Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Several months ago, I signed on as a parenting / relationship expert for a Q&A website. I answer random questions from strangers around the world and get paid a small amount for my time. Many of the answers involve suggestions to "talk to her about your feelings," "contact your son's teacher to schedule a meeting," or "be prepared for your wife to react negatively when you tell her you've been crossdressing for 15 years." I'll admit that last one only happened once, but it stands out in my mind.
I frequently tell parents that I'm happy to share what other families have found to be effective or what current research supports, but it's just a suggestion and may or may not be helpful. Ultimately, we all get to decide what's best for our kids and families (even if we're making up the rules as we go). So, why do I have to remind myself of that fact so often??
I received an e-mail newsletter yesterday that outlined a toddler's daily nutritional needs. The title may as well have read, You're Not Feeding Your Kid Enough. Not for the first time, I felt guilty for not meeting the standards of an expert recommendation. Does she even have a toddler?!? I'm lucky if I can get Emily to take two bites of oatmeal before she flings a spoonful (we call the 3 feet around her highchair "Gallagher's front row").
I may have to add a disclaimer to the answers I provide on the Q&A site from here on out: "Please don't take me too seriously. You're the real expert here and for all I know, the crossdresser's wife was ecstatic about doubling her wardrobe."