We may need more time, money, and patience, but one thing most parents get plenty of is unasked-for advice! What do you do when someone offers you her thoughts on the current issues you're having with your kids? Whether you're dealing with toddlers or teens, here are six things to consider the next time someone says, "Well, if I were you..."
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A- Accept advice graciously. You don't have to agree to do it. You don't have to mention that you didn't ask for it. A simple, "Thanks, I'll take that into consideration" will usually bring the conversation to a close.
D- Don’t get defensive. It's hard not to want to defend your child or your parenting. However, if the advice-giver is out of line, trust the Lord to reveal that to that person in His own way and through His own means.
V- View the advice-giver from the eyes of Christ. That definitely puts a different spin on it, doesn't it? His eyes are always looking at us with love and mercy--and forgiveness. How many times do you speak out of turn? Or just the opposite: Have you ever had to confront someone out of obedience to the Lord? It probably hurt you as much to give the advice as it did for the person on the other end to receive it.
I- Inquire in prayer if the advice is applicable to your life. This is where you will be especially glad if you "accepted the advice graciously." After all, what if that person is right? Shrug off the feeling of being personally attacked and just ask the Lord if the advice applies to you or not. He will tell you.
C- Consider the value of the relationship first. If it's a nosy know-it-all in the booth next to you at McDonald's, you might want to let those comments go. But if it is a person with a vested, loving interest in you and your child, it's a good idea to listen.
E- Evaluate with your spouse the best way to handle offensive advice. If you determine that the advice was offensive, and the advice came from your side of the family, then you handle it. If it came from his, then he must take care of it. You may choose to ignore it and hope it is an isolated incident. However, if it continues, you must confront the offender firmly, but as lovingly as possible.
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