Katie over at State of Change recently blogged about why she doesn't give advice on parenting or marriage. In a world where everyone seems to feel obligated to spout off their own opinion on how/why/when you should do something, it was a very refreshing take on the issue. So, why don't we talk about it?
Part One: Ask and You Shall Receive
Is this a quote from the Bible? Possibly. I don't know. I think it sounds more like a song title.
When you begin a new chapter in your life, it can be extremely overwhelming. Graduating high school and becoming an adult, getting married, having children, moving, being a friend, etc. They're all scenarios that vary from person to person, and if it's something that you've never dealt with before, you may need help navigating the waters. So what do you do? You probably head to your mom, dad, b.f.f., random person on the street wearing "I'm omniscient" on their shirt and ask them what you should do. How do I live on my own? How do I know he's the one? What should I do when my three year old decides that clothes aren't their style? Lo and behold, everyone is clamoring to have their two cents thrown in the mix.
It seems as though everyone has the best remedy for our problems. Oh, your kid did that? Well, in my house we do this and this. Oh, your husband said that? In my house, husbands don't talk. Not to say that there isn't good advice out there; sometime asking for other opinions on a situation can lead to a great conclusion, can maintain your sanity, or could enable you to think of an option that hadn't been apparent before. But, if you're making the move to take advice from others, be prepared to have a dozen voices talking to you at once, tons of contradicting opinions, and to face the consequences if that advice turns out not to work so well.
Part Two: Your Way Isn't My Way
In our house, dogs are treated like people, the house is never clean, and I'd save my books over my photo album. Okay, maybe my camera would be first, but books a very close second. In our house, my husband and I have equal say, and while our marriage isn't perfect, we work through our problems ourselves. I honestly don't want to hear what you think about our latest argument because how you handle the situation is bound to be different than how we handle it. When we have children, I will gladly take recommendations on baby items, along with doing my own research, but how we raise them is up to us. I'm happy that your child is allowed to have ice cream every night because otherwise they scream; I probably wouldn't take the same route. It's all a matter of opinion.
I don't offer advice on this blog because I know for a fact that I'm not qualified to give it. I make mistakes. I'm not perfect. I say the wrong thing constantly [which is why my husband currently thinks I love the dogs more than him; horrible wording on my part] and don't really know what I'm doing at any point in the day. Why would you want to hear advice from someone like me? I wish I weren't so liberal with my thoughts in the real world, but I'm learning to tame my tongue and keep my opinions to myself when it comes to relationships, kids, and doing the dishes.
What do you think? Is advice freely welcome in your life? Do you give advice to others, and if so, when is it appropriate to do so?