Parenting advice is everywhere—on the web, in books, in blogs, and even from past generations. Where do we begin?
Parenting Advice over Coffee
Amber and her mother, Susan, settled into a booth at the local coffee shop. Mugs of steaming café latte sat on the table in front of them. It was a rare moment that mother and daughter could relax away from the constant needs of preschoolers.
Susan picked up her drink. “It was thoughtful of John to stay with the boys while we treat ourselves.”
Amber laughed. “He realizes I need a break. Those boys are a handful. And keeping them for a while reminds him what a full-time job I have.
“You’re fortunate. Some dads aren’t as tuned in as he is.”
“He also knows I want to talk to you about Ben. He’s been awful lately. Maybe it’s sibling rivalry. You remember we didn’t have much of a problem when Jack was born. Now two years later, it pops up. It seems he just now noticed that Jack is getting some of our attention.”
“Oh, I hadn’t thought about that. Jack is talking—in fact, he never stops.”
Amber and Susan continued to discuss the reasons Ben might be acting out and ways to handle the problem. Amber knows that she can get some parenting advice from the Internet and some from her mom. Then she and John will talk about the options and make a plan to deal with Ben’s misbehavior.
Parenting Advice: A Sea Change
There has been a cultural shift in parenting. According to Francine Kaufman, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist, Gen X and Millennial parents get most of their “information from outside the family, such as blogs, television, and social networks. As a result, today’s parents no longer think their mothers (or grandmothers) have the answers”
Balance the Sources of Parenting Advice
In a fast-paced world, current research reveals new information worth consideration. Also, previous generations’ methods may not apply today. But there is wisdom in some of the old ways. Amber is wise to want to hear her mom’s ideas to balance what she and John find elsewhere.
The answer is two-fold: Grandparents should be open to new ideas, and parents need to consider parenting advice from previous generations. Seeking input from a mom or a grandmother is a way of adding one more source to the thousands available.
The Answer: Prayerfully Consider All Sources
In the end, the parents must make the decisions. Hopefully, they will prayerfully consider the old, the new, and God’s timeless truths.