Do YOU listen to Non-parents giving parenting advice?

The Seattle Times Editorial offered a printed hand slap to Washington State Senator Mike Baumgartner that I didn’t feel was appropriate, but got me thinking about parenting and non-parents. See what YOU think.

Official portrait of Senator (D-WA).

Washington U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell

In the Editorial “Cantwell challenger makes rookie mistake in commenting on marital status” it is written: In a fundraising letter (attacking Senator Maria Cantwell‘s position on availability of “Plan B” contraceptive pills to teens without parental consent), Baumgartner mentioned that Cantwell is unmarried and “has frequently voted to undermine the role of parents in child rearing.”

Baumgartner is a declared Republican candidate to challenge Cantwell for her Senate seat in 2012. Good luck with that, Mike. :-\

The Times goes on to ask what Cantwell’s marital status has to do with her views on the Plan B contraceptive and its availability to teens without that teens parental consent. To which I respond, it has a whole lot to do with her views. If you don’t have children you can’t possibly imagine the responsibilities, the weight of each and every day decisions, and the day-to-day challenges a parent faces.

I have had several friends over the course of the years who have chosen to go through life without kids. A couple of them come to mind on this subject. My old friend Deborah, (really a co-worker more than a friend) would never hesitate counseling my wife and I on what SHE thought should be done with any of my three kids. My kids range in age by a full 12 years youngest to oldest. So the unsolicited advice ranged from what to do about a crying baby, to how to deal with a rebellious teen. Now Deborah is a smart person but completely full of herself. And the fact that she had a college degree in “Early childhood development” was something she never failed to mention. But when Deborah or anyone else offered parenting advice I would listen, because you never know when you might luckily stumble upon a gem of a good idea. But usually I would be a little offended that a non-parent felt knowledgable enough to offer such thoughts, and I would take the advice with a grain of salt, or with the knowledge that it came from a person without a clue.

I’m a sports fan. I played football in high school. I believe myself very knowledgable about the game. But despite the fact that I had my “bell” rung a few times and had the wind knocked out of me by 150-180 pound high school opponents I can’t relate in any way to what Tom Brady goes through. Did you see the hit he took in the Denver game last week? He got blasted by Broncos D-lineman Elvis Dumervil.

English: Elvis Dumervil, a player on the Natio...

Elvis Dumervil

Dumervil is 6-foot and 260 pounds. And he runs a 4.5 second 40 yard dash. I’m almost as big as he is but if he hit me I might not get up. I can’t possibly imagine.

Most non-parents are smart enough not to offer parenting advice. It’s quite arrogant to do so and to think you can relate. Trust me, you absolutely have no idea. So I think it’s perfectly appropriate for Baumgartner to question Cantwell’s marital status and childless status when Cantwell takes political positions that take away the rights of parents.

What do you think?

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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