "advice" from those who "mean well"!)

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  68. You are absolutely right-- too many people run their mouths when they shouldn't. Just keep loving your children as you do :)

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  69. As parents we know our kids and what's best for them. I never listen to people who think they know better than I do how to care for my kids. Keep doing what you do for them and loving them

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  70. I totally agree with ignoring some of the unsolicited advice. We get a lot of flack from family about my son playing with dolls. But we don't care . My son is tough. He also loves playing with his big sister which is the whole reason why he plays with dolls in the first place and she plays with his toys as well. we don't do "boys" and "girls" toys in our home. We want our kids to play with each other if we separated toys then they wouldn't be able to play with each other.

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  71. I think people are generally well meaning. That doesn't mean they know what will happen with your kids. Ugh. ;)

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  72. I love you Rosey. I love how you parent.
    And I try to do the same. I know my children have personalities and allow them to develop it.

    I don't listen too much to some advice. Most people have them are not even parents.

    My son is like your youngest. And I"ve had the suggestion of 'toughen him up'
    He is mannerable and kind and I love his soft heart. The world need hearts like these.

    This is a very good share. Thank you for saying it loud Rosey.

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  73. Sometimes, it is like some of our family members have no life of their own and have to make our life their life. My sister ... maybe because she is the oldest, thinks she needs to tell me how to do things.... Oy VEy...

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  74. I hate the unsolicited advice. I especially hate the "If that were my child" comments because they usually come from someone who knows absolutely nothing about my child.

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  75. Oy... those comments drive me batty! The only thing I give advice about like that is car seat safety, but that's not an opinion-type thing. That's safety and facts.

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  76. I'm glad that you are able to take their advice and SHOVE IT! It's so wonderful that you allow your children to be who they are meant to be - and even better that they all have turned out so well! :)

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  77. It always gets me how people don't see anything wrong with giving your their opinions about your kids. If it's something helpful and life saving, that's one thing. It's all in your delivery. Most times though, it's solely opinions!

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  78. I, also, was given unsolicited advice from well meaning family members and friends. Sometimes, I would have to bite my lip because I knew it was all given out of love. Now that my grown daughter and three grandchildren live only three miles from my home, I sometimes have to bite my lip to keep from giving unsolicited advice! Perspective!

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  79. I don't mind getting advice from family members who mean well for me and my family...but not some person on the street I don't know from Adams!

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