Some Advice about Advice

Advice is one of those funny things.

When we need some, sometimes we don’t often know how to ask for it.

When we know something, we’re often inclined to proffer this information, whether it is desired, warranted, requested or not.

So bursting are we that sometimes we can give advice without even thinking.

Sometimes, we’re just not sure how to handle what we have in front of us, so we say what we can and hope for the best.

With the internet and social media the size it is, I often see advice flying around; some of which is accepted and appreciated and much of which is pointless, useless and frustrating, even if the intent is a good one.

I have received some of this latter sort of advice myself and, I’m sure, have given it at times, too.

In many cases, a rant on a Facebook profile, or a bitching about something in the school yard or over a coffee, that’s all it is; a verbal vent. Sometimes, whether it is in relation to parenting, business or just life in general, you don’t want advice. You just want someone to sit down and listen to you, and to just understand.

Here is some advice on advice.

Sounds like my kids [at that age]”

Whilst it is true that most kinds of certain ages behave in very similar manners (i.e. the ‘terrible twos’, teenagers etc) this is not helpful advice. Most mothers know their children are ‘normal’ and they’re not experiencing something new and traumatic that no other person on earth has endured before.

When thy’re in the midst of horrible shitness, relatability stated in this manner is not something they particularly care about. What they want is practical solutions on how to get through this moment without braining someone or going completely mental. Whilst it is generally ‘normal’ behaviour, the books don’t exactly explain just how horrible it can be at the moment, and give the distinct impression that putting the kid in time out/removing privileges/grounding them/setting up a reward chart will solve the issue just like

3 Replies to “Some Advice about Advice”

  1. I agree. Advice, either giving it or receiving, can be tricky. I think most people who seek advice are, as you said, either venting or in need of validation. Real advice is the last thing they want. I try to employ the counsellor’s technique of lots of head nodding, followed by a question. A bit of “Oh, my, and then what?” Or “what do you think you’ll do now?” But, as my dear husband is prone to say, sometimes you just can’t do wrong right.

    1. I like that. I try to do the same.

      Love the comment by your hubby though – so true! Sometimes, you just can’t pick it 🙂

      My real pet hates are the oh, so obvious pieces of advice. They frustrate me. I also know they are said with the best of intentions, but soooo not helpful!

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